I apologised for how loud my little ones were being in the background. It seems to be a force of habit when I’m on the phone and this time was no exception.
Even with the noise-canceling technology built into mobile devices today, my children can still be heard on the other end of the phone – when they want to be.
I was on the phone to a friend who was quick to respond to my apology by letting me know that she understood the position I was in. After all, she too was a mother. However, she pointed out that my kids clearly had no respect for me and she believed that this was what caused them to be anything but silent whilst I was on the phone.
Confused by this I mentioned the ages of the little ones that were the cause of the background noise. They were only 3, 2 and 1 and I genuinely believed that was how that age group behaved- laughing randomly, babbling and interacting with one another loudly. Turns out I was very VERY wrong!
My friend explained that although all of her children are grown and have moved out of home, when they were that age, they had respect for their parents whenever they were on the phone and they waited in complete silence until the call was over.
My mind was blown! Added to this I was extremely embarrassed for thinking that background noise was normal. I mean whenever I spoke to my other friends with young kids all I ever hear is the commotion that is part and parcel of being a parent.
How did this lady manage to get young children to wait quietly in complete silence so that she could use the phone in peace?! I just had to know her secret.
What Was The Secret?
Unfortunately, as far as giving me any guidance was concerned, all she could impart on me was that it all had to do with ‘respect’. If my children respected me then they wouldn’t make any sound whilst I am on the phone, regardless of how young they are.
In reality, I thought that my little ones were respectful. I mean they weren’t entirely evil. Then again I am their mother so of course I’m completely biased!
With no direction from this lady and no one else to seek advice from (because all my other friends were in the same boat as me) I was left to my own devices to work this one out.
How Can I Hush My Kids?
How the devil was I going to muzzle my kids without them wanting to rebel and make even louder sounds!?
This lady was somewhat helpful in that she expressed that there was no reward involved in silencing her kids. She didn’t get them to do any activity in particular whilst she used the phone. Somehow, as if by magic, her little ones simply sat in silence.
Just Not Possible!
Well, I had no hope in hell for a similar experience! There was just no incentive for my children to sit in silence. There are far too many of them. And I’m sure if I suggested it I would start a rebellion!
After many failed attempts and years of trying different methods, I feel I am at the stage where I can share my own secret to quiet phone calls….something which I didn’t believe was possible!
Pick Your Calls Strategically!
You need to choose your phone calls like you do your battles! Which ones do you really require silence for and who will be able to cope with hearing the kids cracking up in the background.
For example, if my mother calls, I don’t need the kids to watch their volume. Alternatively, if I’m on a business call I have a code with my kids! I say ‘professional call’ and continue miming those two words even whilst I’m on the phone to remind them of their volume… and IT WORKS!
Of course, my younger kids have absolutely no clue what I’m on about, but they probably fear that I’ve lost the plot and most likely out of sheer confusion as they see me miming at them, choose to play quieter whilst I’m on the phone.
Are We Embarrassed To Call?
Is this why so many mothers suffer from feeling isolated and lonely after becoming a parent? Are we embarrassed to chat to our friends whilst our kids try to accustom themselves to the idea that we can focus on more than one thing at a time? As vital as it may seem for us to hear the same story about some fascinating thing that they’ve watched on YouTube, it is possible for us to still love them even if our attention is slightly deviated from their repetitive tales.
Of course, if my kids were crying or fighting and actually needed me then my attention would not waiver from them. But what’s an extra background laugh between friends, really?
Stop Judging A Mum For The Noise In The Background
Surely there has got to be a better way than judging a mother based on the volume of her children. We can’t have all forgotten what it’s like to be young and besides, time is precious, the time you are being given by someone with young kids is valuable and often extremely short. So why not just enjoy it for what it is… a moment, albeit brief, where a mother will turn some of her attention from that which matters most in the world to her, so she can have a conversation with you.
It’s totally worth it, if you just allow yourself the patience to see the funny side.
Embrace The Noise!
Obviously, there are times that we can all benefit from children being silent. However as the mother of a non-verbal child I can tell you right now that there is nothing more glorious than the sound of a child’s voice. There is nothing more appealing to me than a child’s speech and there is nothing that I long for more than to hear my son say something… even if it creates a bit of background noise. He is turning 11 this year, and I would take a lifetime of background noise if only I could just hear him say “Mum”.
Silence may be golden, but the sound of a child’s voice is life… perhaps it takes silence to appreciate noise just as it takes noise to appreciate silence.
Do you try and keep your kids quiet while you are on a phone call? Or don’t worry about it? Tell us in the comments below.