Posts Tagged: Parenting

Invisible

We all know as moms that the work we do is entirely undervalued. No question. But it can start to wear ya down a bit, wouldn’t you say? Don’t you sometimes have those days you just wonder how someone can work so hard and not get an ounce of credit? That probably happened to you today, likely happened yesterday and sadly I’m not feeling so hopeful for your tomorrow! Deb, who is a cool mom from an online moms group I’m on just posted this and I felt compelled to share with you Mabel Mommas. Something tells me it might just tell some of you that you that you’re not alone!

“I’m Invisible” – author unknown

I’m Invisible It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I’m on the phone and ask to be taken to the store.
Inside I’m thinking, “Can’t you see I’m on the phone?” Obviously not; no one can see if I’m on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I’m invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I’m not a pair of hands; I’m not even a human being. I’m a clock to ask, “What time is it?”I’m a satellite guide to answer, “What number is the Disney Channel?” I’m a car to order, “Right around 5:30, please.”
I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude – but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She’s going, she’s going, and she’s gone! One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a hair clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, “I brought you this.” It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn’t exactly sure why she’d given it to me until I read her inscription: “To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.” In the days ahead I would read – no, devour – the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals – we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything .
A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, “Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.” And the workman replied, “Because God sees.”
I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, “I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you’ve done, no sequin you’ve sewn on, no cupcake you’ve baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can’t see right now what it will become.”
At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.
The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree. When I really think about it, I don’t want my son to tell the friend he’s bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, “My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.” That would mean I’d built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, “You’re gonna love it there.”
As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we’re doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

MabelLove

Mabel is a great name. It’s easy to spell, it’s uncommon – yet known. We love the name Mabel.
We received this note from a customer in the UK this week that is overflowing in MabelLove:

“Just have to tell you that when we were deciding what to call our little girl we looked all the names up on the web to see what came up and when we searched for Mabel yours was one of the first sites that came up. It was such a lovely site and had such cute pictures that we decided to call her Mabel and knew that when she went to preschool we would have to get her labels from you!”

Little Mabel in Portishead UK, a lovely package of Mabel’s Labels (that makes me smile) are on their way to you! Isn’t that just so cute?

Camp Mabel

I have just returned from the Ontario Camping Association Conference. For background, we partner with many of the camps because they want the campers arriving with mabels on all their camp gear. If you want to get the idea, check out www.camps.mabel.ca

This is a show I love doing because it is so different to our usual shows, which are jam-packed with wee babies, busy toddlers and ripe bellies. Don’t get me wrong, I love the baby shows and no one out there loves seeing new babies more than this Mabel Momma. But there is something about hanging out with a bunch of camp Directors and Leaders that is pretty refreshing. For example, when they get dressed up for the big closing night banquet, it means they pull out their ‘good’ crocs. I think you get the idea!

But I found myself sitting with one camp Director at the pub last night (that definately doesn’t happen at baby shows!) and he put me to task asking why I was not sending my 8-year-old to camp this year. I had a bit of a sweat about it then I fessed up. My kids have not even had a sleep-over at a friend’s house, no way am I sending them off for a whole week to some crazy place! He then asked me if I was a helicopter mother. A what? Well apparently these are the moms who swoon around taking their kids to activities and places then just HOVER around. Hmmmm, I suppose it wouldn’t be a completely inaccurate account.

So, now I’m left to contemplate the camp experience and when I’ll be ready to dive into it.
In the meantime, I’ll probably just buzz around overhead for a while.

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