Do you ever feel invisible? Today I feel invisible.
Have you ever spent so much time alone with your little people that when you speak to your grown-up people you have nothing to say? Do you ever sit around a table with your friends and watch them carry on conversations about all the interesting things they are doing with their lives while you twiddle your thumbs, frantically searching for something to contribute that isn’t related to Peppa Pig or toddler tantrums? Do have a conversation with your significant other and the moment the words are out of your mouth, they’ve already forgotten what you’ve said?
Do you ever look in the mirror and not recognise the person staring back? Like really, those eyes, the dimples, the fine lines on the forehead should all be so familiar and yet they look like they belong to someone else. Do you find yourself spending all your time chasing your tail trying to get things done, to manage your own stuff as well as make the dentist appointments for the children, wash the uniforms, do the homework? Here you are, running around in the background of other people’s lives like some stage-hand dressed in black making sure the main players have everything they need for a successful show. You spend so much time in wings that you have forgotten how to participate on your own stage until eventually you feel like you are just part of the scenery.
This has been me for the longest time and today is the day I finally call bullshit. This is the day where I reclaim centre stage and be a player once more. When did it become OK for mothers to be everything? Who said we are responsible for organising every micro-detail in our families lives? When did we stop being players in our own right and start being the stage-hand for everyone else’s shows? Why am I spending 90% of my time trying to ensure that everyone else is living their best lives?
I know I’m partly responsible for this myself. I don’t want to let go of control and I’m scared of what will happen if I start sharing out the responsibility for making sure everyone gets to where they need to go and is doing what they need to be doing. I’m a really good stage-hand but I’m ready to step out of the shadows and shine the spotlight on myself once again. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a one-woman show. This doesn’t mean that I can’t be a supporting actor for others. It does mean that I’m going to allow others to support me and the only way that can happen is if I give myself permission to be supported. I encourage you to do the same.