Pride in the Invisible + Comfort + Sisterhood

My sweet friend Charity (who wrote this guest post here) is hosting a Mother’s Pride Carnival (what an awesome idea!) at her blog Giggles and Grimaces.  Charity rocks, y’all, and you can follow her on twitter at @signingcharity 
I am proud of many things but  not always as proud as I should be.
And while in my work I like to celebrate my recovery and journey from Postpartum Depression to Joy, in this post I’m going to take a break from the heroic and take pride in the invisible. I would like us to shine the light of our attention on the stuff that goes under the radar. Here goes:
As mothers, we live in a culture that takes our work for granted.
Everybody takes it for granted, even us, mamas. All moms do that.
Do we pat ourselves on the back every time we put away the mountains of laundry? Or every time we kiss a booboo, 0r wipe a snotty nose? Every time we feel a forehead and know what the thermometer would have to say before we use it?  Every time we put a meal on the table? Every time we clear that table, and that kitchen, after that meal? And the gazzilions of meals before and after?
We don’t, because we do these things so often that they become invisible.
Nobody counts these feats of devotion and nobody pays us for them. What’s even more annoying to me is that nobody would hire us, or give us a promotion, or tenure, or a raise, for the essential, valuable, indispensable work we do.
But these invisible, often boring, thankless tasks are what makes a family work. Without our endless, thankless, tiring work (don’t you call me tireless, I’m exhausted much too often) my family will break down, and the moments of joy that make a family happy would never be possible.
Remember Sisyphus?  The poor chap who was punished by the Greek gods to push a heavy bolder up the mountain all day, only to have it roll down to the bottom every night and have to start from scratch every morning? Every mother in history knows exactly what that’s like.
And while I would happily outsource most of the daily household tasks, I do want to be the one wiping the snotty noses, and tying those shoe laces, and kissing those tearful grubby cheeks. I love the caring part of the invisible work that I do, and I hate the cleaning part, but what I want is not pitty, it’s recognition and pride.I want this endless work recognized for it’s contribution to society! Is having this celebrated it too much to ask?
I want it to be counted because it does count. I don’t really care if it’s computed towards the DGP (it’s not), but I want us to not forget that the economic structure of the world will crumble without the unpaid, unrecognized, uncelebrated work of mothers.
But I don’t see that celebration happening on CNN anytime soon, and I’m not the kind of girl to wait for this sort of thing. When I notice a need, I try to come up with creative ways to meet it. In this case, I want to take pride in my invisible work, by shining the spotlight on it. There is comfort in pride. There is comfort in celebrating the invisible. And there is comfort in the sisterhood of those who share this role. Only with other mothers can I grant myself permission to bitch and moan about how hard it is, and only when I feel safe enough to stomp when I’m feeling stompy, I can truly take pride in this rather normal yet stagerring accomplishment: I have a (mostly) happy family. (Knock on wood!)

So I created an online safe space for us mamas. Because I need other mothers to feel safe enough to ask for support when everything feels like too much. With other mothers I get to sob if I need to, and have my tears honored. I get love and support from others who know exactly how I feel, and because we  are all carrying the most precious boulders on our shoulders, we know. We know. We know what it feels like to be depleted by giving giving giving and not having our work seen. So I created a structure that I call Mamas Comfort Camp Facebook Refueling Station. It’s a private Facebook group, where only the members can see who is posting and read the posts. Some of my favorite mommy bloggers have agreed to step up to the role of Den Mothers (and I will dedicate my next post to this wonderful bunch). In the group we have mothers from as far as Australia, Brazil, Israel, and France, lots of US mamas and lots of Canadians, as well as some mamas I know right here in Ithaca. It’s a thing of beauty, and comfort, and yes, pride too.

You are welcome to join us. Like my local (to Ithaca NY) Mama’s Comfort Camp class, the group is not specifically about postpartum depression (it may be mentioned, but it’s not the main subject), it’s about recognition of our efforts and our worth, practicing self-kindness and self -care without “should”s. Since the group is a secret group (no one but members can read posts or see who the other members are), the link to ask to join the group doesn’t work (yep, facebook is smart like that). I am only adding people who actually tell me they want to join.
Want in? Go to  https://www.facebook.com/mamas.comfort.camp
“Like” the page, and then tell me (in a comment on the page) that you want to be added to the group! I am not assuming that everybody who “like”s the page wants to be added to the group, because it’s not always the case. 

Now go say hello on Charity’s blog and read the other posts in the Mother’s Pride Carnival. They rock.

 

4 Responses to Pride in the Invisible + Comfort + Sisterhood
  1. Charity
    March 27, 2012 | 10:49 pm

    Sorry I am just now reading this. You have very much created a safe place. Thank you.
    Charity recently posted..What Courage Looks Like

  2. Ursula Ciller
    March 22, 2012 | 12:06 am

    So true about being a mother and having so much unrecognized work to do every day! No wonder I like visiting my mum or having my sister over to help with the ‘homework’!
    Ursula Ciller recently posted..Motherhood Pride

  3. Jenny
    March 19, 2012 | 6:15 pm

    I love the myth of Sisyphus, and that is exactly what motherhood is like. Women’s contributions to the family are largely unrecognized. We need our girlfriends more than ever when we become moms because other moms are the only ones who get it.
    Jenny recently posted..Mother’s Pride

  4. story
    March 19, 2012 | 2:41 pm

    Yes, yes, yes, and oh yeah, YES. Pushing my boulder up the hill without any thanks. Never until I was a mother did I need and crave the company of other women so much, but this is why I need it now. Because you say what’s in my heart and you let me whine all I want.
    story recently posted..Teaching kindness

