Before I had kids, it annoyed me when my friends with kids would get so easily distracted during our phone conversations. It bothered me that they kept interrupting to discipline their children, and then forgot what we were talking about. Like many things I thought would be different when I finally had kids, I thought I’d never be one of those moms that had to stop a conversation several times to talk to kids in the background. Now, I laugh at my former, kidless self.
So first of all, I want to apologize for all the eye rolling that happened on my end of the phone call years ago. I get it now. Totally get it. I rarely even attempt phone calls anymore. I realized that teaching your kids not interrupt when Mommy is talking, requires lots of interruptions before the lesson sticks. So I probably won’t answer your calls.
You see, I haven’t forgotten how annoying it was to be interrupted 10 times during a conversation. I’m only trying to spare you (and me) this annoyance. I realize now that it’s next to impossible to have a leisurely conversation with kids near me, and kids are almost always near me. Let’s be real, I rarely even pee alone, so the chance of me sneaking off for the once adored hour chat sessions, just doesn’t exist anymore. At least not for right now. Not in this stage of motherhood.
Although my kids know how to play on their own without me constantly entertaining them, potty breaks and blow out diapers don’t wait until my chat session is over. Neither do sibling fights or skinned knees in need of a kiss from Mommy. The really sweet moments don’t wait either. Like the moment your baby takes their first steps, and I’d rather be in that moment any given day. I realized that if I’m constantly shhing them and telling them “not right now,” the moment will pass and I’ll miss the good stuff too.
The truth is, I miss my friends, and I miss adult conversations, but it’s just rarely in the cards for me to focus on a phone call. If I do answer, there’s typically a ticking time bomb lurking, waiting to go off at the most inconvenient moment. So I do love you, but I probably won’t be answering your calls. And while I’m being honest, I probably won’t listen to your voicemail either.
Now texts? I can do texts. All day long in fact. I’m actually better that way. I’m better if I can pick the right time to respond, instead of having to press pause on a conversation that just leaves me exhausted when I hang up. So I do see that you’re calling, and I admit that I usually hit the silence button sending you straight to voicemail. It’s not unlike me to silence a phone call, only to shoot off a text to you seconds later. In my texts, you won’t hear my kids asking me to roll playdoh into a ball for the 10th time, as we “chat.” It’s not because I don’t love you, and I hope you love me enough to understand.
Talk during nap time?
Probably even more unlikely than when the kids are screaming next to me. Although I love and miss you, nap time is sacred. It’s my time for quiet, or to get the dishes done, or shower, or to write, or if I’m really lucky, just sit.
That time is spent with my husband. Our house, our marriage, and our family run smoothly because we devote this time to each other. It’s our time to catch up, regroup and relax together without little love bugs crawling in the space between us. These few hours at the end of the day are so important in our marriage. Our date nights look a little different these days, and usually entail a Netflix binge in comfy clothes instead of a fancy night out on the town. And I love it. I love this stage of life. I wouldn’t trade it.
So for this stage of my life, don’t take it personal if I ignore your phone calls, but text you all day long. It’s not you, it’s me. I’m sure I’ll catch up on all my voicemails when they go off to college. Until then, I’ll be loving on my babies or foiling a major meltdown in Target, and I’ll text you in between. It’s not always a circus over here, but it’s usually when I’m distracted that the circus begins.
So I love you, but I probably won’t answer your calls.