Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Along With the Placenta Went Me

"Insignificant,"the word slipped away from me and drifted into the grey, damp of the outside. Another dulled day, wet enough to confuse the automatic wipers.  I was desperate to feel the sun warm my neck and arms, but I knew that was months away.

You were sleeping little one, wrapped up in a quilted sleep suit as I turned to him, your father.  He looked over and smiled and that is when I repeated, "I am insignificant."

"What?" He asked, turning down the radio.

"I sat across from him, her husband, next to you. She sat across from you next to him."

"Huh," your father replied.

"She is supposed to sit across from me." I leaned forward and turned off the radio.

"I don't understand," he hesitantly pulled the words out, concerned it may lengthen an uncomfortable moment.

"I sat quietly in the corner, tucked away, listening to others talk."

"You could have joined in," he said.

"No I couldn't,"my voice drifted under the squeak of the wipers as they rubbed against the window.

"There was more than enough opportunities for you to talk," he smiled again, tapping his fingers against the wheel, catching me quickly with his eyes.

"No, I couldn't... I had nothing to say."

At this dinner, you, little one, gave me an out. Under the false pretence of feeding, I hid in a room, looking at your big brown eyes, touching your soft hair, drawing my finger around your face. I liked hiding with you. No one looked for us, no one interrupted a woman feeding. I held you and kissed your forehead, leaned my head back, shut my eyes and waited till I could hear plates clinking, which told me  that only coffee and a few more minutes of polite conversation were left to endure before we could comfortably leave. Your father came to me as I came down the stairs. He gave me updates as to the conversation. I really didn't care. I smiled at her while I listened. She didn't see; she was looking at your father.

This wasn't the first time I became invisible since my days filled with nappies, feedings, nursery rhymes and day time TV.  Whether it was due to exhaustion or boredom, I couldn't seem to talk, there was nothing left in my reservoir. I left your father to entertain because he did that well and he left me to tend to you because I fit better between textured wallpaper, inside a box that kept folding in.


  1. Oh Sharon! So beautifully written! I (almost) feel like we're sitting across from my little kitchen table in West Hartford again. You have captured a feeling I've had since Motherhood but now, after 5.5 yrs, have come to accept. I'd always imagined that if I'd continued working, as you have, that I'd have been less "insignificant" but maybe it's just that our priorities change and small talk becomes frivolous? Keep writing Girlfriend! Love You!

    1. It is interesting to me how many women doing the most "important job" and doing it well feel this way. We think that we are alone. For me, these issues never seem to fit into routine conversations, so it was kept inside. Of course, it is never really kept inside, always finds a way out. I have had very honest messages sent to me in connection with this post and I found them quite moving. I also started to appreciate that I wasn't alone in my experiences, maybe that is why I wrote and published this piece.
      I miss you. Interestingly, you are one of the people I mention often. Why don't we talk more?

  2. I miss you too. Why don't we talk more? Maybe another Topic to write about. Seems like friendships and many other important things in my personal life have been suspended since Mommyhood. I think about the phone or an e-mail but suddenly someone needs something and the moment has passed. REALLY need to work on this