“She’s so good with her,” a well intentioned One Percenter says to me, nodding towards where The Wee One and my sister in law (SIL) are playing a game of Hide & Seek on the playground.
I just nod and say nothing.
My playground companion doesn’t need to know this is one of two weekly supervised visits my SIL gets with her daughter while she’s under house arrest.
This isn’t the first time someone’s naively assumed The Wee One’s mama is my Hispanic nanny.
And the irony of the situation isn’t lost on me. After all, The Wee One DOES have a 19 year-old Hispanic nanny.
I can only imagine how SIL feels that The Hubs and I have hired a girl two years younger than her to help raise her baby until a court deems she’s fit to once again assume full time mom status.
The truth is, I can’t care. After observing the laxidasical behavior of the other, much older Mexican nannies on the playground over the last few months, I recognize how much The Hubs and I scored with our hands on, loving, patient, YOUNG nanny.
And as someone who owns my own business, I can’t exactly quit work to raise this baby myself. (Nor would I want to.)
My life as an Imposter Mom is full of irony.
People just assume The Wee One is my kid. Which leads to all kinds of ironic experiences including…
- At a potluck of new mom friends, a woman handed me her squiggly, squirmy, fussy newborn, saying, “Can you hold the baby? Thanks…” (To which I held on to the newbie for dear life, praying that I didn’t accidentally drop her.)
- While pushing The Wee One in her stroller recently, a pack of 20something girls passed. One of the girls paused, looked at The Wee One, and said, “Your baby’s adorable.”
- A friend I hadn’t seen in months stopped by for a visit and, watching my Guatemalan mother-in-law clean the house while The Wee One napped, commented, “She does good work. How much does she charge and can she come clean my house on Friday?”
I politely explained my actual cleaning lady Miriam came every other Tuesday and we paid her $100 a pop.
(Later that day, my mother in law – who’d overheard our conversation – approached me about taking over Miriam’s duties if we’d pay her the same rate.)
The biggest irony of all? I never wanted to be a mom. Still don’t.
This kid is one of the best things that ever happened to me.
She’s forced me to get my priorities straight.
To get over my own childhood baggage and deal with my unresolved personal shit.
To have the uncomfortable conversations about money with The Hubs that I’d spent the first six years of our relationship avoiding.
She’s taught me to love without fear of loss. To nurture without knowing how long we have together. After all, any day now, the court may call and say it’s time to give her back to her mom.
Loving and caring for this kid has made me a better woman. And for someone who never wanted kids for fear they’d bring out the worst in me?
The irony isn’t lost on me.