The Invisible Mom
There once was a mom.
A mom who was loving, hard-working and ambitious. A mom who always tried hard and did her best. A mom who loved deeply and gave compliments freely. A mom who would do anything for her kids and her family.
She was a good friend who was always there to help provide a sympathetic shoulder, a kind word or support during a trying time.
But this mom was tired.
Tired of always being the instigator/orchestrator of all family gatherings, lunch dates with friends or family excursions. Oftentimes texts and emails with suggestions for get-togethers or a simple “How are you?” went unanswered leaving her wondering if the desire for family connection was only in her own mind.
The growing feeling of being the bulldozer that was always struggling to “push” people into having fun or spending time together was wearing her thin.
Now before you label this mom as a needy mom or an insecure mom, let me correct you. I know for a fact that this woman was strong and independent, hated pity and rarely asked for help. She knew that life was short and that every day needed to be relished to the max.
She was kind and giving and was always ready to lend a helping hand to those in need.
But if she didn’t suggest, instigate, arrange or orchestrate, not much would happen.
Her kids didn’t leave their rooms and months passed in between times her extended family came together. Friends didn’t seem to be available very often and their follow-through on lunch requests were spotty at best and more often than not, a string of excuses followed as they declined yet another invite.
This tired mom even found herself sitting alone and hurt one morning when a much-anticipated breakfast date at a local café was “forgotten” by the other party.
She also said nothing when she witnessed reports on social media of family or friends getting together for a celebration or outing; fun that she hadn’t been invited to join in on. Perhaps people “assumed.” Assumed she was too busy or assumed that she “wouldn’t want to go."
She said nothing to any of them about how bad it hurt to feel invisible.
This mom found herself doing a lot of things by herself because she truly didn’t think anyone would want to join her and she was tired of begging, pushing and cajoling. All the help she so readily offered began to look more and more one-sided as it was rarely reciprocated.
She decided feeling taken for granted sucked just as bad as feeling invisible.
She became sadder, more isolated and more frustrated.
So what did she do about experiencing the unarguably lousy feeling of being invisible? I don’t know. Perhaps that part of the story hasn’t evolved yet. But I can hypothesize that maybe this mom just wanted someone to call her up and say, “So, how are you today?” Or even show simple courtesy like answering her texts or to offering up a “thank you” for her help.
I don’t know for this for sure …my guess is that she doesn’t know either.
But the lesson that I pulled from this retelling is; don’t forget to help the helper.
The helper in your life, the person you count on the most, is almost always an unsung hero.
Maybe the helper in your life is your spouse or your mom; whoever it is don’t let them feel invisible.
Hugs, kisses and heartfelt “thank yous” or “I appreciate yous” don’t hurt or cost money. You don’t need to buy flowers or lavish gifts for these quiet supporters in your life, but I can promise you that the simple act of verbal gratitude and acknowledging their efforts or communication will go a long way.
Maybe you are the helper who doesn’t get helped, appreciated or recognized. If that is the case, maybe you (like this mom) may need to stand up for yourself and ask for what you need. Just know that, I get it. I get how “standing up and asking” can seem as monumental as crossing the Grand Canyon on dental floss. But I also know that not much will change until you do.
If this story sounds like someone you know…maybe, just maybe, you should not wait until they ask for help. Just help them NOW and do so because it’s the right thing to do.
Recognition and appreciation is the minimum of what the unsung heroes in our life deserve.
Who is the helper you are going to help this week?
Rebecca Flansburg is a Mom, Blogger, and Freelance Writer. Her veteran blog FranticMommy is all about moms, kids, parenting, and women in business (with a healthy side order of FUNNY). Rebecca prides herself in her ability to write in a fun, fresh, and conversational way and totally appreciates the value of naps and large quantities of chocolate. You can connect with her on Instagram and on Pinterest.