Dear Family and Friends, It’s Not You. It’s Me.

In Motherhood, Parenting by Jen34 Comments

Dear Family and Friends, It’s Not You. It’s Me.

It’s 9 am and just moments before, I feverishly put on an episode of Curious George. With the hope that the toddler will be entertained long enough for me to take a shower, alone. This means that at tops, I have exactly 7 minutes. I quickly race to the bathroom and on the cusp of stepping into the shower, the phone starts ringing. I know that answering the phone and even talking to you for just a few minutes means that my shower will more than likely end with the toddler standing, pounding and screaming at the door.

Even though you are just calling to say “hi”, that “hi” will possibly cost me a shower, a tantrum and more as the avalanche of unintended consequences mount. Don’t believe me? Ask any other parent and they will tell you the same thing. Our time is limited and so is our ability to sometimes stay in contact with the outside world.

Really, it’s not you. It’s me, because although I appreciate the fact that technological advances have made it such that in today’s modern world we now can respond by phone, email, text and more in just a matter of seconds, I also don’t really appreciate it.

Right now my life is a juggling act. Juggling work, school pick-ups and drops offs, running errands, planing meals and more. Sometimes it feels like I am living life on a life sized weights and measures balance. Each step I take, ultimately affecting the balance of the rest of the day.

I know, I know, you think I should plan better or call you when the kids are asleep?

Have you ever sat to snuggle a little at bedtime that had a bad day at school or just needed it, and as you lay there snuggling you have accidentally fallen asleep only to wake up hours later to a clock flashing midnight? Never mind the list of other things your accidental sleeping just made impossible.

Or perhaps I should call you during nap time?

Yes I will call and talk to you while I am loading and unloading loads, yes loads of laundry, emptying the dishwasher, paying bills or generally trying to keep my home from falling into the dark abyss of dirty laundry and unending chores it threatens to become without my small contribution in the opposite direction of the great abyss.

How about that texting?

Yes, I will text you and in that same amount of time the toddler will shove a giant handful of cars down the toilet and I will drop my phone in there while I am trying to dig them out. Or her older sister will start screaming from the bathroom that she is out of toilet paper. Or at the same moment the teen needs help with her homework. It just goes on and on…

How about putting on a movie to make those calls?

To kids, such “entertainment” is best experienced with others. Once you put on a movie, children DO NOT stop talking. If there is an exciting part, even if you are sitting right next to them, children still feel the need to tell you all about it. If you are not really paying attention, well then they will make sure to monologue the entire movie. Now if you get up to answer the phone, they will happily pause the movie, just so you don’t miss any important parts of the movie you have watched dozens of times with them, but that means you will have them dancing circles around you the entire time you are on the phone.

And then summer happens and there is NO such thing as free time when all of the children are home.

This is my life right now and the life of many other mothers and fathers everywhere. Our lives are full. And yet quicker than we imagine, someday in the not too distant future, the days are less full. And so if we don’t take the time now, we will mourn for not having taken it with our precious children when we could have.

So dear family and friends, someday soon I promise to answer that call more quickly. For now though, I will continue to send those Christmas cards and try to post my kids cute and adorable moments on social media. I know this isn’t always enough and you would rather chat more frequently. I wish I could, but I can’t.

It’s not you. It’s me.

Know this though, I will always be there for the important moments of your life, and when you MOST need me, just maybe not for the quick “hi’s”.

Stay Happy! Stay Informed!

Love,

Jen




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Comments

  1. I so remember being overwhelmed too. It’s just the way of things. Now it’s just hubby and I and I can’t tell you how awesome that is. Love our kids, but it’s so good to be done with the raising of them. Now it’s their turn to be overwhelmed and they try to tell us how awful it is. Well, hello.

    Have a fabulous day and I hope you find some time for you. ☺
    Comedy Plus recently posted…Scam AlertMy Profile

  2. I hate phone calls for these very reasons! The one call I make on a regular basis is to my mom on my lunch break, but I don’t get a break during the summer (in exchange for shorter Friday hours). Otherwise, I’m all about texts that may come five at a time or with hours in between!
    Rabia @TheLiebers recently posted…Ten Foods I Could Eat ForeverMy Profile

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      Right there with you! I am terrible at texting! I lost my cellphone 2 days ago and I can’t find it! It must be dead by now and really hell bent on hiding :) I know there will be a whole flotilla of texts to respond to once I do find it (hopefully), all way to late to even be considered even fashionably late replies!
      Jen recently posted…Dear Family and Friends, It’s Not You. It’s Me.My Profile

  3. Amen. Amen. Amen. And when I started home schooling this year, it was like summer never ended. I never call anyone. I am the worst about this, and what you’ve said here is exactly why.

  4. “And then summer happens and there is NO such thing as free time when all of the children are home.” Amen, sister! I feel for you, my friend. My blog and many other things have definitely taken a backseat to summer, and I only have one child home. I can’t even imagine what you are going through! Many prayers for you and your littles, Jen :). XOXO!
    Candace recently posted…The Grass Is Always Greener…My Profile

  5. People like to bash texting and social media because they say it disconnects us, but I disagree. Why is it that we have to be interrupted or telling someone at home to “wait a sec” to be connected?
    Courtney recently posted…Let Today HappenMy Profile

  6. Yes to all of this. My MIL likes to call almost every day just to check in, and it drives us nuts. It’s not that we don’t love her or want to talk to her, but there’s really not much to update in 24-48 hours. And the phone calls always happen at the worst time. (How is it she knows to call RIGHT when we’re sitting down for dinner, or at the exact moment we’re trying to get the kids to settle down for bed?) Just give me 15 or so years, and then I might have time…right?
    Leslie recently posted…What if the We Let the Kids Named the Baby?My Profile

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      My Mom does the same thing! I love her like crazy and tease her, but it’s like she has a “modar” to call right at the time kids are throwing up or screaming. I guess though it is always crazy here, so maybe she is just looking for the window of less crazy :) I hope 15 years does it, my husband and I won’t even have the last out of the house in that amount of time :)
      Jen recently posted…Dear Family and Friends, It’s Not You. It’s Me.My Profile

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      Facebook does help, at least I feel like I am connecting in some way with people and seeing their good news and life as well. I am the worst texter, I lost my phone 2 days ago and still cannot find the dang thing!! I know there are texts on there, because now people are emailing me they texted me a few days ago…. Sheesh, wish I could get it right sometimes :)
      Jen recently posted…Dear Family and Friends, It’s Not You. It’s Me.My Profile

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      Oy vey!! I am bad at any phone call. Today I was trying to talk to a repairman and by the end pf our 3 minute phone call ,I am pretty sure he thought I was loon. With all of the interruptions and aside conversations with my children that went on during those 3 minutes.
      Jen recently posted…Dear Family and Friends, It’s Not You. It’s Me.My Profile

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      I am really glad I am not alone here. It is truthfully so difficult for me to do a phone call, that I have decided in general its best to not do them. Unless I could make calls at like 4 am or midnight, but then again someone would probably throw up or wet the bed just as I dialed the number.
      Jen recently posted…Like A Rhinestone CowgirlMy Profile

  7. So much truth here. I am SO fortunate to have a family who understands and will simply text me. Call me when you can talk fully understanding that it might be quite a while. It is such a busy season of life with young children.

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