One early morning back in May, I was attending my sister in law’s graduation. We had taken both of our children ages 5 and 1 with us. It was cold out and close to nap time for our youngest. I had protested all morning on taking him or quite frankly going at all. I knew our daughter would survive the cooler morning weather and didn’t need the nap. Not even halfway through I found myself entertaining our son. He wanted to walk and run around the walk-way of the high school stadium. He was becoming restless. ( We’ve all been there). The rest of the family was enjoying the graduation and celebrating my sister in law’s walking across the stage as I was making my way back across the high school parking lot to put our son into a warm car to nap. Eventually we reconnected with my husband, daughter and family for pictures once graduation was over.
It was in that moment when I realized I was the accurate visualization of the constant,Unseencare-taking of motherhood many moms do that leave us out of the group. Either people around us do not notice the subtle work we are doing, or no one wants to give up their enjoyment to let us have a taste of it too. In this community of moms we all belong to, you see it happen all around us. You want to consider stepping in and helping that mother out so she can enjoy that moment with everyone else. But, you don’t want to make it weird.
Society wonders why mother’s meet burnout, postpartum depression, anxiety , rage and resentment so quickly in today’s modern world of motherhood. We do not need the doctors or physicians to diagnose these mental illnesses- especially as new moms or seasoned moms. We obviously know we have it and are struggling with it more than likely. What we need is for our families and friends to notice us and to help us, and bring us back to that event. I remember with our first child writing in my journal that I felt isolated from the world. Isolated at events because someone had to feed the baby, walk with that baby, rock the baby, change that baby. All while others around me got to eat, sip on their drinks, laugh together, pray together and enjoy quality time together.
The unsolicited advice
Everyone would always have great motherhood advice for me. On what I should be doing to get my breast milk supply up or how to hold the baby etc. But, they would never stop to actually take over and allow me to be apart of the fun. I would always let everyone go before me to eat and do all of the fun things. I remember writing this hoping that in the future when my children grew up and had their own babies that I could step up and help in these moments. I never want my daughter or my daughter in law to feel like anUnseen Motherin the world of Motherhood.
There are times when my children are asleep and I do the casual social media scroll and compare myself to other women and mothers and think, “ Oh wow their family sees them” or “Look all of their kids are gone now and she is finally seen and gets to do what she wants to do when she wants to”. Then I become harsh on myself and put myself down. I am sure I am not the only woman in the world that has done this. I know I become sad, jealous and many other emotions at times.
But, then I become interrupted by little footsteps coming across the kitchen into the front room from our daughter. Telling me that she loves me and I mean the world to her. Sometimes it’s even just hearing the voice of the Lord telling me I am enough, I am seen and I am his, I am loved, I am needed. That I realize that I am not Unseen and I am seen. Sometimes it comes in the form of my husband simply bringing me flowers or some new unique gift as a token of appreciation to show that I am seen and that he is thankful for all I do. So, when I start feeling Unseen, Unworthy, Unloved, I try to remember the love my children and husband have for me. The love the Lord has for me. As he states in Isaiah 66:13 “ As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you.” and in Psalms 33:14 “ He’s dwelling place He looks out on all inhabitants of the earth.” I know that I will never beUnseeneven when I feel like it.
My hope for you..
And I hope each and everyone of you knows that you are not alone. We see you mama! We see the hard work you are pouring in over your family. We see the love you pour out every single waking hour over your home and family. We see your struggles. We see your highs and lows. We celebrate your accomplishments and cheer you on during the hard times. We see the late nights you are up worrying over your children that may have left the home. We see you worrying over your grown children. We see you praying over your situations at home. We see you in all your glory and happiness. We see you when you are broken and defeated. We simply see you. We see the praise reports from the doctors. We see the not so good praise reports from the doctors. The positive pregnancy test and the not positive pregnancy test. The infertility struggles that you may be going through and feeling unseen in. You are not alone in this motherhood community. We are not just mom, mama, madre, mother or whatever unique name you may be called as a mother in your family. We do have an identity and do not want to go unseen and lose ourselves in motherhood.
My prayer for you..
My prayer for you is that you remember that you are seen when you feel Unseen. Lord, I know that we go through seasons of feeling unseen and unworthy in motherhood. But- I also know that your word is true, and that your word says that when we trust in you , we find new strength. That we are seen and that we are loved. It is when we are in this season of feeling unseen that we can feel your strength and love pour over us. You always carry us through to the other side of weariness and the exhaustions of motherhood. I pray that when each one of these ladies need strength, to be seen, to feel loved, to find rest during this season of being Unseen Lord, that you meet them where they are and pour your love, strength. Peace and rest over them. Help them complete their daily task and not grow weary. Help these ladies know that it is okay to ask for help in this season. Give them the energy needed in the days ahead. Amen
And Remember you are SEEN in this season that you are feeling UNSEEN!