“I feel invisible,” I thought as yet another person stared at my pregnant belly instead of my face. Comments from passers-by in Walmart went something like, “You look like you’re ready to pop!” Church friends asked, “You’re still pregnant?” And little kids thought he had a free pass to rub my belly.

Thoughts of feeling like an incubator instead of a person frequently filled my head at nine months pregnant, and I’m sure I’m not the only woman who has felt this way.

I look back and smile. Because it was only the beginning.

When motherhood begins, life is not about you anymore. It never really was, but you catch my drift. Everything you do B.C. (before children) is focused on your goals, passions, and dreams. Then suddenly, everything shifts to taking care of a tiny human and meeting their every need.

Parenthood gives us a big slice of humble pie (sometimes much-needed). And it is rewarding to put another’s needs before your own. There’s nothing we, as moms, would rather do.

But.

It’s also completely normal to feel a little invisible and unappreciated at times.

When you lived life among society, in school, or in the workplace, you had the gratification of accolades for a job well done. People used to notice you and give you compliments on your nicely completed tasks.

Now, as a mom your pats-on-the-back come in the form of late night feeding snuggles, kisses on the cheek, and that little voice saying, “One more book please, Mommy?”

Rest assured—your little one notices everything you do. But the outside world probably doesn’t.

The world doesn’t see the stacks of dishes scrubbed, the laundry folded, the toilets cleaned, the lullabies sung and the snacks prepared. It doesn’t notice how you try to emulate the Proverbs 31 woman as you work hard to care for your family.

While living this seemingly quiet life, it’s easy to feel like you aren’t making an impact on the world.

Last week, I heard a quote from the BBC series “Middlemarch” by George Eliot that left me speechless. 

The quote is speaking of the main character Dorothea, who is kind and unassuming in all her ways. She longs to do a “great good” in the world but ends up living a quiet life. The book says she made no great name for herself.

Take a moment and read (then re-read) the following quote. I hope it will change your perspective like it did mine: 

“…the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.” – George Eliot, Middlemarch

Did you catch that? Most good things in life happen because of people who received no accolades or fanfare. Circumstances in this world are better because of the many faithful who did the right thing, day in and day out. No one visits their graves, but their mark on the world forever remains.

Thank you, mama, for making this world a good place to be.

Because you washed those dishes and laundry, your child felt cared for and safe.

Because you prepared nutritious meals, your child grew strong.

Because you sang songs and read stories, your child’s mind opened up to a new world of ideas and imagination.

The impact on a child who feels loved and safe in this world cannot be measured.

Every little thing you do matters, mama. Even the seemingly unimportant ones.

This post originally appeared on the author’s blog

You may also like:

I Am the Everyday Dishes of My Family

A Mother’s Mind Never Rests, Because We Carry the Mental Load

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Mary Harp

Mary Harp is the creator of Healthy Christian Home blog, which helps families nourish themselves physically and spiritually. A minister's wife and former missionary to Scotland, she is passionate about God's Word and how He provides for our daily needs with healthy food! In her free time, you can find her with a cup of hot tea and a stack of books -- or watching a new BBC series. Connect with Mary on FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest

God Has You

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman hugging herself while looking to the side

Holding tight to the cold, sterile rail of the narrow, rollaway ER bed, I hovered helplessly over my oldest daughter. My anxious eyes bounced from her now steadying breaths to the varying lines and tones of the monitor overhead. Audible reminders of her life that may have just been spared. For 14 years, we’d been told anaphylaxis was possible if she ingested peanuts. But it wasn’t until this recent late autumn evening we would experience the fear and frenzy of our apparent new reality. My frantic heart hadn’t stopped racing from the very moment she struggled to catch a breath....

Keep Reading

To My Wife: I See Your Sacrifice

In: Marriage, Motherhood
Family of 3 sitting on floor together at home

Selfless. No other word more clearly depicts your commitment to your family. Motherhood is drastically different than you dreamed of your whole life—the dreams of what sort of mama you would be, of how much you would enjoy being a mother even on the tough days. Since day one of our relationship, you’ve been selfless. Since day one of being a mama, you’ve been selfless. Your love for your family shines through on the brightest and darkest days. But on the dark days, it shines the brightest. I can’t count the hours of sleep sacrificed, the tears cried, the time...

