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.”

Giving Hope a Try

Can someone please tell me where the month of March went?  I look out my window and certainly don’t see spring.

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Maybe it’s because time is moving so quickly that the seasons can’t even keep up?  (Makes me feel a little less bad about not keeping up with my housework if Mother Nature can’t even keep up).

The best part about March being nearly over is that it’s the month that has scared me the most.  I know it’s silly, but last year, Owen was in the hospital for 29 days of March, therefore I had this horrible fear of repeating it this year.  I wonder how old Owen will be when I finally don’t cringe every time someone sneezes or I won’t fear certain months and days on the calendar.

The fact is, his risks are still high.  Nobody wants him sick and we still have to take precautions, but after the Pulmonary visit last week, we are starting to slowly poke our heads outside of the safety of our house.  I took the boys to a restaurant for dinner…at 3:30 PM.  Owen has started coming in with me to pick up and drop off Kellen at school.  I even talked to the doctor about Owen going to school this summer.  She said the idea makes her a little nervous too, but “Owen’s earned the right to try”.  If he is starting to need prednisone regularly or gets hospitalized, we will have to be ready to pull him, but unless we try, we’ll never know if he’s ready.

Honestly, it’s these moments of hope that make me realize just how much the last two years have effected me.  I’m terrified of hope.  It seems too many times, I’ve hoped and things haven’t turned out as I’d wanted.  My brain bashes all the hope in my heart, but somehow, my heart keeps winning.  It sounds crazy, but when I feel hope, I tear up every time.  In part, it’s tears of joy for what we continue to overcome.  At the same time, it’s tears of fear of going backwards.  Fears of another jinx hanging over our heads.

My favorite words on hope, were written by Keira Sorrells for Papa’s of Preemie’s, I Choose Hope campaign.  She says, “[for some] choosing hope is not a singular moment; it is a choice we have to make over and over again.”  I didn’t know it about myself, until I read it in Keira’s words.  Each time I have moments of my head and heart fighting over if my welling hope is appropriate or not, I think of Keira’s words.

The fears aren’t gone, but the hope in my heart gives me the permission to let him try and that’s what Owen deserves…the chance to try.

Here are a few pictures of him trying life with longer oxygen breaks.

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