Fashion and the Invisible Mom

There’s been a fashion party going on, and all the Mommies (and Daddies) were invited to join in with a project inspired by #365 Feminist selfie – to show their real selves, not the fancy-schmancy dolled-up-to-the-nines version. 

Well, you know I hate to miss out on a perfectly good party, so I’m gate-crashing.

With my fashionably Real self.

What does she look like, the Invisible Mom?
What kind of clothes tell her apart?
Would you even know she’s a parent
Wearing her lost children’s names on her heart?

You’d see her in casuals, perhaps
On occasions, designer clothes (maybe)
But whatever the state of her dress
She’s always bereft of her baby

Her clothes might be clingy to show off
Or soft and fluffy to snuggle in
Her garments  conveniently hide
The ever-present envy beneath her skin

She doesn’t qualify for ‘Mommy jeans’
Sometimes her sadness is like a shroud
She’s not ‘one of the parents’ but
No longer fits with the ‘child-free’ crowd

Her make-up might be immaculate
With perfectly coiffed hair
She might wear stained clothes for a week
‘Cause she can’t bring herself to care

There’s never snot on her shoulder
Her status to thereby infer
She’s not covered in sticky handprints
Oh, how she wishes she were

She might wear a beautiful dress
Or shoes to make your heart race
She might wear a Tigger suit to cry
And wish the world was a kinder place

If you meet her she might smile
And come across as a charmer
You’d never know that she’s put on
Each item of jewellery as armour

And beware if you see her painted:
The make-up’s a mask to cover her grief
The simple process of dressing could
Have you shaking your head in disbelief

She’s rarely entirely in black
And might be covered in rainbows
Though the brightness is faded for her
Dulled by the pain that her soul knows

So what’s the importance of clothes
In a world where her children are gone?
It’s either vital or worthless;
The fashion of the Invisible Mom.

If you’re a member of The Invisible Moms’ Club, and you sometimes feel out of place in the in-between-ness of miscarriage and whether or not that makes you a parent, feel free to come and join us.

Disclaimer (because I hate being an asshole without explaining…): Waking up to find the Blogosphere (at least, the section I frequent) had flown into full-on ‘Mommy Blogger’ territory sent my morning reeling into full-on pain/grief/tears/anger/exclusion mode. Because that’s how life is sometimes, and it’s the aftershocks of going through miscarriage and it’s the ongoing quakes of dealing with infertility, and it’s thwarted dreams and bitterness and envy and hurt. And so I cried my way to work and cussed out the Mommy Bloggers and their parenting clicques, even if they let people play who don’t belong there.

But I mulled through the day and I realised that not only are most of these Mommy Bloggers women I consider to be excellent bloggers, many I consider to be my friends, and I felt like a dick for being so bitter, and taking it so personally when really, it’s plain that this isn’t something which is ‘aimed’ – they’re not being Mommy Bloggers at me. They’re just being real. And trying to have fun. And I’m a dumbass for being upset about that – I should be celebrating with them. But in spite of my good intentions and my deep and abiding love and respect for some of the people in the hop, I couldn’t find it in myself not to be a *little* bit of an asshole about this. And join in.

57 thoughts on “Fashion and the Invisible Mom

  1. Thank you 😛
    I think it was just the 'hook' they used, cos it was a group of Mommy Bloggers who came up with the idea, and they just went with what they knew – as we all do. There's no blame, and they did open it to everyone once they thought about it – heck, there were even a couple of dads who participated 🙂


  2. Damn you and you're ability to write anything…and very well.
    I've noticed it too and I'm a mom. Hell, I participated in a mom happy sun thing.
    I think it's great that you participated. I don't know why they limited this to just moms.


  3. I'm nothing if not absolutely (mostly) open about being a failure and a let-down. It's something I'm very good at. And if I can learn from it or somehow become a nicer/kinder/more acceptable human being…so much the better.

    The Invisible Moms Club is for women who've miscarried, and so are effectively parents to invisible children. They're (we're) always parents, from that time on. But not obviously.

    I'm sure there's some kind of plan. I just haven't come to a place where I like it or want to accept it.

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and your story with me. And you're absolutely right, and I do know that parents (whatever way the family came to be) need one another – need that solidarity and support and kinship.

    I just want to be part of it.


  4. I love your poem, Lizzi. I remember that feeling. I felt it at my church. All the families had their badges of children and my husband and I were childless. It was hard and painful. Even after we adopted I still felt like I didn't fit in bc all the moms talked about breast-feeding and giving birth and I had no clue what they were talking about. Eventually, my kids grew and the discussions have changed to older kid things and now I'm part of those cliques. I remember wanting so badly to be a part of them. But really there was nothing they could do – those parents. They weren't going to stop being parents and they shouldn't hide it. Parents do need each other to lean on because it's hard – really hard. It's a support system. We had a support group before we adopted – we needed each other. Now I need other parents and moms. I couldn't be around those families before we adopted – it was too painful. I didn't fit in and when I was around them it just felt like I had a giant B for barren written across my chest. For me, I've tried to focus on how God must have a bigger plan for me than I'm aware of. Easier said than done and much easier to say now that I've got three kids. I think it's good that you've got the Invisible Moms Club (I don't know exactly what it is, I just see that you wrote about it) if that's where you get support. Turn to them when you're hurting.

    Also I admire your disclaimer. It takes a brave person to admit when they may have erred.


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