Please don’t call me: Here’s why mums will text but not talk

Kinderling News & Features

Anyone else hate answering the phone? As a mum, Lana Hallowes hates chatting old school as a mum, and here’s why.

I rarely call my mother-in-law these days but it’s not because I don’t like her. I’m actually quite fond of the old bat. It’s just that I don’t have an hour to spare chatting to her. You see my MIL loves to talk on the phone and I just can’t do it anymore. 

The bigger problem is that she doesn’t have a mobile phone, so texting the words, ‘can we visit on Sunday?’ is out. It’s a phone call or no visit. But if I’m being brutally honest, you should know that if I can’t text you, then you’re not going to hear from me much – if at all. It has nothing to do with you and everything to do with having little ones. Let me explain. 

Constant interruptions

Yesterday I needed to make a simple doctor’s appointment. After strategically plonking my boys in front of Paw Patrol, I dialled the number and the conversation went like this:

“Yes, hello, I’d like to make an appoint … oh hang on, sorry, my toddler just pushed the TV remote and … oh OK, fixed, I’m back. As I was saying I’d like to … shhh … make an appointment … here have some sultanas but go back to the couch please … sorry about that, do you have any appointments on Friday? Yes? … Don’t cry, just pick them up, shhh … I’ll take that. Oh actually, hang on, sorry, I’ll just step outside so you can hear me over the noise. Is that better? Yes, as I was saying Friday morning is, oh I’m sorry, I’ll have to call you back.

And the reason I had to call back? My pre-schooler ‘stole’ a sultana from my toddler who was picking them up off the floor and a pushing fight erupted that needed my intervention. Not even sultanas are safe. Sigh. 

A pleasure no longer

Before I had kids, I’d love nothing more than to make a hot cup of tea and chat away to a dear friend on the phone. Even if it wasn’t a long conversation, I was able to think clearly, laugh freely and effortlessly communicate my thoughts without a little person interrupting me 50 times. 

My phone usually rings out these days. I either don’t get to it in time, thanks to being mid-nappy change for instance, or I know there’s no point answering it because it isn’t a good time to chat. One of my boys might be having a meltdown over their train track breaking or I am trying to get them dressed and out the door for swimming. And if it is a good time, because they are in bed asleep, for instance, I’m usually too exhausted to talk and falling asleep next to them.  

Text is better

These days texting is my – and all of my mum-friends – preferred method of communication. It seems all of us are having the same phone issues. Here’s one of our typical text convos: 

Me: Wanna meet at the playground with the ducks at 10am?

Reply: Can we make it 10:30? Poo explosion. Full outfit change!

Me: Ha! Yep, c u then x

See, easy!

Next time, please text me. I promise I still want to be in your life, I just can’t always chat on the phone.  

This article was originally published on Babyology.