The Invisible Mother: A Honest Motherhood Open Letter
A soft hand reaches down and up, down and up, down and up. Hair wisps in front of her eyes, and with a routine gesture she gently brushes it back. Meanwhile, realizing that the days have far exceeded her memory of a good wash… she shrugs. Her shoulders bow in defeat and she convinces herself she’ll get to it in the evening.
photography by: The Candid Company
Continuing her journey, she shuffles her feet amongst cheerio dust and pegged bricks- making sure to avoid stepping on one of these small mines of misery.
Sigh. Good, all clean. She resides herself to a moment of rest. Never mind, someone needs something. A snack, a cuddle, fresh socks.
Her shadow graces the halls, growing taller as the day wears on. The witching hour commences, and her role changes to judge and jury. A sentence is laid. One child screams in their anger of solitary confinement, and another rejoices with a sly smile and continues with their play.
Again and Again
Again, she returns to up and down, up and down, up and down. Clink, clunk, crunch. She looks around, realizing she’s passed through this once clean room not once but twice today. She swallows her tired anger. Reminds, reprimands, then requests.
Her request is met with deafening silence. She makes her request again, this time quickly met with tears and complaining. Small hands reluctantly reach down and up, down and up, down….. Play time. No this is not play time. “Help me” she says. Nothing. “Help me, please” Nothing. “Help me!” … nothing.
She collapses into herself, afraid to admit her brokenness. Crawling towards the sofa, tears begin to mix with cheerio dust below. And her knees unwillingly wipe the floors. She feels herself begin to disappear. Her failures, her brokenness, her insignificance weigh heavily as chains on a ghost. She feels utterly defeated.
Tender eyes look up. And a gentle squeeze begins to enwrap her salted neck. And while her burdens are still there, their weight suddenly seems a little lighter. A quiet understanding ensues and the day continues.
Motherhood- a calling. Deeply moving us to commit selfless acts of love, and then at the same time terrify us to the bone. It’s filled with uncharted territory. A venture that can only be understood through your own motherhood journey, but at the same time can be gently guided by fellow mothers.
Motherhood is full of complexities and oddities.
Every day we go about our venture. Bending up and down, up and down up and down. And our children ask “Do you see me?”, “Do you hear me?”, “Do I matter?”. And we reply with tender kisses, affirming words and patience. But inside these selfless acts of love we too are asking these questions… And sometimes screaming them to where every bone in our body trembles and shakes.
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To You, The Invisible Mother
Invisible Mother, I see you, I hear you and I’m hear to comfort you in the knowledge that this too shall pass. And even though I feel as if I’m in the deepest of parenting trenches right now, I’m reminded that I’m being pruned. Cut back only to bear more fruit latter in the season. So know this. You are important, and you matter. Therefore, gather your village and rest the knowledge that you have been called to a great purpose.
Always remember you never know the battles someone is facing. While taking these photos with The Candid Company I too was being overwhelmed as The Invisible Mother.