The Invisible Mother: My "aha" moment

Rachel - posted on 05/29/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )

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A inspirational story for all those moms out there (espically stay at home moms) that feel invisible in the home. This really helped put things in perspective for me. I feel so alone, hopeless, guilty, resentful sometimes because motherhood brings me to my knees, but it's only when I'm on my knees that I look up. Godbless! Comments welcome!



It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I’m on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I’m thinking, ‘Can’t you see I’m on the phone?’

Obviously not; no one can see if I’m on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.

I’m invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more! Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this??

Some days I’m not a pair of hands; I’m not even a human being. I’m a clock to ask, ‘What time is it?’ I’m a satellite guide to answer, ‘What number is The Disney Channel?’ I’m a car to order, ‘Right around 5:30, please.’

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa *** laude -but now,

They had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again.

She’s going, she’s going, she’s gone!?



One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England . Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, ‘I Brought you this.’ It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn’t

Exactly sure why she’d given it to me until I read her inscription:



‘To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building

when no one sees.’



In the days ahead I would read – no, devour – the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals – we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.



A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the Cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, ‘Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof, No one will ever see it. And the workman replied, ‘Because Godsees.’



I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall intoplace. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, ‘I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you’ve done, no sequin you’ve sewn on, no cupcake you’ve baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can’t see right now what it will become. At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is Erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness.

It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime

because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree. When I really think about it, I don’t want my son to tell the friend he’s bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, ‘My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for 3 hours and presses all the linens for the table.’ That would mean I’d built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, ‘You’re gonna love it there.’



As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we’re doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

16 Comments

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PATRICIA - posted on 06/01/2010

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Awww.. This was so nice. I am going to send this to my best friend who needs to be lifted up right now. I agree that sometimes being a stay at home mom I find it hard to find a sense of pride in what I am doing, you know its not like when Monday rolls around I know my day will be from 8-5.. it seems like everyday is the same sometimes.. Sometimes I wonder if I am even doing a great job!
but then I look at my little 2 year old who comes up and kisses me for no reason..and it so smart and happy and who is above and beyond where she should be.. or when my little 9 month old laughs all day long and hardly cries who is patient and seem completely content with life.. I think to myself .. I have to being doing something right.. these little beings are all the small invisible things I do... all wrapped up into kind loving kids.

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Thank you so much for sharing this with other mother's it has really hit home with me as I was just complaining about being invisible this morning. I needed to be brought out of myself a bit & your message has really helped.This is probably the best post I have read here in COM thank you again & God Bless You :)

Mandie - posted on 05/30/2010

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I feel blessed to have heard this story so early into my journey as a mother. My daughter is 5 months old. I think this will really help me keep a positive spin on things during those really tough days!

Dianne - posted on 05/30/2010

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Wonderfully written, God bless and I wish you well and all of us mothers and mother"s to be well

Christina - posted on 05/30/2010

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Thank you... This was a beautiful message and it puts lots of things into a very positive perspective thank you!

Kelina - posted on 05/29/2010

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This is an amazing story! I went from laughing to crying(i'm not really that much of a sap i'm riddled with pregnancy horomones) And just had to read it out to my husband. Some days i feel so much the same-I'm just a pair of arms to pick up and cart him places, i'm just a map/surveillance camera for my husband to ask me where he's put his stuff, I'm just a chef who can't cook fast enough for anyone in my house! And on those days, when my husband has a two hour commute to and from work, this is exactly what I need. Thank you so much for sharing with us!

Rachel - posted on 05/29/2010

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Your welcome! I just knew I had to share this special message. We all could use a little more encouragement. I am filled with such emotion that it touched others too, because I know how much I needed to hear this.

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Thank you! On this day my girls are fighting, my husband is in a bad mood, and I am having one of the worse days yet of morning sickness! I needed this reminder that it's not just about today but the tomorrows to come!

Ashley - posted on 05/29/2010

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man, i really, REALLY needed this today, thank you for taking the time to share! :)

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