I Feel Invisible In My Own Home

by Caila Smith
Originally Published: 

I honest to God couldn’t tell you when I last took a shower. It’s 6 p.m. and I haven’t put one bite of food into my mouth all day. I made a pot of coffee 12 hours ago, and I’m still nursing my second cup.

The bra that I’m wearing (and currently taking off because why am I wearing a bra inside the walls of my own home?) is at least three years old and it’s missing one of the hooks in the back — like all of my other bras.

I just had my first haircut in three years, and my split ends were literally deader than a doorknob. My belongings get destroyed, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been thieved of all of my makeup, forcing me to venture out of the house looking like something awful and not meant to be set free…. dang, four-year-olds.

I think it’s safe to say, sometimes I feel invisible within the borders of my own home. And more days than not, I oftentimes feel like I’m just the engineer on this family train and everyone else is the important cargo.

The meals get done, clothes get washed, teeth get brushed and mom goes seemingly unnoticed. It’s as if everyone just expects these things to get done without thinking about how they get done.

To set the record straight, I’m more than happy to be mom and all of the many titles that come along with it. It’s what I live for. But if I’m giving what I feel a label, then I guess it’d have to be that I feel unseen.

Feeling unseen sucks.

It feels like society has branded, conformed and bound me to my mothering role, and I don’t get to be my own person with my own feelings or needs until after my kids have left the nest.

Many of my day-to-day duties go unacknowledged. All of the intricate and tiniest of details are the ones that I’m responsible for, and everyone else takes them for granted.

And I’m here to say, I want to feel like a person again. Scratch that, I want to feel like a woman again. I don’t deprive myself from my wants and needs purely because I enjoy feeling like a bump on a log. I am deprived because I do not have the time. There’s not enough hours in the day and I don’t have enough limbs to whole-heartedly tend to my large family and then do the same for myself. It happens for them, but sadly it usually does not happen for me.

And if you try telling me that there’s an app for that, I’m about to slap you silly and put a Freaky Friday hex on your ass just to prove you wrong. Right hand to God, I don’t know how many times I’ve voiced my own needs in this house and they’ve disappeared into the wind.

Mom needs help? She must be having a bad day.

Mom doesn’t feel well? You can do it. You were sick for nine months, three different times.

Mom wants a break? Huh? Did somebody hear something?

For fuck’s sake, let’s lend a helping hand, eh? Or, an even grander idea, let’s normalize the serious need for better mental health and self-care among moms.

Although it is funny to laugh about (or maybe we truly are just giggling out of utter and complete sleep-deprived delusion) we need long, hot and UNINTERRUPTED showers more than once a week. And I’m talking longer than three minutes… some of us miss and desire a clean shave.

We need hot coffee. We need to sleep like a dad. We need to eat a real meal. We need our kids to ask someone else for a freaking fruit snack. We need someone to ask what we need and then actually do that thing. We need to feel heard. But most importantly, we need to stop feeling guilty for thinking these things.

At the very least, would it kill someone in this house to dish out a solid and appreciative thank you? If nothing else was done, those two words would speak volumes.

Thank you for making sure our daughter doesn’t look like a Bergen when she leaves the house.

Thank you for always washing, drying, folding and putting away our clothes.

Or how about, Thank you for just being you, Mom?

HOLY CRAP, I might just lose myself if I heard that one.

So as for the moms who are like me, we don’t want to feel invisible anymore. We need to feel seen again. Let’s make it happen.

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