The Sisterhood of Motherhood: Feeling Invisible and Being Seen

faevftt6ymDespite how noticeable we are, it’s easy to feel invisible. 

But today someone saw me, and it’s changing the way I see others. It’s changing how I think about the sisterhood of motherhood.

If you’ve read my posts before, you probably know that I had 3 kids in a short amount of time. My two youngest aren’t even a year apart (363 days…so close to a year). 

Everything we do is a production. Eating dinner. Bath time. Bed time. Breakfast. Going out in a public is a particularly fun event, always involving an opening act: loading up the car. 

I drive a small SUV, with 3 carseats taking up the entire backseat. I actually kind of like how my kids can kick the back of both the driver’s side and passenger seat, because to deliver something to their tiny hands or pick up whatever they dropped merely involves scooting back just enough to reach them. But, that aside, getting them into the carseats is no small feat. 

I take my kids out one-by-one, leaving the front door open so they can choose to come to the car themselves should they so desire (they never do). I usually pick the kid whose going to whine the least first (our youngest). Then whichever one seems to happen to be in a decent mood (usually the middle). Then I chase the last one around the house until my makeup is sweating off of my face, and my hair is matted to the back of my neck (those pregnancy heat-flashes never really go away, do they?). 

This morning was particularly fun because we are potty training our 3 year old, so when after I wrestled him into the unimaginably expensive (but 16-inch wide!) carseat he told me he had to go to the bathroom, I unbuckled him and let him pee in our front yard. Then re-wrestled him into the carseat. 

We ran our errand and played at The Urban Chalkboard for a while before coming home.

I keep a sign taped to our front door that reads “Please don’t ring bell on the off-chance someone might actually be napping today.” But today, taped alongside it, was another note from one of my neighbors. 

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It reads:

Good morning! I was on my porch this morning and saw you loading the kids to leave and though you might enjoy a small treat from Starbucks! I hope that you all have a super weekend! Being a mom can be hard, but from meeting you the moments I have, I know you are a Super Mom!!!! Keep up the great work!!

Why yes, I did start crying, thank you for asking.

I’ll be honest with you- most of the time I feel like I’m operating at about 60%. Ugh, I hate to say it, but most of life right now feels like failure. I never feel like I’m at home enough, but I never feel like I’m doing enough at work, either. I don’t ever feel put together, and I’m probably going to wear maternity jeans until I die. There never seems to be enough money, and most of the time I have no idea where the romance went in my marriage because we’re always talking about logistics (…or about how there never seems to be enough money). And what makes it harder is this feeling of being invisible, and of being alone. 

The letter means so much to me, but if I’m honest…I never feel like a Super Mom. 

Last week, Lauren wrote about looking at yourself from the outside in: and today I got a little glimpse of what my life looks like from down the street. Obviously, my life isn’t glamorous and it’s a lot of work, but omigod did this note change the course of my day. Not because I think, “yeah, hey, I’m Super Mom”, but because someone else saw me.

Her note made me realize how alone I feel in this– but how not alone I am.

Inspired by this act of kindness and solidarity in motherhood, we here at Indy Moms Blog are launching an #iloveindymoms campaign. Why? Because we love you, Indy Moms. We know motherhood is hard. We know it can feel like a struggle as much as it feels like the joy it is. We want you to know that you aren’t invisible: we see you, we hear you, and your voice will always be honored here. We encourage you to do for each other what my neighbor did for me today, and to please tell us your stories: share on Facebook and post on Instagram with the hashtag #iloveindymoms, and we will be sharing #iloveindymoms moments from you on our Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. 

We see you, Indy Moms, and want you to know that you are not alone.

And to my neighbor? I don’t know if I could ever tell you how much your note meant to me. Thank you for seeing me

(…and also for the caffeine). 

 

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