The invisible woman

penpaper I’ve been a writer for almost as long as I can remember. If you were to look in the back of my closet, you’d see stacks of notebooks and journals that I’ve filled over the years – and many more waiting for my pen. Since having my son 22 months ago, I haven’t written as much. Mostly I’m too tired. And too busy writing other things that help us make a living. By the end of the night, I’m spent. The words swirl around in my head, but my hands are too tired to record. And my journal sits there, quietly accusing me of neglect.

Will my son wonder why I didn’t write as much after he was born? Will he wonder if I had nothing to say about him? As you can see from many posts on this site, that’s not really true. But who knows if this record will even be around by the time he finds my papers?

I’m not even sure, most of the time, why I write. I feel compelled. It is not something I can ignore. I am me, therefore I must write. I process the things in my head by writing. I quiet the tortures, the demons that swirl around and tell me to worry about the things which I cannot control. I quiet the voices that tell me I’m not good enough, not pretty enough, and too lazy to really accomplish anything of worth.

Lately some of those voices have been louder than my pen.

And I wonder what my future family members will think of the gaps in my journals. Will they be able to put together a picture of my life? Will they find me interesting? Sad? Pathetic? I mostly hope they’ll see me as a complete person. Not just mom. Or grandma (someday, hopefully).

I guess I really want to be known as more than just mom because I’ve been feeling like that is really inadequate lately. After my son was born, I became invisible. I’m no longer an interesting person in my own right. I feel fat. Dumpy. Uninteresting. People look right through me.

So I hope that writing pulls that veil back a little bit. Even if it doesn’t make me visible right now, maybe it will later. Maybe not. I write to leave a record. I was here! I may not leave a big impression on the world, and few people may remember me, but I was HERE dammit. I mattered.

Here I am. The invisible woman. I may not change the world, but I hope I can change my world with my pen. Letter by letter, word by word. (Or should that be Bird by Bird?)

image: cohdra from

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5 Responses
  1. Kari (1 comments.) says:

    I started a journal for my first son before he was born. And not surprisingly, the entries after he was born were sparse, and then disappeared altogether. True, I’ve then told stories online, but those tend to be the emotionally-charged ones, not the run-of-the-mill, special-snuggle type moments. The things that are personal and more abstract have no words to accompany them.

    Although I’d like a “complete record,” I think the silence speaks, too. And that will be true with you as well. For certain, your son will remember you in the things you did together, not necessarily the recollections written later.

    My second son doesn’t have a hand-written journal. Although I could feel sad about that, in some ways I don’t because I have pictures and other snippets of memory out there. I know I’d go crazy if I tried to create official history books on them both.
    .-= Kari´s last blog ..New York Fall Fashion Week =-.

  2. becky says:

    I try to find a balance between being in the moment and enjoying things, and writing these moments down so I won’t forget them. So many things I try to commit to memory, yet I fear I’m losing them. I write so I won’t forget. Yet I feel the moments slipping away anyway. And maybe it only matters to me. Who knows?

  3. LazyCrazyMama (1 comments.) says:

    I so feel you!! I used to journal like a maniac! I have barely written in my journal since having my first son 4 years ago!! It is the time thing. But I so miss having that pen to paper feeling. I’m sure that’s why I blog!! But any journalist knows, it’s just not the same!
    .-= LazyCrazyMama´s last blog ..Calming the Colic Cry-sis =-.

  4. CGHill (6 comments.) says:

    It’s one of those things that comes with parenthood, I think: everything you do, everything you thought you were, takes second place behind the little one. Eventually all these things balance themselves out – and you wonder what happened to your little baby, who’s now all grown up. (My youngest is now 28; I still go through some of that.)
    .-= CGHill´s last blog ..The downside of high-speed rail =-.

  5. becky says:

    Mama, I have so many cool books and journals that are just sitting and waiting for my pen. I really need to get back to that. It just feels so much more tangible than anything else.

    CG, I know what you mean. My stepdaughter is now 22 and I certainly can’t believe how quickly it all went. I am trying so very hard to enjoy this time with my little guy. I know it will fly so fast. Already we have less than 3 years before he starts kindergarten. It’ll start to balance out when he’s in school. By then, though, he’ll be constantly moving further away from me. It makes me proud and sad at the same time.