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 together.
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.