For the Love of God: Stop Talking!


My dear sweet children, I don’t know how to state this delicately, so I’ll just get straight to the point: will you please—for the love of all things true, beautiful and quiet—stop talking to me every second of every minute of every day. You do not need to say aloud to me every thought that passes through your little minds—or big minds. Whatever. The size of your minds is not the issue here. The point is that I need time—perhaps a minute or two a day, maybe an entire hour, if I may be so bold as to ask—to actually think and function.

When you see me at 6:30am—before I’ve had so much as a drop of coffee—try something radically new like, “Good morning.” And that’s it, mind you, not, “Good morning! I forgot to tell you that I need to be at the honors assembly by 4, so you’ll need to….” Please, give me a second to wake up before filling me in on where you need to be and when, and what manner of snacks, tasks or cash I’ll need to donate to the occasion.

When you see me at my computer, it means that I’m doing something—something that requires my attention. I cannot give my attention to the task at hand and listen to you at the same time. Perhaps a sign would help. I could tape a ruler to the back of my laptop with a sign hanging menacingly over the keyboard that says, “CHILDREN BEWARE. MOM AT WORK. TALK AT YOUR OWN RISK. THIN-LIPPED SMILE SLOUGHS OFF LIKE SNAKE SKIN WHEN SUBJECTED TO VERBAL ASSAULTS. UNPREDICTABLE HORRORS LURK JUST BENEATH MOISTURIZED SKIN.” 

Also, I’m not sure what I said or did to give you the impression that I care enough about anything on the Internet to stop what I’m doing, follow you to your computer, and watch or listen to a posted comic, game, or video clip. The truth is that I care less about Internet memes than I care about how many South American prostitutes Obama’s Secret Service hired for what was surely one hell of a night. These things neither amuse nor interest me.

Perhaps you could consider alternative receivers for your mind-numbing chatter. Friends, for example, I’ll bet your friends would care about how you fared on that Facebook game, what is it called again? (Yes, I know you’ve told me, at least one million times.) Perhaps you could talk to each other, in a room somewhere that I am not. Maybe you could keep a journal. You’ve got lots of notebooks, tons of pens, and a small arsenal of pencils. Writing down what you would otherwise say to me would exhaust those currently wasted resources—lickity split.

In short, my loves, will you please—for me, your mother, who carried you for nine just-shy-of-miserable months—SHUT. UP.

Thank you so much! Kisses! As you were (only silent).


About Linda

Linda spent thirteen years functioning as a working mom (where “functioning” grossly overstates her mental condition and “working” means “income-contributing”). Recently, she joined the ranks of stay-at-home moms (where “stay-at-home” means “working-for-free”), managing her household of six: herself, hubby “BigG,” daughter “Jay” (b.1994), identical tweens “Clyde” and “Tanner” (b.1998), and rescue dog “Lola” (b.1996?). Without diapers or refrigerator letters to explain her new status, Linda spends too much time justifying—to herself—her zero-earnings existence, which leads her to occasionally go where few moms bother to tread, like the end of a 20-foot ladder installing remote-control blinds. Having bluffed her way through toddler- and childhood, Linda only hopes that she and her kids can survive the angst and drama (and jacked-up auto insurance premiums) that precede adulthood. So far so good: C&T are kind, smart, happy guys who are easily entertained. And aside from periodically exuding PMS-induced tension, Jay is an atypical teen who is not really into fashion or boys and actually likes her mom and dad.

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6 Responses to For the Love of God: Stop Talking!

  1. Nicole May 9, 2012 at 10:13 am #

    Wow. This is pretty much where I am with my children also! My 7 year old cannot STOP TALKING or making noise. Even walking around she’s making some kind of blubbering noise. Then the 4 year old feels he has to compete and does the same thing or talks louder so he can be heard. Talk about noise pollution. I suppose I should relish in their innocence because soon enough they aren’t going to want anything to do with me and I’ll be wishing they were making blubbering noises everywhere they go. :)

  2. Shawna May 9, 2012 at 11:12 am #

    ah ha ha ha - so true - we spend the first 3 years trying to get them to talk, then the next 10 trying to get them to shut up - and then the next 5 trying to get them to talk to us again - = wouldn’t trade a minute of it, but so happy to read other mom’s with the same feelings :)

  3. Rebecca May 9, 2012 at 11:57 am #

    This is a great post and I totally understand where the writer is coming from. HOWEVER, as the parent of a child with an ASD, I realize just how lucky I am to have a child that can communicate with me. There are so many parents who I’m sure would love to have to say these things to their kids. Having typically developing children is a real blessing that sometimes parents forget that.

  4. avatar
    Tina May 9, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

    Hilarious! And so true. I would like to order one of those signs for the back of my laptop please. Maybe two actually, one for outside the bathroom door as well.

  5. misssrobin May 9, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

    Amen. I thought this was supposed to get better when they were teens. You know, “they hate me and won’t talk to me”? Yeah, that didn’t happen.

    Where’s the silent brooding I was promised?

  6. eskimopie May 11, 2012 at 9:45 am #

    I am so relieved to know that other children walk around making noise, just to make noise. My oldest (10) is constantly humming, singing, clicking her tongue…something! There are times when it honestly makes me a nervous wreck, like when I’m driving, standing in a long line in a crowded store, on the phone for business purposes, and the list goes on. I’ve seen those moms who can tune their kids out, seeming to not even notice the tirade of sounds coming from their children. I wish to be one of those moms :)