‘Hi, my name is Mom. I feel like a ghost walking through the aisles, completely unseen and unheard. I roam around lost secretly hoping someone will ask me if I need help just so I can interact with them.’

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“Hi, my name is Mom. Some days I forget what my given name is. I forget that I’m a person outside of motherhood. My day starts and ends with endless ‘mommy’s’. ‘Mom.’ ‘Mommy.’ ‘Mom.’ My thoughts are consumed with what’s next. Whose needs come next. What do I need to un-screw up next. What bill do we need to pay next. Feed the kids. Tantrum city. Change the diapers. Get them dressed. Change them again. Nurse the baby. Love on them. Hi, my name is Mom. Out the door. In the car. Don’t be late for school. Don’t be late for dance. Try to talk to the women so they don’t think I’m a bitch. I’m not a bitch, I just don’t know what to say. Like it will be groundhog’s day if I add anything to the conversation. Nurse the baby. Hold the toddler. Kiss the knees. Back in the car. More meltdowns. Nap time. Get more snacks. Change the clothes. Clean the spit up. Hi, my name is Mom.

I haven’t talked to another adult face-to-face besides my husband in a week. I’m not even sure if I want to because of my anxiety, but I feel like I should. I go to the store and feel like a ghost walking through the aisles, completely unseen and unheard. I roam around lost and sometimes I secretly hope someone will ask me if I need help just so I can interact with them. Hi, my name is Mom. My girlfriends still call, most of them don’t have kids yet. I try to be the old me, the one with a name. I’m getting tugged on, sucked on, and yelled at while trying to listen to their weekend plans. I remember those. I beg them to keep asking me to hang out even though I know I won’t be able to come. Hi, my name is Mom.

When I get girl’s time I bring the baby with because she needs me. I’ve been pregnant for 3 years. My body isn’t my own. I haven’t cut or colored my hair in over a year and just recently bought myself a pair of jeans (it had been 4 years) and I am completely consumed. Kids first. Depression is always lurking and waiting for me to get lost. For me to completely forget who I am. I’m trapped in the routine of mom. Staying at home there’s nowhere to hide, to vent, to create, to release. It’s a thankless job. I’m unseen and no one hears me. I don’t get paid. I don’t get a pat on the back. I don’t get to leave work or clock out. I don’t get to drive to and from work alone. For almost 4 years I’ve been going to sleep and waking up at my place of employment with no escape. My husband comes home and has stories to share with me. Colleagues. Humans. Funny stories. New people he’s met. I repeat the same story every day. How cute the kids were, what movie we watched, something sweet a toddler said, what we ate for lunch. Hi, my name is Mom.

Read the books. Take a walk. Bath time. Kiss the knees. Put on pajamas. Say goodnight, I love you. So much? So much. Close my eyes. Good morning babe. You ready to go downstairs? Get the baby. Tantrums. Change the clothes. Wrangle the toddlers. Down the stairs, up the stairs. Breakfast time. Do the dishes. Hi, my name is Mom. My time alone is rushed. I rush to shower, I rush to run errands, I rush to eat. I’m always running to get back to take care of everyone else.

Over the years you just get lost. Being a mom is freaking hard. It’s lonely. It’s exhausting. But here’s the thing… I see you. We all see you. I see your tired eyes. I see the disheveled look on your face when you show up late. I see the stains on your shirt. The look you have when your kid is losing their sh*t and you wished they would get it together just this once. I know you want to talk, and I will. I know how lonely it can be. I want to know about your day, the crappy lunch you ate off your kid’s plate, and that stupid movie you watched over and over again. I want to see a hundred pictures of the little faces that make your world go ‘round because I care. I want you to know that people are watching. That when you go to bed exhausted because you were busting your butt all day and have to be up in two hours it doesn’t go unnoticed. I know you’re doing an amazing job. I know what it’s like to feel invisible. Our kids see us. They love the kisses, the walks, the half-assed dinners, and the same bedtime story. Our friends see us. Our family and partners see us. They think we’re killing it even if they don’t say it out loud. But sometimes we need to hear it. Take that long shower, buy new clothes, treat yourself to something special, eat alone, find your happy place. Call your friends, reach out to each other, remember your village and why they’re there. Being a mom is so hard. SO HARD. Don’t drown. Remember your name, what you love and who you are. Hi, my name is Mom.”

Mother who often feels like a ghost has straight face in selfie with lipstick all over her mouth and child on her lap and behind her
Facebook/Strollin With My Homies

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Sydney W of Strollin With My Homies, where it originally appearedSubmit your own story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.

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‘My husband is on the floor, eyes closed, moaning, ‘Syyydd. I can’t see.’ Is this a joke. He has a flu symptom that doesn’t even exist. Actually I can’t. I should leave. Where is this dude’s mom.’

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