In My Defense: Why I Stink at Replying to All Forms of Communication

I have a few posts planned in the “In my defense” theme.  Here is my first.

If there was an award for “Least Likely to Reply” I would be the Mrs. Universe equivalent to the winner.   If I were really honest, I’d change my voice mail greeting to say:

Thank you for the phone call.  Please note, I almost never answer my phone and I never listen to any messages.  For best chance of a response, please hang up the phone and send a text.  If I don’t respond to your text within 48 hours, I suggest a resend.    If the reminder doesn’t work, please accept my apologies in advance.

 

Email and Facebook Private Messages would have this auto reply.

Thank you for the note.  I do my best to respond to all messages that require a one sentence reply within one week.  However, a reply that requires thought on my part or cannot be communicated in less than one sentence may take closer to one month.  If it reaches beyond one month and I still have not respond, I will be too embarrassed to respond so late and will delete your message.  Feel free to resend, or send me a text, if this urgent.  Thank you for your kind understanding, Tatum.

So, you’re probably thinking, “well, at least she responds to her texts.”  I’d like to say that’s true, but I can only say that I’m better with text, but far from perfect.  Texts are not instant feedback guarantees with me.   Texts often take 48 hours and I can pretty much guarantee, when I do respond, it’ll be from the toilet (err…my office with a lock on the door).

What I hate most about my lack of communication…with EVERYONE…  Seriously, the lottery could be calling to tell me I won the $1 Billion jack pot and I may forget to reply…is that I know it comes across as me thinking my time is more valuable than other people’s time.

I really… I promise.. I do not think that.  We are all crazy busy.  My life is not more important than anyone else’s.

However, my life structure is different from many other’s.  It’s especially different from when I worked outside of the home.  In my working world, my work day was structured in 30-60 minute time blocks.  I usually had meetings filling 50%-100% of my hours in the office and then I’d come home and “do” my work after Kellen was in bed.

Do you know what I would give today to have 30-60 minutes to discuss/focus on anything?  30-60 minutes without needing to stop to give a feeding, or put on braces or an eye patch, or redirect from an accident waiting to happen or to answer “why is my [pretend] car’s exhaust so stinky, mommy” or respond to, “I’m still hungry, mommy”.  30-60 minutes of my brain mostly being focused on one topic.  Now that, is a luxury I can barely imagine anymore.

Honestly, the bathroom is my only sanctuary…that is, if you consider a sanctuary a place where tiny hands are reaching under the door and another voice is yelling, “what’s taking you so long, mommy”?  My day revolves around the needs and attentions of a 2 and 4 year old.  Do you know what their attention span is?  5-10 minutes.  MAX.  And that’s only for something really, really interesting.

This is not complaining.  This is reality.  My world today, is not scheduled in 30-60 minutes time blocks, it is structured in 1-2 minute increments.  If I can give any topic a full thought for 5 minutes, I’m ecstatic.  It might even come out relatively clear without me forgetting a step or a punctuation mark.

I know what you’re thinking, “but there is always nap time”.

Owen takes anywhere between a 15 minute and 3 hour nap (usually 30-60 minutes).  In that time, I write a blog post, make any appointment phone calls I need and try to spend a little time on social media…because that’s how people find the blog.  Oh, that’s also often the first time I’ve eaten all day and about every third day, I’m happy to squeeze in a shower.  Gross, I know.  But again, that’s reality.  (Let’s not discuss the last time I got to take a long enough shower to shave my legs…I might be cast in an upcoming Geico commercial if I’m not careful).

“Okay, I’ll call you at night,” many people think.  By 8:30 when both kids are in bed and I’ve just spent the last 13 hours thinking in 1-2 minute increments, my brain is fried.  I might be on the computer as I pull up The Voice on demand (no time to watch it when it actually airs) and stare at Adam Levine (because I know he’s secretly into married, special needs moms who don’t shower or shave on a regular basis) while I poke around on the computer.  But, really, what I’m doing is waiting for 11:00 when I can go feed Owen and then go to bed.  My brain needs this quiet.  It’s going to be thinking in 1-2 minute increments again in 8 hours.

So, at the end of the day, my email, voice mails  texts and Facebook messages, don’t always get a prompt reply because if you’re asking me for more than two minutes, I will gladly give it, as soon as I find it.  I hope it’ll be soon, because I probably really do want to talk to you.

And, maybe you’re wondering, “If you’re so busy, why not quit the blog”.  Owen is up for his nap now and needs to be fed and have his braces put on, so I’ll just answer with, “Hell, no.  I love my blog.”

© Copyright Tatum, All rights Reserved. Written For: Ain't No Roller Coaster

9 thoughts on “In My Defense: Why I Stink at Replying to All Forms of Communication

  1. love this! nothing like little fingers under the bathroom door 🙂 I work out of the house 4 days a week and am certain that I would lose all contact with the outside world if it weren’t for being able to squeeze in an email here and there during the work day and getting in phonecalls on my way to and from meetings.

  2. My times to check FB or e-mail or make phone calls are mostly at work or while I’m hooked up to the breast pump, which today seemed a lot like solitary confinement. After work I pick up Xander and it is go go go to get things done for him and chores around the house, bottles, feedings, dishes, bathtime, try to make dinner, maybe a load of laundry, bedtime for Xander and then one more pumping before bed only to get up at 4:50am to pump again, feed Xander and get him back to sleep and then get ready for work. Often on weekends I leave my phone in another room and miss calls and texts, but that’s ok because I need to spend time with the family. I really do miss Xander while I am at work but I also know it wouldn’t be easy to stay at home with him either tho I wish I could! I can totally relate to the shower thing… it has gotten a little better with less pumpings, but not like it used to be!

    • Jody, 1) it was nice to meet you, although it didn’t feel like we talked. I was in 1-2 minute zone at the walk too. 2). Have you read Joanna’s post about pumping? 3). I really hope I didn’t come across as saying its easier to work outside of the house than be at home. I certainly know that’s not the case. As you said, there are trade offs. Is it funny that I miss the commute to and from work the most? That perfect quiet time…at least in the days I wasn’t road raging ;-). Yep, a whole lotta trade offs.

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