There is much made of the postpartum period, but perhaps not enough, given it lasts forever. The life changing experience that is motherhood brings many unimaginable highs, but the mundane reality of caring for a young family can also make a woman feel helpless and overburdened.
“The routine, the parental monotony of a stay-at-home parent, seemed never ending. I felt lost, invisible even, as I blurred into the walls and kept the automatic rhythm of the house singing, so that all was well and the kids were being looked after. But no one seemed to notice,” she wrote.
Motherhood is the hardest job of at all, but Geraldine describes the lack of recognition for the “857 tasks” she completes in a day.
“Throughout these early years of parenting I am not necessarily looking for gratitude however, but rather some sort of acknowledgement that I am here. To be seen. To know that everything I do from the moment I wake, be it 2am, 5am or an almost never 8am, to the moment my eyes close and I dream of being someone else, or the old me, away from the long day of being Mum.”
But Geraldine then writes of how she realised it was only her that could give her the appreciation and acknowledgment she craved. That to feel important, she had to realise she was important. This only came after having her second baby, she says; “No one will see you, recognise you or appreciate you unless you let yourself be seen. I took myself out of the shadows of my kids and illuminated myself in all my unknown glory. It was terrifying considering I had to figure out who I was all over again. You can rarely be the person you used to be before kids.”
This acceptance has brought her peace as she continues to do the difficult, demanding, and often thankless work of just being mum.
“I still do those 857 tasks in a day. I still chase after the kids. I still make separate dinners. But I know I’m important and I know I’m needed. I know the sacrifices I make are seen or will be seen one day. I know I’m not invisible. No mother or father is.”
Did you feel invisible when you became a mother? Did you find it difficult to adjust to your new role? Share your story with us!