Ladies and Gentlewomen (and the two dudes who follow my blog), allow me to introduce to you Rosita Pig.
She may look familiar to some of you (specifically those of you who have seen the movie Sing), but for those who are not familiar with her, allow me to paint you a picture of our friend Rosita.
Rosita Q. Pig (I made up that middle initial) lives with her husband, Norman, and their 25 children in the suburbs of an animated city seemingly fashioned after Hollywood, CA. She is bright, witty, and talented- and she can SING! Her favorite activities include belting Katy Perry’s “Firework” while washing dishes at the sink while her 25 kids fall all over one another at the breakfast table behind her.
Despite her obvious talent, her days and nights consist of expertly managing the household for her husband and copious children. Norman clearly loves her, but he is stressed out and exhausted from work, even falling asleep in an armchair before he can even hear her BIG NEWS about being chosen for a singing competition!!!!!
Rosita’s main roadblock to participating in said singing competition is, of course, childcare. She tries to find a nanny, but…you know…she has 25 kids and it’s not easy to find a sitter. Ever the resourceful, amazing creature that a mother is, she spends the night before the first rehearsal rigging an intricate system of pulleys, levers, and wires that would impress even Rube Goldberg himself that is designed to be able to do all of her household tasks for her in her absence.
The next day, her family awakens and goes about their business. Rosita’s systems function so efficiently and effectively that nobody even realizes she isn’t there. They hear her voice on a tape recorder, have their food handed to them, their dishes washed, their lost keys located, and nobody even realizes that there’s no actual Rosita present. When she comes home at the end of the night and crawls into bed next to Norman, she asks how his day was. He tells her it was just another day, nothing different, “I don’t know how you do it all, honey.” Rosita gives a relieved smile and slips into exhausted, contented slumber.
Every time I watch “Sing,” I want to give Rosita a big hug, buy her a cup of coffee, stare deeply into her piggy eyes and say, “Oh, honey. I feel you. You are not alone.”
I, too, have wondered whether or not anyone would really notice or care if I wasn’t actually there as long as everything they needed was getting done.
I, too, have felt the disappointment and frustration of abandoning plans due to lack of childcare during the day.
I, too, have felt like there is absolutely no time for my dreams and talents and gifts amid everything everyone else NEEDS! FROM! ME! UGGGGGH!
I, too, stand at my kitchen sink dreamily belting out ballads at the top of my lungs while my kids practically strangle each other at the breakfast table (except for me it’s Kari Jobe, “Foreeeeeeeeeeehver Heeeeeeeeeee is gloooooooooooorifiiiiiiiiiiiiiiied..”)
I have been there, Rosie, and you are not alone.
As a matter of fact, the entire reason the creators of “Sing” invented your character, Rosita, was because they knew so many folks out there would identify with you.
It is so easy to get lost in motherhood. There are a million reasons for it. Many of them are noble and good and represent the best of what we get to do as moms. Some of them have to do with the circumstances of our lives, things that cause our jobs as moms to feel larger than life- special needs, tough schedules, challenging kids, absent or disengaged co-parents, the list is endless.
And it’s GOOD to give so much of ourselves to our families, it’s what we are called to. But our families AND OURSELVES need us to hold on to who we are, to have an anchor in the endless sea of need and busyness that surround us. We are stronger and more balanced when we are connected to who are are ASIDE from being Mom, when we feel valued and seen for WHO WE ARE and not just what we do for others. And that’s what we are going to dig into this month, work on lifting ourselves and each other out of “Invisible Mom” status.
We may not all end up like our girl Rosita…and frankly, we may not want to. I mean, I could totally see myself up on stage in a sparkly costume singing and dancing to Taylor Swift, but I know that’s not everyone’s jam.
So let’s start small, here’s some homework for this week:
-Reach out to a mom this week and let her know you see her. Tell her she’s doing a great job, compliment her on something you admire about her, ask her how something in her life is going- just let her know she’s not invisible to you. Whether it’s a kind word at school pickup, a FB messenger message, a comment on Instagram, a text or phone call, A CARD IN THE MAIL, tell another mom she rocks and you like her. If you’re really ready to rock, do it for more than one person.
-Take a few minutes this week and think about the things that make you feel the most like YOU! The things you’re good at, the things you find fun, the things that make you feel excited when you think about doing them. Make a list of five things and put the list someplace where you can find it.
And I leave you with this final thought: Even the smallest, most mundane things YOU do for your family- serving them dinner, changing diapers, ferrying them around to school and lessons and practices. It matters to our kids that YOU are doing them. Nobody else could do with their mom’s smile, their mom’s voice, they way you smell, the way you pat them on the head and kiss their cheek. You being there matters to them more than you- and probably they- even realize. It all counts, it all matters, even when it feels like it doesn’t.
Be kind to yourself this week.