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View as: GRID LIST

DO I TALK TOO MUCH?

1
Do you sometimes feel like you spend the whole day talking to your child? Does it feel like sometimes you can’t stop? I’m asking because I feel like I might have a problem.

Here’s are some snapshots from last Wednesday…

During the morning…

Me: Shall we read a book? This book? Do you want to read this one? Or the one that makes farty noises? Don’t pull the whole thing apart. It’s already ripped on that page. You want the TV on? I can’t face Loose Women today. Let’s draw something. Look I’m drawing a cat. The cat’s saying

SelfishMother.com
2
MIAOW! It’s got really long fur and it’s saying MIAOW!

Daughter: Apple?

Later on at lunchtime…

Me: Do you want a bite of my sandwich? It’s tuna. You seem to like cheese more these days. Do you fancy pasta for tea? You love pasta. And sausages. I’d say sausages are your all time fave. Let me check the freezer. The freezer is cold. It’s like the North Pole in there. Did you know penguins live in the North Pole? I think the freezer needs defrosting. I must have left the door open earlier.

Daughter: Pasta.

Later in the

SelfishMother.com
3
bathroom…

Me: Hey I’m in the toilet. Can you leave the door? I’ll be out in a minute. I’m having a wee. Mum doesn’t wee in a nappy. She needs the toilet. And when you’re grown up you’ll use the toilet too. I might stay in here for a while. It’s nice and calm. No I’m joking. Let me out.

Daughter walks off.

Does this running commentary feel excessive?

I keep this up ALL DAY. In the evening I have to eat Strepsils because I’m basically hoarse. And if my phone rings I hang up because I’m completely and utterly done with

SelfishMother.com
4
talking.

Part of the problem is my daughter is fourteen months old. She says a few words here and there but can’t contribute a lot on the conversation side of things. It’s not fifty/fifty. It’s mainly input from me at the moment. Many of you probably have the opposite problem and your child talks TOO MUCH. They’re probably asking you loads of questions. You probably can’t get a word in edgeways. But I have a feeling I’m always going to be this way. Talking too much. Not leaving enough silence. And I’m not the only one. I listen to other

SelfishMother.com
5
parents and they seem to be talking to their child a lot too.

Here’s a sample of some parents I heard in the park:

Dad: Is that a leaf you picked up? What a great leaf!

Mum: That’s a nice leaf. Shall we put it in the buggy?

Dad: We could take that leaf home and make it into a picture.

Mum: We could put it in your special Winter box with the twig and the pebble we got yesterday. We could take a photo of it.

Child looks bored.

Mum: Do you want to go on the swing?

Dad: Shall I push you?

Child nods.

Dad: Great here we

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6
go.

Mum points.

Mum: There’s a parakeet in the tree over there.

Dad: A nice green parakeet I see it too.

Mum: I can see parakeet and a squirrel.

Dad: Two parakeets and a squirrel!

One of the things that depresses me most when I hear these parents is the fact they’re completely ignoring one another. What sane adult talks about parakeets? They aren’t talking about the new series of The Fall. Or John Sim’s American accent in The Intruders. Or why the local fox keeps crapping outside the back door right next to the cat flap.

SelfishMother.com
7
They’re not making plans for the weekend. They’re completely focused on their child. And the child isn’t even listening. The child probably wants them to shut up. The child wants to think its own thoughts. It wants to kick some mud. It wants to rub its nose up against the climbing frame to see if it’s really as cold as it looks.

And then as I continue walking in the park (still talking to my daughter in the buggy whilst she falls asleep) I think why are we talking so much? What’s the cause? Are we scared of silence? Do we want to engage with

SelfishMother.com
8
our kids all the damned time? And many of you may still be thinking – I don’t have this problem, I don’t know what you’re going on and on about. But tell me honestly. Don’t you ever find yourself filling the silence with mindless jibber jabber? Do you ever think why am I saying this self-same thing again? Can’t I shut up now? Do you find yourself singing ’La La La’ just to fill in the time whilst you’re changing a nappy. Do you sometimes feel guilty if you haven’t spoken for a while? And how long is that ‘while’ for you? Is it ten
SelfishMother.com
9
minutes? Half an hour? More? And do you ever have conversations with your child and you don’t even look at your partner? And then at the end of the day do you feel spent? Finished? Game over? Do you have to eat a Strepsil?

My partner and I used to sit at the table to have our dinner. We thought it was important to try and preserve a bit of time for the two of us. Time for us to talk about the day and what we’d been up to. In reality we found it hard to muster up much enthusiasm but at least we gave it a go. But recently there’s been a worrying

SelfishMother.com
10
development. We’ve started eating dinner in front of the TV. And IT’S GREAT. There’s no discussion of squirrels, how furry they are or saucepans being heavy or ice cream being a special treat. We also don’t have to try to come up with stuff to entertain one another. Instead it’s just us and the TV.

Pure romance really.

So one of the things I’ve started to think is I need to stop this incessant talking. I don’t need to engage with my daughter from the moment she opens her eyes to the moment she rests in her nest again. It’s not good.

SelfishMother.com
11
I don’t need to point out every car, truck, robin, tree, bit of pavement. She can work stuff out for herself. I can allow some silence to come into our lives. It’s okay to stop talking sometimes. And with all the spare bits of conversation I have left at the end of the day I may be able to speak more in the evenings. I can answer the phone and speak to my sister. And fight the urge to flop in front of the TV. I will even save up some good conversational bits and bobs for my partner instead of just grunting and passing him the bag of crisps.

Anyway

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12
I’ll shut up for now and let you get on.

 

Motherhood is different for all of us… if you’d like to share your thoughts, why not join our Network & start posting?

