Some days Mummy just really needs grown-up conversation
Talk to me, please! About anything. That brilliant new drama you watched on the telly last night. The appalling service at the restaurant you went to at the weekend. Have a moan about the friend who’s really annoying you right now. Fill me in on the latest gossip from your newly-divorced cousin and the hot dates she’s going on. Or anything else you desire that would qualify as an actual adult conversation.
Because some days I could really, really do with some grown-up chatter – and this week has been full of those days.
Don’t get me wrong, I love spending my days with my children, I really do. I feel very lucky that being a self-employed writer means I can fit my work around my family so that I can share so much of my children’s early years with them.
But. But. BUT…. as happy and grateful as I am for my three amazing children, there are some days when I really need to talk about grown-up stuff with other adults who aren’t my husband.
There are times when I think there must be more to my life than singing nursery rhymes and reading picture books to my toddler. There are moments when I can’t face answering any more impossible questions from my four-year-old. There are days when I am bored of the sound of my own voice asking my children to stop arguing. And there are occasions when I curse self-employment and not having any real-life colleagues because I just need to talk to other grown-ups.
It sounds like such a stupid thing to say, because I do have conversations with adults all the time. But mostly, it’s a quick catch-up at the school gates, while parents drop their kids off before dashing to work. Or its at soft play or the park where you’ve met up with friends but you barely manage to hear the end of a story because there are nappies to be changed, babies to be fed, toilet trips to be taken, tantrums to be dealt with, and playing with your child to be done.
Juicy conversations get started and never finished due to some interruption or other. Or you tend to chat about ‘safe’ subjects, appropriate for little ears. A lot of the chat is kid-driven by latest milestones or pressing parenting issues. These kinds of connections often end up making you feel more disconnected; because you don’t get to scratch below the surface you don’t have the chance to work on the intimacy which helps those friendships to cement.
Then there are the weeks when day time plans with other parent friends get cancelled, or the nights when your other half, if you have one, is working late or going out, meaning it’s quite possible to go for days at a time without a significant conversation with anyone who I didn’t give birth to.
I’m fortunate to have a few groups of friends where the chatter is free-flowing on Facebook messenger. Their posts keep me sane on the days when parenting is particularly challenging. I know if I have an issue, or need to moan, they are all ears and I’m truly grateful for that.
But I also know that we’re all quickly typing with one hand while doing a million parent-related things with the other, often finishing up messages because there are little people to attend to. There are exciting stories that don’t get told because it’d take too long to write it all down. There is news to be shared that gets forgotten about because someone disappears for a while and the conversation quickly moves on.
And, to state the obvious, these conversations are not happening face-to-face. I can’t see my friends laughing when one of them recounts a juicy piece of gossip, or give them a hug when something is worrying them. As much as I love their online talk, it’s just not the same as seeing them in the flesh.
Of course there are nights when I go out with my various groups of mum friends – but these happen nowhere near as frequently as before kids. Partly because it takes weeks to coordinate everyone’s schedules when it comes to childcare, partly because people are knackered from parenting/going to work/running a household.
When we do get to meet up, in the evenings, away from the kids, the conversation starts flowing away from parenting and on to the exciting stuff and you find yourself crying with laughter as the night progresses. “We must do this more often,” you say, although deep down you all know it’ll take you another three months to find a night that fits.
Like I said, I love being a mum and I love spending my days with my children, I really do. I know this time won’t last forever. But there’s more to me than just being a mum and those lonely days where you don’t talk to anyone can be really tough.
So next time a random mum starts chatting away a little too enthusiastically to you in soft play, don’t be alarmed. She’s not a crazy stalker woman, she probably just hasn’t spoken to another grown-up for a few days.
Can you relate? Do you ever have days when you crave grown-up conversation? Do let me know in the comments section below, by tweeting me on @cardiffmummy, or come and hang out on the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page and join in the chat there.
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I am with you, we are in the same boat and on the same page. Totally, completely understand where you are coming from. Adult conversation seems to be either a fleeting few words during school runs or hushed chatter whilst running in the opposite direction to prevent a child from some accident or random issue.
Yet when we finally get out and the wine gets flowing what is it we talk about ? Yep…our kids and how we miss them lol
I am just starting to accept that my life may now have to be 80% child talk and 20% Facebook messenger. Thank god for the Internet or I may just lose my shit.
Oh this post hits home most definitely. iAs a self employed writer I recognise your sentiments. I go to groups either mums business networking or simply stay and play and they really help but then I have to come home and catch up on deadlines.good to know I am not alone 🙂
I know this would definitely be something I would struggle with if I were a stay-at-home mum. I find most days hard enough with thoughts of loneliness thanks to my depression. As much as a blessing kids are, we need our own time and we need our own social time x
After having my first 5 years ago i wanted to return to work because if this very reason. I returned 2 days a week. After having ny second hubby wanted me to quit my job all together and stay at home. However i love the 2 days i go in. I have a laugh and can chat with my friends at work. I love to just be free from anything child like for a few hours for then 2 days. Its so nice and much needed.
AMEN to that mama, i can completely relate to this…like COMPLETELY. I think as much as we love our children and enjoy spending time with them, there’s always going to be that need for some “adult” time and conversation. Motherhood is incredibly rewarding but it is bloody tough at times and often a little bit of adult company is just what we to pick us up! xxx
I can definitely realte as a stay at home I rarely get much adult conversation during the day when my husband is at work.
It is so easy these days to forget to have proper conversations with people. I am to quick to text and avoid actually talking to someone be that face to face or on the phone but you miss so much! Xx
I can totally relate to this. Sometimes I just crave alone time too – in silence haha!
Ha! I know this all too well, especially in the very early days of being a new mum.
I had a lovely day the other day with my girls parenting solo. It went so well and I felt like super mum but when my hubby came home I found myself chatting away constantly about nothing really. I clearly needed an adult conversation!
I can totally relate to this especially as I have the two kids at home all day everyday – sometimes you just want adult conversation, like you said about anything. I think I probably talk my partners ear off when he gets home from work some nights lol
I know exactly how you feel! Other than not being able to afford food, rent, clothes, one of the reasons I returned to work after having my first was because my conversation was restricted to washing nappies and breast feeding. We didnt even have mobile phones or the internet. Completely isolated 🙂