I’ve been fighting the feeling of impostor syndrome for a while now. Where I used to think it only affected my creative and professional life, I discovered I was wrong. Lately, I’ve felt like an imposter mother to my youngest child—the child I so desperately wanted and had a mental breakdown and nearly divorced my husband over.
I look back at when Adelyn, my daughter, was an infant and wondered how I had so much time with her. Then I remembered I worked in the news, and my shift was from 3 to 11 pm. I spent the day with her before I went to work. Also, my husband and I were living at my mom’s while we tried to find a home. That meant I could focus all my time on my new baby. Eventually, I switched from 3 to 11 pm to 3-11 am. I could pick up Adelyn from daycare at noon, nap while she napped, and spend the rest of the day with her before bedtime.
Now everything is so different.
I, thankfully, no longer live with my parents. We were able to find a home before our area became entirely unaffordable for those who grew up here and weren’t millionaires. I also changed jobs. I switched from working in television to teaching how to work in broadcast television. This meant working more regular hours. Yes, I get a million days off that I would never have earned while working in the news, but now my time is stretched so differently.
Bennett, my youngest, spends nearly his entire waking hours with my mom and dad or my husband’s mom when she’s off work.
I pick up Bennett at five and rush to whatever ballpark the oldest are playing at—the moment he hits the car, his out. My youngest doesn’t nap during the day. He loves to be awake and alert, looking around and observing his surroundings. This is probably why this makes working regular hours so hard. Bennett is not a night owl like Adelyn is. He’s the most fantastic sleeper. If he goes to bed at 8:30 – 9, he’ll be asleep until 7 am. I know nearly no one would complain about a baby sleeping; however, with Bennett being a fantastic sleeper, I hardly get a few hours with him during the week. It makes me feel like I’m not raising my child, but my parents are.
I’m genuinely blessed knowing Bennett is at my parents’ house instead of being at daycare. But that doesn’t help matters much because come August; I believe my little one will go to daycare unless my dad misses having him over the summer.
Adelyn and Mark both went to daycare, but they were older. Mark didn’t go until vpk, and we had the most amazing nanny for Adelyn until she was 13 months or so. The idea of Bennett, not even four months old, having to go into daycare breaks my heart. He’s a cuddle bug. He loves to be held. And even though the daycare he would have gone to is impressive, they couldn’t spend ten-ish hours holding him.
Writing ten hours out just made me nauseous. My child is spending ten hours with other people. The child I so desperately wanted, yet unfortunately, because bills need to be paid, we need a roof over our heads, and food on the table. I don’t get to spend all the time in the world with him.
Times like these are when I envy stay-at-home moms. I know it’s not all sunshine and rainbows for them, and it wouldn’t be for me. Without a task at hand, I get restless. I get cabin fever quickly, and my child loves to pee, poop, and throw up on me.
Even knowing that I truly wish there were more hours in the day to do everything I want to do.