Keep Reading

To the Extended Family That Shows Up: We Couldn’t Do This Without You

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Family visiting new baby in a hospital room

This picture—my heart all but bursts every time I see it.  It was taken five years ago on the day our daughter was born. In it, my husband is giving her her very first bath while our proud extended family looks on. It was a sweet moment on a hugely special day, but gosh–what was captured in this photo is so much more than that. This photo represents everything I could have ever hoped for my kids: That they would have an extended family who shows up in their lives and loves them so deeply.  That they would have grandparents,...

Keep Reading

Please Don’t Tell a Couple Trying to Conceive to Just Relax

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Black-and-white photo of medical supplies

This is a plea. A plea to those who know someone who is struggling with infertility. So, if you’re reading this, this is directed right to you. Please, for the love of everything, when someone tells you they are struggling to conceive, do not tell them to “just relax.” I know it’s the cliche, default term most blurt out because they don’t know what else to say. It’s awkward to discuss for some. I’m 10000% positive it is coming from a good place and is meant to be calming and reassuring, and you really do believe it’s true because a...

Keep Reading

You’re Almost Grown, But You’re Always Welcome Back Home

In: Kids, Motherhood
Teen in room studying with computer and smartphone

Dear child, In the days before you could walk or talk, there were times when you would wail—when my rocking and shushing and bouncing were seemingly futile—but it didn’t matter. Each day and night, multiple times, I always picked you up and welcomed you back into my arms. As a toddler and a preschooler, you had some pretty epic meltdowns. There were times when you would thrash and scream, and all I could do was stand by and wait for the storm to blow over. Eventually, you would run to me, and I would welcome you back with a warm embrace....

Keep Reading

My Last Baby Rarely Gets All of Me

In: Motherhood
Mom and toddler snuggle on bed

Ever since you came into being, you heard the chaos of your future. You felt the jostle of your siblings climbing onto my lap and the hugs of each of their arms as they said goodnight to you for nine months. You are here now, and you are cherished by us all. Your cheeks are constantly kissed, and you are never alone. RELATED: To the Mom of a Big Family, Your Heart Was Made For Many And then, at last, your siblings are tucked cozy into their beds, and it’s just us. I stop everything and look at you. I know now...

Keep Reading

That Mom at the Playground Could Become Your Best Friend

In: Friendship, Motherhood
Young mother sitting on bench looking at playground

I didn’t realize I was that mom at the playground. That mom who always smiles at the other moms even if she doesn’t know them. That mom who often makes small talk while she pushes her toddler on the swings. That mom who strikes up a conversation while sitting on the bench watching her older kid play. That mom who can often tell whether you are interested in talking to her or not. And if you don’t seem interested, that’s okay. Because maybe you’re preoccupied with other things going on in your life right now. Maybe you’re overwhelmed with the...

Keep Reading

No One Warned Me About the Last Baby

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood
Mother holding newborn baby, black-and-white photo

No one warned me about the last baby. When I had my first, my second, and my third, those first years were blurry from sleep deprivation and chaos from juggling multiple itty-bitties. But the last baby? There’s a desperation in that newborn fog to soak it up because there won’t be another. No one warned me about the last baby. Selling the baby swing and donating old toys because we wouldn’t need them crushed me. I cried selling our double jogger and thought my heart would split in two when I dropped off newborn clothes. Throwing out pacifiers and bottles...

Keep Reading

Dear Mama, You Are Allowed to Struggle

In: Motherhood
Woman holding baby sorting through laundry pile

You feel the weight of the funk you’re in. Your mind and heart know that the days are rushing by—that soon they’ll be grown, and you’ll miss this time. You even remember a time, not too long ago, when you desperately missed them after a few hours of not seeing their sweet faces. But in this season, as your kids have grown older and multiplied, as their wills have grown stronger and their clashes seem constant, you long to hide yourself away, to shut off the overwhelm and the fire in your senses. RELATED: To The Struggling Mama, This Is Just...

Keep Reading

Today is Hard but Tomorrow is a New Day

In: Motherhood
Mom holding toddler, color photo

Today is hard. You don’t have to tell me how fast the time goes and to enjoy every moment because I am painfully aware of how quickly they will be moved out and making families of their own. I know that someday we will look back on these days and miss them. We will revel in the endless amounts of Spiderman we watched, laugh at the mispronounced words, and be glad to be past the days when we had to carefully calculate when to put our youngest in his car seat so he wouldn’t start screaming before we could get...

Keep Reading