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Pride in the Invisible + Comfort + Sisterhood

My sweet friend Charity (who wrote this guest post here) is hosting a Mother’s Pride Carnival (what an awesome idea!) at her blog Giggles and Grimaces.  Charity rocks, y’all, and you can follow her on twitter at @signingcharity 
I am proud of many things but  not always as proud as I should be.
And while in my work I like to celebrate my recovery and journey from Postpartum Depression to Joy, in this post I’m going to take a break from the heroic and take pride in the invisible. I would like us to shine the light of our attention on the stuff that goes under the radar. Here goes:
As mothers, we live in a culture that takes our work for granted.
Everybody takes it for granted, even us, mamas. All moms do that.
Do we pat ourselves on the back every time we put away the mountains of laundry? Or every time we kiss a booboo, 0r wipe a snotty nose? Every time we feel a forehead and know what the thermometer would have to say before we use it?  Every time we put a meal on the table? Every time we clear that table, and that kitchen, after that meal? And the gazzilions of meals before and after?
We don’t, because we do these things so often that they become invisible.
Nobody counts these feats of devotion and nobody pays us for them. What’s even more annoying to me is that nobody would hire us, or give us a promotion, or tenure, or a raise, for the essential, valuable, indispensable work we do.
But these invisible, often boring, thankless tasks are what makes a family work. Without our endless, thankless, tiring work (don’t you call me tireless, I’m exhausted much too often) my family will break down, and the moments of joy that make a family happy would never be possible.
Remember Sisyphus?  The poor chap who was punished by the Greek gods to push a heavy bolder up the mountain all day, only to have it roll down to the bottom every night and have to start from scratch every morning? Every mother in history knows exactly what that’s like.
And while I would happily outsource most of the daily household tasks, I do want to be the one wiping the snotty noses, and tying those shoe laces, and kissing those tearful grubby cheeks. I love the caring part of the invisible work that I do, and I hate the cleaning part, but what I want is not pitty, it’s recognition and pride.I want this endless work recognized for it’s contribution to society! Is having this celebrated it too much to ask?
I want it to be counted because it does count. I don’t really care if it’s computed towards the DGP (it’s not), but I want us to not forget that the economic structure of the world will crumble without the unpaid, unrecognized, uncelebrated work of mothers.
But I don’t see that celebration happening on CNN anytime soon, and I’m not the kind of girl to wait for this sort of thing. When I notice a need, I try to come up with creative ways to meet it. In this case, I want to take pride in my invisible work, by shining the spotlight on it. There is comfort in pride. There is comfort in celebrating the invisible. And there is comfort in the sisterhood of those who share this role. Only with other mothers can I grant myself permission to bitch and moan about how hard it is, and only when I feel safe enough to stomp when I’m feeling stompy, I can truly take pride in this rather normal yet stagerring accomplishment: I have a (mostly) happy family. (Knock on wood!)

So I created an online safe space for us mamas. Because I need other mothers to feel safe enough to ask for support when everything feels like too much. With other mothers I get to sob if I need to, and have my tears honored. I get love and support from others who know exactly how I feel, and because we  are all carrying the most precious boulders on our shoulders, we know. We know. We know what it feels like to be depleted by giving giving giving and not having our work seen. So I created a structure that I call Mamas Comfort Camp Facebook Refueling Station. It’s a private Facebook group, where only the members can see who is posting and read the posts. Some of my favorite mommy bloggers have agreed to step up to the role of Den Mothers (and I will dedicate my next post to this wonderful bunch). In the group we have mothers from as far as Australia, Brazil, Israel, and France, lots of US mamas and lots of Canadians, as well as some mamas I know right here in Ithaca. It’s a thing of beauty, and comfort, and yes, pride too.

You are welcome to join us. Like my local (to Ithaca NY) Mama’s Comfort Camp class, the group is not specifically about postpartum depression (it may be mentioned, but it’s not the main subject), it’s about recognition of our efforts and our worth, practicing self-kindness and self -care without “should”s. Since the group is a secret group (no one but members can read posts or see who the other members are), the link to ask to join the group doesn’t work (yep, facebook is smart like that). I am only adding people who actually tell me they want to join.
Want in? Go to  https://www.facebook.com/mamas.comfort.camp
“Like” the page, and then tell me (in a comment on the page) that you want to be added to the group! I am not assuming that everybody who “like”s the page wants to be added to the group, because it’s not always the case. 

Now go say hello on Charity’s blog and read the other posts in the Mother’s Pride Carnival. They rock.

 

4 Responses to Pride in the Invisible + Comfort + Sisterhood
  1. Charity
    March 27, 2012 | 10:49 pm

    Sorry I am just now reading this. You have very much created a safe place. Thank you.
    Charity recently posted..What Courage Looks Like

  2. Ursula Ciller
    March 22, 2012 | 12:06 am

    So true about being a mother and having so much unrecognized work to do every day! No wonder I like visiting my mum or having my sister over to help with the ‘homework’!
    Ursula Ciller recently posted..Motherhood Pride

  3. Jenny
    March 19, 2012 | 6:15 pm

    I love the myth of Sisyphus, and that is exactly what motherhood is like. Women’s contributions to the family are largely unrecognized. We need our girlfriends more than ever when we become moms because other moms are the only ones who get it.
    Jenny recently posted..Mother’s Pride

  4. story
    March 19, 2012 | 2:41 pm

    Yes, yes, yes, and oh yeah, YES. Pushing my boulder up the hill without any thanks. Never until I was a mother did I need and crave the company of other women so much, but this is why I need it now. Because you say what’s in my heart and you let me whine all I want.
    story recently posted..Teaching kindness

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