Sunday, November 4, 2007

Borrowing the mommy title...

This particular situation has happened a lot in my life. I baby sat a little boy for a friend in high school (she was only a year older than me) while she worked a third shift job. I would pick the baby up after school and keep him while she slept and worked until 7am the next morning when I would drop him off and go to school. I loved it. But.... and this is the only place I have and will ever admit this... I found a guilty pleasure in keeping him all the time. It is one reason I never charged her for keeping him and why I did it for so long despite entering college classes early and ending up with a two year old and a very sick grandfather for a long time that I helped care for also (My aunt and uncle's son became deathly ill with a "mystery virus" and nearly died several times. This left his two year old sister at home over an hour and a half away needing a care giver. Of course my mom volunteered me trying to get me to stop caring for the other baby and therefore convincing me that teenage motherhood is unacceptable and uncool... if only she knew that it was an impossibility for me in the first place lol. Life is sick and ironic sometimes eh?).

Anyway, sorry for the rant, the pleasure I found was in the mommy title. When I took him out in public to the park or to "The World of Wally", or the mall, or just out for a ride, I found that I loved the idea that people saw me as his mommy even for a split second. I understood at the time and I was well aware that people thought ill of me as a very young mother of a very rambunctious baby but I didn't care. I loved the thought that for a little while I was only a technicality (a large one nonetheless) away from "mom."

That was only a small peek into the many guilty "mommy title stealer" moments in my life and last night I added one to the board. "Dan and Dot" came over with the baby last night and hubby and Dan of course had one too many. Dan had planned to get his boys a Wii for Christmas and they were to go on sale in our small town World of Wally at midnight. They only had a few of them in stock so we set out at 11:30, drunk men in tow to buy a Wii. Just as we left the men got so rowdy that they woke the baby up. They certainly made the trip interesting and us women chose to leave them to wait half an hour in electronics while we rambled around. Dot was busying herself looking at something and I was oohing and ahhhing with the baby pushing the cart around and around the store trying to keep her from remembering that she should be asleep and that she hated being in her carseat. I ran into an old flame from high school and he just stopped and looked at me funny. He said hi and then asked how the "Little one" was and admired her for a bit and we went our own ways. I felt so guilty. I never once told him that she wasn't mine. Really and truly the encounter was far too short to go into an explanation like that but I felt like such a fraud.

Why was I so ashamed of myself? It has eaten at me a bit today and I can't shake it from the back of my mind. It made me feel so guilty, like I had commited a serious crime or lie. I've allowed myself many times to enjoy the pleasure of borrowing the title with my nephew and even my cousins but never before have I felt so guilty about it. Was it just simply that I knew that Dot was nearby or was it the fact that I want to have that title so badly and it hurts so bad and I am terrified that this is the only way I might ever be considered mommy? I know it isn't that big of a deal I guess but it really has irked me that I've become so "addicted" to the mommy idea that I would consider borrowing another woman's child just to be considered a mommy even if for only a second.

Have you ever had this happen? Did you ever feel this way? Inquiring minds want to know....

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