I’m a Mom and I Feel Invisible
A while back, over dinner with my two kids and loving partner, I felt invisible. I was asking questions about their respective days and no one could hear me. I had prepared dinner-to-order for my children (which means hot dogs, mac’n’cheese, and frozen peas on their special owl and fox plates with dividers so that no food item is touching any other food item – hey, some days, this is totally acceptable parenting). I had taken great care to facilitate meaningful dinnertime conversation for the health and well-being of my family. Despite working a long day, I was trying, really trying, to be an awesome, attentive mom. But here I was, feeling invisible – completely ignored and unimportant. No one even acknowledged my presence at the table. I stopped talking. I had had enough.
”I AM A HUMAN BEING. I DESERVE RESPECT. YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO ME WHEN I’M SPEAKING.”
I might have a reputation for being a tad dramatic… ahem…
My kids looked at me with their eyes wide for a moment. Then, my youngest who’s 4 years old, said, ”I’m a human being too,” so we got to have a good talk about respect and listening to one another and how we treat other people. What started out as me losing my cool for a moment turned into a good teaching tool and we amicably got on with our meal, everyone listening and responding to everyone else appropriately.
These days, when any one of us is feeling ignored by another member of the family, you’ll often hear (in my own tone of voice, regardless of who is saying it), “I AM A HUMAN BEING!”
So, there’s that.
Where was I going with this?
Right – I’m a mom and I feel invisible some days. Some of those days, I can pick myself up by my yoga pants and advocate the heck out of myself and come out on top. Other days, I need help from outside myself to feel seen… to feel like a human being.
Then, sometimes, I turn to the internet. I chat with fellow moms on Facebook, I Google for articles on how to engage in good self-care, I PM a friend I trust who gets it.
Here’s the thing, by reaching out to others and talking to other moms, I learn that I’m not alone. All of us moms feel invisible some days. Sometimes for days at a time, even! We’re ignored at the dinner table, we resign to putting away the piles of laundry ourselves after asking nicely several hundred times for our kids to put their own sh*t away, we forget and forego our own wants and needs for the benefit of our young ones.
This is normal. We are normal.
But, honestly, when it means we’re unhappy, frustrated, or even resentful of our family members much of the time, feeling invisible has just got to stop. And maybe that means taking a bubble bath (which reminds me, I really need to clean the tub) or texting a friend. Or perhaps it means shouting from the rooftops, “I AM A HUMAN BEING!” It works for me every time.