Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Excuse Me While I Slip a Sudden Intuitive Realization into Your Tuesday Morning

I was recently posed the question from a mother of a toddler:

How do you make yourself more interesting to your spouse when all that goes on in your day is kid related? I feel like I have nothing to talk about.

At the time it was asked, my Johnny-on-the-spot answer was something along the lines of there will be moments in your marriage when you feel you have nothing of interest to say and other times when neither of you shuts up. And unfortunately we've been conditioned to believe that meals shared in silence either signifies problems, or worse(?), that you're comfortable with each other because "comfort" has been given a bad rap. And heaven forbid we be comfortable with our spouse and who we are because "comfort" equals "boredom" and boredom breeds problems, real or imagined. And then we waste precious stress trying to become interesting. And ohmygod I could really go on for like three days about just being who you are and quit trying so damn hard.

Then I had an epiphany of sorts. If you're a married couple with children that IS a huge part of your life and who you are and it SHOULD be interesting to the person who helped create these people [however, this does not apply to other adults, like say, at a cocktail party with your spouses coworkers, where discussing the significance of the consistency and hue of poop might be met with...well, not the kind of interest you seek]. That equally important person in those children's lives should embrace the news of the events of the day that surround their child(ren). Ear infections, first words, finger foods, immunizations, and six wipe alarm blow-out diapers may not be SEXY or INTELLECTUAL, but they should damn well be interested in it. And if they're not then they should probably pull themselves aside and have a nice long chat about why that is.

Children are only children for such a short period of time before they're off creating lives of their own that may or may not involve you. And before you know it you're closing the chapter in your life entitled Parent to a Small Child. It should be a chapter that is relished, gobbled up, and hard to put down because it's the shortest chapter in the big book of life; and not treated as a void that needs to be filled until it passes.

34 comments:

Your Pal Pinki said...

I like that last paragraph. As happy as I am that the kids can wipe their own bottoms, I realize our time as a close family under the same roof is winding down. I treasure every minute with them.

Tricia said...

Bravo!

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Well said, but I still feel sorry for my husband when he comes home from work only to be hit with both barrels, as it were.

Anonymous said...

Tootsie, I am boo-hooing. This is exactly what I needed this morning after getting up with my toddler twice in the night. THANK YOU.

Karen said...

Well said. Kids grow up too fast, and if we don't talk about poopy diapers and snotty noses they'll be gone and we'll wish we had them back. (The kids, not the diapers and snot.)

Erica said...

Wow, as a first-time mom of an 8 month old, I really needed this. Most of the time my mind feels like mush and all I can talk about is our adorable little boy. What you said makes perfect sense!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Exactly!

And why would it be more interesting for you to hear about his work, with people you likely don't know, just because they're adults.

Sara said...

Here! Here!

feather nester said...

Well said. I couldn't agree more. With all of it. Thanks. Will forward this one on to others.

MamaHenClucks said...

Could you have said it any better? This is what I do and these two little chickies are the most interesting, important folks in my world. Rooster does a waaa-ay better job of listening to me go on about them then I do listening to him talk about work. After almost eleven years, I still don't really know what he does. ..

Undomestic Diva said...

The only time my husband is interested in hearing about the kids' poop is when it has somehow inflicted embarrassment on me - like when my middle guy's diaper overflowed in a Costco cart, piling up on a bunch of bananas, not to be found until I reached the register. Oh was he ever interested then! Tell me more! What did you say? Asshole.

barbra said...

You said it perfectly. I agree with you 1000%. 10,000%.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Well said. And no one else cares as much about those kids as the other parent.

Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING said...

AMEN to this and Jenn's comment.

Luckily my husband IS interested in what is going on in this part of our lives. I would hate to tell him to pull himself aside and have a talk with himself. He can be pretty hard on people.

KEEP BELIEVING

MommyTime said...

Thank you thank you thank you for reminding me of this. Sometimes, when I'm still in my pajamas at 1:30pm (hypothetically, OF COURSE) wrestling with the kids on the couch, and bleakly eying the mess on the floor, I feel I have "nothing" to talk about. But you are so right that having a non-grown-up day doesn't mean having a NOTHING day. Your last paragraph was perfect.

All Adither said...

Right you are! Thanks for the reminder.

AGSoccerMom said...

Yes Yes Yes, you go girl.
Speaking from experience, I remember thinking will this ever end only to replaced by the next adventure. Before you know it they are starting High School as is my man child this year.

Swirl Girl said...

Well said -

I've often been out with Hubby and looked over at other tables at couples that don't say a word to each other and I wonder - why?

georgie said...

FRIGGIN BRAVO!!!!

Eve Grey said...

I cannot agree more. I can't even THINK about how fast my children have/are growing up without crying today!

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

Amen.

And can we be best friends now? You can borrow my black Chanel bag whenever you want. I'll show up when you're snack mom and use my Kung-Fu grip on any other mom who disses raisins and orange juice.

movieponcho said...

last nights dinner conversation that could be heard over a crying newborn and a two year old singing abc's for the fourteenth time;
husband: what did you do today?
me: same as every day
husband: I still want to hear it

aparently it's like saying I love you, hearing about his own kids never gets old. (the fact that he lovingly stares at me while I talk aint bad either)

Auds at Barking Mad said...

This is so true! Having just sent my oldest daughter off to college one month ago today, exactly, I'm feeling this especially keenly right now.

My youngest will be three in December *wiping a tear from my eyes* and one of the things my hubby told me was that he enjoys watching me parent her, frustrations and temper tantrums on both of our parts, and all. Now how sexy is that?

Thanks for a brilliant post! I've Stumbled it!

anglophilefootballfanatic.com said...

So perfectly said, Tootsie. We each light up when we speak about our child. And, we smile, because he's the best of both of us.

Collette said...

Wonderfully said. I always get myself worried that once the kids are gone we won't have anything to talk about and our relationship will suffer because of it. But, seriously, life doesn't stop when the kids leave the house. Just because our conversations our about the kids now doesn't mean they always will be. I need to remind myself about that quite often.

JCK said...

What a beautiful post, girl! Loved it!

g said...

Dang, you are so freakin' smart. Your kids are still little, and I didn't get this until he was almost in college.

Love you!!!!

Minnesota Matron said...

Yes, yes -- we enjoy talking about these lives we've created together and a whole bunch of other stuff, too. The Matron is a talker! Good luck extricating yourself from the volunteer quicksand. Been there.

MelADramatic Mommy said...

Great post! When I got laid off I had this feeling that my days of laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning etc. weren't anything hubby wanted to hear about.

I felt a need to be "interesting." Then I realized it was more about how I felt about myself, not him so I started a blog and joined a book club.

I listen to his (technical, hard to follow) work stories and he listens to me complain about the people at Henry's who eat from the bulk bins.

Colleen said...

Thank you so much for writing this. There are so many women who appreciate this, even the mommies who work all day and spend such precious quality time with the little ones in the car, or scarfing down frozen pizza.

Mikki said...

Great post. That last paragraph in particular! GReat reminder. Thanks!

MamaMo said...

Beautifully put!!

Nicole Feliciano said...

Hey fun blog. I find reading brings something to the table. I can provide tidbits to my honey so its not all the kiddie review.

And now a shameless plug for my blog. Momtrends has an awesome mom contest running right now for adorable Wellie boot notepads from Pretty Printing:

http://momtrends.blogspot.com/2008/10/pretty-printing-notepad-contest.html

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