Do you ever have days where you feel like if you didn't come home after work as you normally do or left for even a couple of days, your kids wouldn't even notice? Or worse... wouldn't even care??
I have days when all I hear all day is "I want Daddy!!", even though I'm the one who's been home alone the past three days tending to their every need, every wish, every desire. (Well, almost...) I made them their special jelly and butter toast circle sandwiches, then let them eat at the coffee table while they watched Dora. I tested the strength of my bladder countless times jumping on the trampoline. I swept up the deliberately spilled Cheerios, I fixed that special silky pillow that was falling apart, I washed your lovey and made sure it was in the bed when it was time for night-night.
While they napped, I made them twirly-skirts with the perfect amount of twirliness. When they awoke, I painted their toenails that perfect shade of pink.
I go beyond my comfort zone and catch snakes and frogs and creepy-crawlies. And let them hold them non-stop and put them in the pool with them.
But as soon as that door creaks open and daddy is home... I don't even exist. They run and jump and squeal and squeeze his neck. They fight to sit on his lap, even though mine is empty. I try to snuggle up with the three of them, and they push me away. "Nooooo... my daddy!"
And my heart hurts.
When I work all day and daddy is at home with the girls, I come home and don't even get so much as a passing glance let alone a "Hi mommy". I chase them, trying to steal some smooches, and they refuse.
And it hurts.
I wonder sometimes - would they even wonder when Mommy was coming home if I didn't show up at my normal time? Would they miss me?
Because I feel like, to them, I'm just some fixture that comes with the house that makes sure they're fed, they're clean, they're happy, and that their butts are wiped. I'm their cook, their maid, their seamstress. I'm the not-favorite parent that has to send them to time-out when they say ugly words to me.
I don't feel loved.
I feel invisible.
And it hurts.