The Invisible Mom

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A mother kissing her daughter's forhead.I’ve never been a specifically “in your face” presence. If my life were a sitcom, I’d probably be cast as the sidekick. I’ve always connected to friends with larger-than-life personalities and am happy to be in the background. As an adult, I recognize that’s due largely in part to my introverted tendencies and my generalized anxiety disorder. And obviously, it’s always worked for me.

I’m happy, I have friends, and a happy family life. Even though I’ve lived this way my whole life, I don’t think I’ve prepared myself for this stage of life, “the invisible mom.”

Recently, I went on vacation with my sister-in-law and her family, and we laughed at how the kids around this very family-friendly resort didn’t even notice we existed. It had me start to reflect on different moments in my life (both with kids and without) that I’ve become background noise.

In part, it could be due to my age. I’m in my mid-40s now (cringing as I type that), and although this role behind the scenes has always worked just fine, something inside of me has changed.

The background role suited me in the early stages of having children. I reveled in cozy nights at home, snuggling with my little cuties. But as my children are getting older, I’m finding that I need to be bolder.

My children need an advocate, a guide, someone leading the charge.

That’s pretty much never been me, but suddenly, it seems more important than ever. But here I am, in my “invisible mom” era, and I need more. I need to command attention when I enter a room. I can’t just agree with what people are saying around me to avoid conflict. I have little eyes on me, watching my every move and decision, so fading into the background can’t just be an option.

So my new goal is to show them it’s ok to speak up for what you believe in, to be the loudest voice in the room if your convictions are true.

After all, how can I teach my children to be unforgettable if I’m just “the invisible mom”?

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