This picture of an “invisible woman” really caught my attention. I first time I saw it was in a writing group. They asked us to write a short paragraph about how this made us feel. Tears rolled down my cheek as I typed my paragraph. It made me sad because I often feel invisible.
Sometimes we yearn to be seen and heard. It’s a validation that we are enough.
Have you ever felt invisible? I admit that invisible is my preference at a party or in a crowd. I hide behind being busy. My labels make me invisible and I lose myself. I’m not Mavis, I’m Dallas’ mom or Myles’ mom. I’m not Mavis, I’m Cameron’s wife. I lose myself to be what others want me to be, what they expect me to be. I lose myself to make sure I stay “small.” I set my own wants aside to make sure everyone else is taken care of. Self care seems selfish for me, even though I know how important it is & I encourage it for other people.
I will be the invisible helper in the kitchen. I will be the invisible chef, invisible crafter, invisible planner, invisible laundry folder, the invisible accountant. I keep a mental checklist of all of the appointments & medication refills, of every item in the house, each upcoming activity, birthday, bills to pay, who needs new socks or pants to be spotted, what homework is coming due, what trips we have coming up…. oh and then there is the list for work related stuff too. No wonder I have vertigo with all of these things spinning in my head. Don’t get me wrong, my family is great, and I know they love me. The only females around me are 6 hens, and they aren’t much help (other than the eggs).
Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and to the other moms who feel invisible, I want you to know… I see you.
- To the hopeful mom, praying for a positive pregnancy test… I see you.
- To the new mom worried about doing “the right stuff”… I see you.
- To the toddler mom who thinks these days will never end… I see you.
- To the mom in the store with a kid in full tantrum mode… I see you.
- To the mom of the 4th grader longing to fit in… I see you.
- To the mom of tweens who wonder what happened to their kid… I see you.
- To the mom of junior high awkwardness… I see you.
- To the mom of a senior, taking a deep breath as their child prepares to leave the nest… I see you.
- To the mom of a graduate, wishing for another weekend together… I see you.
- To the mom who became a grandma, beaming with pride… I see you.
- To the mom who became a great grandma, yearning for a more active body to keep up with those sweet babies… I see you.
I see you. I have been you or likely will become you… invisible and just wanting to feel enough in the ebbs and flows of motherhood. I have gotten used to skipping self care. It’s not something I’m proud of. I’m aware of it… it became apparent when I had cancer. I was forced to take care of myself. I was forced to say no so I could conserve my energy. But time marches on, and I became invisible again. I did “all the things” because it is easier to, right? Who am I if I’m not busy or stressed? Sometimes I feel like I’m not worthy of taking time for myself. It makes me feel guilty for taking time away from my family, partly because I know time is limited.
I’ve attended a few retreats and towards the end, we sit in a circle with one person standing in the center. We go around the room and say positive & uplifting things about the person in the center. They can only say “thank you”… they cannot dismiss the compliment, they just take it in. We fill up their bucket. We see them. I do not volunteer to go first, but I do admit that it feels good to be seen.
I wish you peace on your journey of enough. May you truly see others and allow yourself a o be seen. I will be working on this too!