When you become a mum, suddenly life is just all about Baby, isn’t it? People are so generous with their time and support and gifts, and that is a truly wonderful thing. However, there are times when we can feel a little bit lost, aren’t there?
One mum has summed this up perfectly with a poignant and powerful Facebook post, sharing the results of a little personal experiment she undertook recently.
Anastasia Aligiannis posted a photo of a single diamond earring, to her blog page In all your spare time, and wrote about her experience of feeling ‘invisible’ after becoming a mother.
She revealed that she had started to wear one earring, just to see how people would react and, importantly, if they would notice. In the end, the experiment produced a very sad realisation.
“It turns out that it took seven months for anyone to notice I was only wearing one earring,” she admitted.
“Seven months’ worth of social interactions, and no one ever looked me square in the face and noticed. It sort of cemented to me that, as a mum of then two children under two, who was always out and about, who ‘just stayed at home’ or ‘didn’t work’; I had just about become invisible,” she wrote.
And not only did she feel invisible to society at large but also to her family, her friends and – if she was really honest – herself.
This was emphasised by the fact that, even when she was just on the phone to people, they would still ask about her husband and her children – she either never came first or didn’t feature at all.
“Very rarely did anyone ask how I was,” she said. “When I think about it now, my guess would be everyone probably just figured, if the people it was my responsibility to care for were OK, then I must be,” she wrote.
Here, Anastasia sums up a struggle we have all gone through at some point or another, in the weeks and months after welcoming a child: who are we? And more importantly, how do you take on the role of ‘Mum’ without letting it consume you?
Through this experience, Anastasia has come to a conclusion – we need to band together as a community of mothers, and support one another. Now, this is what she wants to do for her fellow mums.
“If you are feeling overwhelmed, invisible or like you don’t matter – you really do,” she wrote.
“You are so important, and are probably the cog that keeps everything running smoothly. Keep up the good work; and if no one else says it to you this week, know that you are invaluable in the work you do, and your sacrifices do not go unnoticed.”
We’re sure that many of you can relate to Anastasia’s experience and post; and if you can, know that you are not alone, and there is always a mum waiting to lend an ear and a shoulder to cry on.