To ‘The Invisible Mother’.

I read your post last week and it has remained with me since. You titled it, ‘The Invisible Mother’. After reading I felt compelled to contact you. No, I can’t make your life better, nor lessen the guilt you feel for leaving your little one while you go to work. I can’t magic away the hours you will miss, nor can I help your son understand why you go.

But I can tell you with absolute certainty… You will never be invisible in the eyes of your son.

I was a childminder for many years. I looked after two beautiful young ladies, the eldest from the age of two, her sister from nine months. Most days they were with me from eight thirty until after six, five days a week. They mixed with my own family and grew up as one big group. During holidays and Summer they sometimes didn’t even go home. They did their homework here and shared meals with my own children. I loved them dearly.

Each evening they hid in order to stay longer, or begged their Mum to have a cup of tea. On birthdays they asked to have them at my house, loving the big numbers and the chaos. Yes indeed, what a great time we had credit: Clapagaré via photopin cc

However, don’t be fooled, for this was never home to them, nor was I ever their Mum.

On days when they had big news from school, it was their Mum they couldn’t wait to tell. When they got a good result in a school test, they rushed to the phone to let her know. But perhaps most significantly of all, from the earliest of ages, was the need for their Mum when they were sick. Hers were the only pair of arms which could soothe them, hers the one kiss could make them better. Her face the only one they wanted to see.

For I have learned from my two lovely ladies, that no matter how much you give your heart to a child, they have a place reserved just for Mum. As they would catch sight of her, regardless of how many hours she may have been gone, they came alive. Over the years as I watched my two ladies skip out to their car I would smile and think, ‘they are going home’.

No you may not believe it, but time will let you know, you will never be invisible to your son. Yes over the years you may feel you are missing from pieces of your child’s day, but he will never feel you were missing from his life.

Do what you have to do, your love will carry you through.

photo credit: Proud Father via photopin (license)
photo credit: Clapagaré via photopin cc

24 thoughts on “To ‘The Invisible Mother’.

    1. Thanks Eric. I think for many young mothers it is a real fear and a very difficult thing to do. Her post spoke for many I’m sure, I hope mine gave her some hope.

  1. A very sweet and touching post, Tric. And what you say is so very true. Children love their moms no matter what. And a good thing for working moms to remember is that it’s the quality time you put in with your children that really matters. Thank you for this lovely post 🙂

    1. Yes,( as of course do fathers and grandparents), all different but special. I do think it’s very hard on many mothers who work to ditch the guilt. I just wanted to throw my twopenny in because, as you say, mothers have special places in their children’s hearts.

  2. I’m so glad I read this! I work full time, and sometimes it feels as though my mum is raising my son, and may as well adopt him! Quite a relief to hear that I’ll always be Mum.

  3. wonderful words or reassurance, tric, from a mom on the other side. instead of judging and shaming each other, women need to support each others’ choices –

  4. Tric, a lovely post.
    Must say that minders can be very special too. The lady who minded our son is like a second mother to him still. They are in touch all the time ( he’s almost 21) and she is the closest person to family that I know.

    1. I too am still in close contact with these ladies and would really miss them from my life. We have a lovely bond, but not a mother/daughter.

        1. Aw that does my heart good. Equally my ladies are not my daughters but they are something else, something also very special and unique. They are in their twenties now too.

  5. Tric thank you so much for writing this post, you made me cry but in a good way! What a great relief your words are to me,your comment on my post stuck with me since reading it and I will try my best to keep your words in the back of my mind for when the days are that bit harder than usual. Wise words from a mum on the other side 🙂 xx

    1. I’m delighted to know that Louise. It’s always a risk when you write referencing someone, but your post really stuck with me and there are many things in life I don’t know, but of this I’m pretty sure.
      Best of luck in adjusting to the changes. x

  6. I went over to have a look at Louise’s original post. I completely agree with the very sensitive and thoughtful answer you gave, both on her blog and here. There is so much more to being a mother than dropping kids off at school and the like. I doubt she need fear becoming invisible to her son. I think she is much more likely to be right there at the center of his world.

    1. Thanks Bun. It’s not easy being a working mother, no offence to fathers, but it’s more often the mothers who feel the guilt. But as you say, I’m sure she’ll be the centre of his world.

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