Simple Living

On Feeling Invisible

The alarm clock sounds a startled beep. The kind of beep that makes your whole body jump and jerk awake – alert to the alarm – what’s going on? Where am I? What time is it? A snore from beside me, shakes off the fleeting shadow of dreams half remembered, noting the number ‘four’ and the ‘am’ and the realisation that he should be up for work.

A shove, a push, a dig in the ribs. A “Babe, wake-up!” and a shake here and there, before he stirs from slumber and drags himself from the sheets. I think that maybe one night I should unplug the alarm that wakes me, not him – leaving him with no wake-up call, just the consequences of the aftermath. The stark truth of the fact that I am a mother to four not three these days.

My head sinks back onto the pillow – the ones that make my neck ache. I remind myself to save for some decent ones but there are so many other things to buy, that take precedence. Sleep comes and I’m oblivious to the tribulations of uncomfortable hollow fibre. Just the blackness and the odd toss and turn before eventually the “Mummy, what day is it? Is it nursery today? Can we have breakfast now?” It’s six in the morning. My children are early birds in comparison to my night owlish behaviour.

we are not alone

Breakfast, medicine, twins up, milk, breakfast, drinks, nappies changed, clothes on, dishes done, fights broken up, toys tidied for the first time, laundry on – then sink onto the sofa. In through the front door he walks, like a warrior back from the hunt. Two hours of mopping floors and I’m expected to be awe-struck and grateful. Off he goes, straight down for a nap, while chaos resumes around me and the day blurs past in a toy-confused haze.

I snatch moments on the laptop – check for jobs, read emails – a tweet here and there. Always at that moment he surfaces again, as if all I’ve done is sit here, flaccid and oblivious to the child climbing up the curtains. The words have been used to describe me before – lazy, ungrateful, a user. I can brush them off but some of it always sticks. I think of the words “running around after you”, words that he uttered all too recently and I stifle a laugh. Yes, yes of course you do my dear.

Invisible – that’s the right word to use. A ghost in a house where things get magically done. A ghost who found that two hour job. A ghost who offers constant praise and encouragement. A ghost who has no-one to encourage her – no-one to help with work, with children and with retaining some sanity. Day in, day out, this ghost is confined to the walls of this house – not even doing a great job at being a ghost. Walking through walls would come in handy most days. Perhaps there are other ghosts out there. No. I know there are. They look at their tired reflections in many a mirror and start to believe that that is all they are and will ever be. So many ghosts and so many talents, invisible and gone unnoticed.

We are not alone.

Filed under: Simple Living


Stacey's a Social Media Community Manager by day and a self-confessed Geek by night. With boy/girl twins and an older son, she's got mum hacks coming out of her ears. Likes: overpopulated book shelves and shiny things. Dislikes: wearing socks.


    • Thank you Claire – that post just had to come out. I feel a bit better now though for getting it out of my system. :)

  1. mummyneversleeps says

    You’re not invisible dude. I can see your epic self just fine :)

    Amazing post.

    You are not alone <3

  2. Could have written this post myself some days. You most definitely are not alone.

    We’re all here too x

    • That’s what I’ve come to realise Misty. So many of us feel like this – it’s really quite sad. I’d like to scoop everyone up and give them a huge hug and say how wonderful they really are!

  3. Troubles Mum says

    You are not alone. I think you’re doing very well. I feel like this some days too, and I don’t have half the challenges you are facing right now. You’ll get there x

  4. Luci - says

    It’s all too easy when motherhood arrives for women to also become the house fairies who magically do everything from the family admin through all the cleaning, the social diary and more… whilst the man becomes the hero who provides. My husband is ace, he’s always done more than his share of the cooking – because he loves it I might add, not because he finds it a chore… but even so, now I am back working as well as parenting, I’m having to put some careful plans in place to make sure that the running of our home and family becomes more of a shared responsibility. Small stuff like putting out the bins and recycling, putting on a load of washing… every small win not only frees up some of my precious time, it also makes me feel better about my position within our relationship and home. Just because women are capable of doing all doesn’t mean we should be doing it all. You may feel invisible, but I doubt your husband could manage without you, perhaps he just needs to acknowledge that fact.

    • Thank you Luci. I understand things could be a lot worse and I’m grateful that my other half does often help out. It’s the lack of recognition and the almighty burden of being the decision maker, that puts a heavy weight on my shoulders. I think I might take a leaf out of your book and get myself some wins, even if it means being extra grateful. :)

  5. Chelsea Williams says

    Lovely post, I often wonder if walking around with a board sign on would make a difference?! xxx

  6. Have you read men are from Mars and women are from Venus – this is a perfect example. Apparently our brains are wired differently – he can’t help it bless him.

    Hope things have improved.

    • Oh things have really improved. Now that we’re both working I think there is more of a mutual respect.

      You know I’ve heard of the book but never read it. I’m going on a big reading mission soon, so must add that to my list and let you know what I think!

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