Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Faux Mom

I went to a Big City Moms lunch today with my dear friend R, who has a great baby named H that I love like my own. R is my type of mom and I literally don't think I could've done this whole baby thing without her and my friend Y. They are my rocks. I say this because any comments about the attendees of the lunch do NOT include her in the slightest.

Anyway, this event.

It was about 15 NYC moms and their kids, various ages, mostly within the first 3-4months. The purpose of these events is twofold - 1., the leader shares topics of interest (today's was Big City Secrets and included a list of stores, restaurants, parks, etc that are kid friendly in NY. Awesome) and 2., to showcase new (expensive) accessories and tools and highlight whever we happen to be as the best place to bring kids. Sort of a salesy pitch with info.

Let me set the scene for you. Picture the most giant diamonds you have ever seen in an engagement ring. Every mom was thin, hot and had perfect hair. They all talked about the many classes they took their 5 week old to and the boutiques and little cafes in which they had mommy dates with other thin hot moms. R and I agreed later that "these were not our kind of people", which is an understatement. I love my kind of people. These are not them.

It was a bit overwhelming for me. But what really bothered me is that everyone there had a biological kid. How do I know that? Cause at one point or another they all whipped out the boob or the boob milk in a small bottle and it was obvious. One of the giveaways was a book on breastfeeding and another a bottle cooler for breastmilk. At one point the leader of the group mentioned they had an adoption workshop coming up and she awkwardly said "I was really surprised at how many people adopt....really....so many!" Except no one there. I didn't say anything right then but later it came up and those around me asked many questions that made me feel uncomfortable. And it was partially my fault because why do I feel like I have to "come clean"? Like it is some shameful secret I have to divulge to be honest? It ISNT!

It was the first time I felt like a poser. Like I had borrowed my sister's kid and pretended she was mine. Like I was not good enough. And before you start on me, yes, I know in my heart she is my kid, yes I know in my heart I am a good mom. I love C so much it hurts my heart and I would die for her. I know I don't feel any differently than anyone who has a child with their genes. I just felt bad. I felt left out. I felt less than. I felt weird and sad and like people were looking at me oddly. And I felt sad for C, like through no fault of her own she will have this "Thing" out there her whole life and will have to answer questions about it. I want to protect her from that, so much.

I realize that my current mom friends were all there through my fertility treatments and miscarriages and failed adoptions and now with C, which means they are like family and I feel 100% comfortable with them. I feel like a mom with them. I can be myself and not worry if my lip gloss is on my teeth. They love me, accept me, accept her and truly see us as the family we are.

It is just women I don't know. We all judge and we all watch and we are all insecure. I hate that and want to be secure. If it wasn't about adoption I know i would worry that i hadn't lost enough weight or my boobs were too saggy or whatever. Actually i worry about that anyway, but that's a side issue.

So I am planning to start a mom's group of adoptive moms. I have two of us already, and the woman who ran the thing today has another woman she wants me to meet. I am going to connect us and make us a family too - but also stay close to my other mom friends. I don't want to be insular, I want to grow my community.

J took my hand very tenderly tonight when he heard my story about lunch. He felt bad, I think, that I felt bad. He understood how i felt because while he doesn't find himself in similar situations he has read all the books and knows this is part of the process. I know it too and will hopefully soon become totally comfortable in my own skin and potential stupid questions and thoughtless exclusionary behaviors will roll off my back. I can't wait for that.

In other news, I took C into work today and the amount of love that poured out and adoration showered upon her was beautiful. She smiled and tooted and didn't pitch any fits. It was great.

OH quick story speaking of toots.

At the beginning of the lunch, it was quiet as all these trophy wives (R excluded of course) talked about their kids and ages and their "secret weapon" like products or tricks. About 3 people in C cut the HUGEST fart during some absolute quiet. I was forced to say, redfaced, "That wasn't me". The group totally laughed. Nice. I guess she didn't like the company either. That's my daughter! I love her!


Anonymous Indian Food said...

Oooooy - the Washington Heights Big City Moms would have been more your speed - no diamonds, all of us pretty normal and small-diamond-y - there was even a stay at home dad. What on earth does a five week old do in music class anyway? I barely got anything out of it when I was eight years old. NYC parenthood in 2008 is f-ing insane.

10:22 PM  
Blogger harderthanwethought said...

Totally related to this post as I have had some similar feelings as of late (and just posted about them as well). It's also hard to know when to mention the adoption part and when not to. It's not like it's really anyone's business but I don't ever want to feel like I'm hiding anything either. On the positive note, when I've had relative strangers ask about my 5 week old baby and then comment on how good I look, I just smile and say thanks! :)

6:46 PM  
Anonymous Mrs. Jones said...

You wear lip gloss?

9:33 PM  
Blogger spike0216 said...

Just found your blog and had to say this post resonated with me...I'm the proud mom of G, who was born in September 07. I too struggle with when it's appropriate and when it's not...I'm not ashamed, our good friends know, but I also just want the fact that G is adopted to be a component of who he is, not his defining characteristic, KWIM? I just joined a local 'moms' group and haven't come clean yet--not sure whether I will or not as I'm not sure it's relevant. Sigh...

Thanks for your blog!

9:51 AM  

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