As a mom, there have been many times when I have felt invisible. I say the same things over & over & get back the same blank response, or worse yet, I’m completely ignored. I pick up the 9 pairs of flip flops in the front hall that several times I’ve asked to be put away, & after the final tripping over, I put them away. I fill the fridge, & “There’s nothing to eat.” “Please clean your room.” I just keep the door closed because I can’t stand the mess.
I remember being at a party when my kids were little, & someone asked me, “What do you do?” I replied, “I stay home with my kids.” “Oh…” End of conversation. Invisible.
Homeschooling only accentuated my obscurity. Along with the usual list of mom-requests being brushed away, I added math, English, history, and daily chores. No matter how often we reviewed that fourth Commandment, I usually felt like Charlie Brown’s teacher. Only unlike Linus in this clip, they didn’t hear me say their names.
My oldest will go off to college in the fall, & I need to join the income producing part of our family. Parts of my resume seem invisible – 20 years ago I worked for a high tech firm, but those skills are all outdated. I homeschooled my children, but to many that’s not quite teaching, & few, other than homeschoolers, understand its enormity. Not moments of days of invisibility, but decades.
It’s a lonely place.
I’m sure you have your own stories of invisibility. Maybe it’s in the workplace. Maybe it’s with your husband or wife or children. Maybe it’s in your parish. Maybe its in your circle of friends.
But the problem with invisibility is its focus. When we feel invisible, it is because all of our focus is on ourselves. We can completely transform the inadequacy of invisibility to the fullness of joy.
How? By doing it all for love of God. “Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others.” (Col 3:23)
Don’t look inward. Don’t look sideways. In each moment look up. “Lift your eyes up to the heavens from whence comes your help.” (Ps 121) It is there you will find peace.
God bless, Anne
I invite you to take a few minutes to watch this video by Nichole Johnson, “The Invisible Woman.”