One morning last week I checked my Facebook notifications and saw that I’d been tagged in a particularly sweet comment by a friend of mine.
It made my day. Seriously. I mean, I don’t really see myself as an inspiration (more like the cautionary tale.) I often compare myself other moms and find myself lacking. I don’t bake, and I curse too much. I don’t press my kids clothes each morning (or ever), and I’d rather poke myself in the eye with a fork than pull out the glitter and glue with my three-year-old. Each and every day I see my mom friends doing great things with and for their children, things I wish I was doing, and when I stand against that yardstick I know I simply do not measure up.
Then a few days ago I read an article called “The Invisible Mom”, and while I identified with the author’s message (what mom doesn’t feel invisible at times?), what it really reminded me of was my friend’s Facebook comment. I still don’t know what about me could possibly be inspiring, but regardless, the fact that she took a moment of her day and noticed me, saw me, really meant a great deal. It stuck with me for the rest of the week!
I actually thought about the two things, the comment and the article, all day Saturday. I knew there was some insight in there somewhere. I knew there was something about the two that I needed to learn and to say, but it didn’t come to me straight away. After I cursed at the computer screen for about an hour, I gave up and spent an afternoon washing dishes and folding laundry. Later on a quick Facebook break, I saw a picture of a mom, her daughter, and her niece all decked out in homemade t-shirts preparing to go to a concert. I read an update about a mom doing button crafts with her toddlers and another about a mom who’d just come home from what I’m thinking is the best kid camping vacation ever. With each amazing mom post, I thought “I should be doing that! I wish I’d thought of that! I wish I was that brave and adventurous!”
And that’s when it hit me, and here’s the point of all the rambling you’ve just read.
I see you, and I think you’re amazing! I think your idea to decorate plain school supplies with Washi tape is fantastic, and your homemade knit play food is awesome! I marvel at how you know something cool happening at every minute of every day in Washington, and I am blown away by the Father’s Day present you made your sailor during deployment! I love the way you always know the right thing to say, and I love when you don’t and you just own it. I love that you post pictures of your little girl every single day because they make me smile and because it is so evident how much you love her and that makes me smile, too. I love that you aren’t afraid to take your little ones camping with or without your husband, and I am humbled by your Facebook posts that detail every scrap of food you have to make from scratch to meet your little man’s oh-so-serious dietary needs.
All of you! You’re all amazing, and I SEE YOU! You aren’t invisible! YOU INSPIRE ME!
My insight is this. Next time I see an amazing mom doing amazing things and begin to think to myself, “I wish I could ….” I will stop myself, and instead of wishing I was more or better or even-half-as-much, I will take a moment to simply see her. And then I will tell her that I see her and all her amazing-ness.
I will no longer be an invisible mom. I will be a mom who sees.