Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Invisible Mom

A friend of mine shared this with me a few weeks back and I thought I should share it as well. Enjoy the read:

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?' Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible.
The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more! Can you fix this? Can you tie that? Can you open this?? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

Some days I'm a crystal ball, 'Where's my other sock? Where's my phone? What's for dinner?'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history, music and literature - but now, they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. She had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when she turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'With admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: 1) No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. 2) These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. 3) They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. 4) The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A story of legend in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof, No one will ever see it. The workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does.’

No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, no Cub Scout meeting, no last minute errand is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for 3 hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, he'd say, 'You're gonna love it there...'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of all of the invisible mothers.

Thank you to all the Moms who are looking down and smiling at the cathedrals they helped to build.

Share this with all the Invisible Moms you know.



  1. How very true, just when we start to feel sorry for ourselves, along come someone or something to set us back on our feet. Thank you very much for this inspiring read.

  2. That is such a beautiful little post. Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. what an inspiring post. this is beautiful and i will surely pass it on!

  4. isn't it wonderful to know you've touched so many lives by a simple act, a kind word, a little cupcake or everyday act... an inspiration to do Random Acts of Kindness.

  5. Well, from the comments this is very inspiring. It is too small for me to read :-(

  6. Well said and I LOVE your article!! I feel much the same way and as the mom to two teenagers, I can totally relate! LOL Don't you just love it when God sends a small reminder of our true worth and value through little things like your friend's gift? *Ü*

  7. Beautiful. i think it could go for all of us. We all feel invisible at times.

  8. What a beautiful post... thank you for posting it!! I will remember it on those days when i feel invisible...

  9. Wow, I got chills when reading this. It's terrific, insightful and beautiful.

  10. Unique Cozy Treasures - Thank you for sharing this. Now that my children are grown, married, have children of their own and my house if very quiet, it helped me reflect on my days of building.

  11. beautiful post. thank you for sharing.