Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Silence is a Hot Commodity

I was speaking to a friend the other day and we were discussing children, specifically how they make us insane. The lists, scenarios, anecdotes, conversations etc about this topic are endless and the reason I know this is because I have been to the end of the Internet and have found that my friends and I are not alone. There are a zillion mommy blogs and believe you me, this is a recurring topic.

However, what I was trying to pinpoint about this is what it is EXACTLY that makes us feel this way. I love my children and would do anything for them, just like pretty much every other parent in the world. They are nice kids (mostly) and don't do much in the way of really messing up. Finally it struck us. The problem is not that they are bad kids, or are saying/doing really ugly things - it's that they NEVER STOP TALKING. Ever. Nevereverever.

The upside to this is that we as parents are much more informed about what's going on in their heads than I think our parents were with us. The kids are super engaged in the family unit as a whole and having an existing dialogue in place has been helpful when we've been challenged by needing to have a conversation about unpleasant or embarrassing topics. The downside to this is that sometimes I feel like I'm being eaten by alligators. Tiny, little needle-teeth-having alligators, taking little nibbles of my sanity away, one bite at a time.

While I think we all would agree that while the days of "children are seen and not heard" were not exactly emotionally healthy, I think the constant interaction is leading me down the path to the loony bin. I have heard stories of grown women hiding on the roofs of their houses, in their cars or in their closets (I know that's not just me y'all) just to have some peace and quiet. How do we find a balance for this? I don't really know what to do, other than to sometimes just tell them that I don't really feel like talking or would like some quiet time but that is kinda like putting a band aid on a bullet wound. Do you guys have any suggestions? I'd love to hear, no, scratch that. I'd love to read them - I'm all talked out.

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Kristen said...

Imagine having my kid scenario...7 days of kids, 7 days of no kids...100mph-0mph instantaneously. It's a very hard balance. The 100mph drives me insane, but so does the rapid stop down to 0mph. Instead of hiding in closet or on the roof, I find my quiet time in the car...alone, no radio...just driving with a clear head and silence! During the 7 days without my kids, I miss them dearly and would take the 100mph 24/7/365 if I could, but then again maybe 24/7/300 would a more sane scenario!
I believe that we are all in the same boat. As they grow older and less dependent on us we will look back and wish we had "these times" of nonstop talking and chaos to occupy our lives once again.
But I do totally agree that parenting and child rearing is very overwhelming at times (most of the time).

bereccah said...

I can totally imagine what you mean. When mine spend the night at the grandparents I am all weirded out by the fact that they aren't there. I think I just want them to be there AND be quieter! But I know I'll miss the baby alligators one day. ;-)