Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Invisible mom...

This goes out to all the moms and grandmoms as well as all moms-to-be who sometimes feel unappreciated and unimportant. You are great and your task is far more important than any job which draws a salary. Hang in there and keep on doing what you're doing!


Invisible Mother......
It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the
way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask me a question.
Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'
Obviously, not.

No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head
in the corner,
because no one can see me at all.

I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands,
nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?'
I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?'
I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'
I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes
that studied history and the mind that graduated sum a cum laude - but now
they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again.
She's going; she's going; she is gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England ..
Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the
hotel she stayed in.

I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare
and feel sorry for myself.
I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package,
and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe.
I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription:

'To Charlotte , with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'
In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would
become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:

No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.
These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.
They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.
The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it
was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was
puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a
beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.'

And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard
God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day,
even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've
sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over.
You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life.
It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong,
stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder.
As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on
something that their name will never be on.

The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in
our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.
When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home
from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes
homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the
linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself.
I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to
his friend, to add, 'you're gonna love it there.'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right.
And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built,
but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Great Job, MOM! Hope this encourages you when the going gets tough as it sometimes does.
We never know what our finished products will turn out to be because of our perseverance.


As moms we have sacrificed our education, our careers, our income potential, our promotions, our material gain for the sake of building the characters and shaping the minds of our children and although the world often looks upon that task with scorn as if it is a simple task which requires no effort, those of us engaged in the task of building these new adults will know and understand that it is a calling not to be taken lightly. To all moms out there I say "Well done! There is nothing more important that you could possibly be doing than bringing up your children as responsible and loving adults!"


  1. wow awesome! and thank you!!!

  2. What a wonderful sentiment to keep on the refrigerator and read daily. Thanks for the reminder, as Mother's Day is approaching and some of us are going to feel a bit slighted by our busy children.

  3. I know I do not tell my Mom or Lamb enough how I appreciate them.

  4. I've just found your blog - so hello!! What a beautiful post. You're so right in everything that you say. And just keep reminding yourself all this when you feel invisible again. You are great and the job you are doing is the best one there is. Well done!

  5. Really appreciated this post. I'm feeling pretty low at the moment and this is something I definitely needed to read.

    CJ xx

  6. I bow to you, and send you a delightful honk from NYC ...well done !!

  7. That was, I think the first post I ever read of yours. I loved it then and I love it now.
    Yesterday, my husband gave me the kind of day that showed he see's all the things I do. The gifts he gave were very simple, but the sentiment and acknowledgement were gold.
    Isn't true that a job well done is one that looked effortless?
    Happy Mother's Day!

  8. Thanks to all my commenters. I only have access to my posts and others between 12 and 1pm each day and am finding it hard to comment as I used to. But I do appreciate every comment I get.