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- 25 Nov 14

Do you sometimes feel like you spend the whole day talking to your child? Does it feel like sometimes you can’t stop? I’m asking because I feel like I might have a problem.

Here’s are some snapshots from last Wednesday…

During the morning…

Me: Shall we read a book? This book? Do you want to read this one? Or the one that makes farty noises? Don’t pull the whole thing apart. It’s already ripped on that page. You want the TV on? I can’t face Loose Women today. Let’s draw something. Look I’m drawing a cat. The cat’s saying MIAOW! It’s got really long fur and it’s saying MIAOW!

Daughter: Apple?

Later on at lunchtime…

Me: Do you want a bite of my sandwich? It’s tuna. You seem to like cheese more these days. Do you fancy pasta for tea? You love pasta. And sausages. I’d say sausages are your all time fave. Let me check the freezer. The freezer is cold. It’s like the North Pole in there. Did you know penguins live in the North Pole? I think the freezer needs defrosting. I must have left the door open earlier.

Daughter: Pasta.

Later in the bathroom…

Me: Hey I’m in the toilet. Can you leave the door? I’ll be out in a minute. I’m having a wee. Mum doesn’t wee in a nappy. She needs the toilet. And when you’re grown up you’ll use the toilet too. I might stay in here for a while. It’s nice and calm. No I’m joking. Let me out.

Daughter walks off.

Does this running commentary feel excessive?

I keep this up ALL DAY. In the evening I have to eat Strepsils because I’m basically hoarse. And if my phone rings I hang up because I’m completely and utterly done with talking.

Part of the problem is my daughter is fourteen months old. She says a few words here and there but can’t contribute a lot on the conversation side of things. It’s not fifty/fifty. It’s mainly input from me at the moment. Many of you probably have the opposite problem and your child talks TOO MUCH. They’re probably asking you loads of questions. You probably can’t get a word in edgeways. But I have a feeling I’m always going to be this way. Talking too much. Not leaving enough silence. And I’m not the only one. I listen to other parents and they seem to be talking to their child a lot too.

Here’s a sample of some parents I heard in the park:

Dad: Is that a leaf you picked up? What a great leaf!

Mum: That’s a nice leaf. Shall we put it in the buggy?

Dad: We could take that leaf home and make it into a picture.

Mum: We could put it in your special Winter box with the twig and the pebble we got yesterday. We could take a photo of it.

Child looks bored.

Mum: Do you want to go on the swing?

Dad: Shall I push you?

Child nods.

Dad: Great here we go.

Mum points.

Mum: There’s a parakeet in the tree over there.

Dad: A nice green parakeet I see it too.

Mum: I can see parakeet and a squirrel.

Dad: Two parakeets and a squirrel!

One of the things that depresses me most when I hear these parents is the fact they’re completely ignoring one another. What sane adult talks about parakeets? They aren’t talking about the new series of The Fall. Or John Sim’s American accent in The Intruders. Or why the local fox keeps crapping outside the back door right next to the cat flap. They’re not making plans for the weekend. They’re completely focused on their child. And the child isn’t even listening. The child probably wants them to shut up. The child wants to think its own thoughts. It wants to kick some mud. It wants to rub its nose up against the climbing frame to see if it’s really as cold as it looks.

And then as I continue walking in the park (still talking to my daughter in the buggy whilst she falls asleep) I think why are we talking so much? What’s the cause? Are we scared of silence? Do we want to engage with our kids all the damned time? And many of you may still be thinking – I don’t have this problem, I don’t know what you’re going on and on about. But tell me honestly. Don’t you ever find yourself filling the silence with mindless jibber jabber? Do you ever think why am I saying this self-same thing again? Can’t I shut up now? Do you find yourself singing ‘La La La’ just to fill in the time whilst you’re changing a nappy. Do you sometimes feel guilty if you haven’t spoken for a while? And how long is that ‘while’ for you? Is it ten minutes? Half an hour? More? And do you ever have conversations with your child and you don’t even look at your partner? And then at the end of the day do you feel spent? Finished? Game over? Do you have to eat a Strepsil?

My partner and I used to sit at the table to have our dinner. We thought it was important to try and preserve a bit of time for the two of us. Time for us to talk about the day and what we’d been up to. In reality we found it hard to muster up much enthusiasm but at least we gave it a go. But recently there’s been a worrying development. We’ve started eating dinner in front of the TV. And IT’S GREAT. There’s no discussion of squirrels, how furry they are or saucepans being heavy or ice cream being a special treat. We also don’t have to try to come up with stuff to entertain one another. Instead it’s just us and the TV.

Pure romance really.

So one of the things I’ve started to think is I need to stop this incessant talking. I don’t need to engage with my daughter from the moment she opens her eyes to the moment she rests in her nest again. It’s not good. I don’t need to point out every car, truck, robin, tree, bit of pavement. She can work stuff out for herself. I can allow some silence to come into our lives. It’s okay to stop talking sometimes. And with all the spare bits of conversation I have left at the end of the day I may be able to speak more in the evenings. I can answer the phone and speak to my sister. And fight the urge to flop in front of the TV. I will even save up some good conversational bits and bobs for my partner instead of just grunting and passing him the bag of crisps.

Anyway I’ll shut up for now and let you get on.

 

Motherhood is different for all of us… if you’d like to share your thoughts, why not join our Network & start posting?

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I'm Super Editor here at SelfishMother.com and love reading all your fantastic posts and mulling over all the complexities of modern parenting. We have a fantastic and supportive community of writers here and I've learnt just how transformative and therapeutic writing can me. If you've had a bad day then write about it. If you've had a good day- do the same! You'll feel better just airing your thoughts and realising that no one has a master plan. I'm Mum to a daughter who's 3 and my passions are writing, reading and doing yoga (I love saying that but to be honest I'm no yogi).

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