Please tell me you see me. Please notice my breaths and efforts. Currently I feel invisible and alone. We all do.
How can you see me, you ask? What exactly should you notice? Anything, as long as it’s specific.
1. Praise me for keeping the kids alive another day. One begged me to drink Windex and the other one asked to jump off the deck. I held strong.
2. Tell me you know about all the childcare, work, and life balance gymnastics I perform inside my head and that you are devilishly attracted to the flexibility of my mind to get it all done (do NOT comment on the waning flexibility of my limbs…)
3. Call me the McGyver Chef. Pay attention to how I miraculously manage to use up old things in the fridge but also have enough newness injected into our meals so that it feels like we’re eating something different each day. Praise my meal planning savvy. But kindly forget about the time I accidentally gave food poisoning to the entire family trying to use old salmon…
4. Hug me when I cry about immigration issues. Or another shooting. Or RBG. Or the fact I lost the darn bottle stopper to the wine again. The world feels so bleak and I need to know you care when I’m sad and will help me feel better. (maybe start by helping me find the bottle stopper…).
5. Include me in your plans and let me know that we will defeat 2020 together. Tell me you see all the positivity and honesty I am bringing to the situation. We still recount “Win of the Day” at dinnertime, right?
6. Say thank you. For anything really. For dusting each windowsill of fire ash, ensuring everyone has a good supply of socks, grocery shopping across three grocery stores, and sharing my emotions while staying positive (mostly) all on top of a 45 hour demanding work week in the middle of a pandemic.
7. Encourage me to keep doing those things that matter to me. My running. My writing. My fascination with all pursuits of things that make me uniquely me. Remind me that I exist outside of my work and my kids. Remind me that I am me and my innate me-ness is why you love me.
The more specific the acknowledgement the more we, the moms, all feel seen.
Please select any from that list and do this one thing for me. I promise, feeling noticed will help me. It will help all of us. And I will start to see you too.
Top photo: Unsplash, Priscilla Du Preez
Bottom photo: Mommy Vivi selfie