Noise is a part of every mama’s life. It can’t be escaped. From the moment the first phone call is cut short due to excessive background screaming, to the first time you leave mass wondering what the reading and homily were even about, noise is an everyday fixture in family life.
noise + X = mama guilt.
You see, the X is my response to noise and I’m here to say,
“My name is Holly and I react poorly to the noises my children contribute to my life.”
So, in an effort to grow as a person, wife and mother, I’ve been trying to identify that X and react and adjust accordingly.
My first realization: it’s not only the children that create the noise pollution in this household. It’s all the things I add to the mix.
As a work from home mama with the pipe dream of writing burning stronger every day, I’m in front of the computer for the majority of my waking hours. When the screaming and whining are more than I can take, I hire a babysitter. I have two I turn to most often. Their names are Dora and Elmo and they cost me about $17 bucks a month in cable services.
I’ll pause so you can judge, if you so wish………
So now the TV has been flipped on, Elmo is singing with a lisp in third person form, I’m at the computer, one kid is whining and the other kid is screaming as they fight over the electronic toy whose annoying song I’m convinced was composed just to assault my eardrums. I continue on and at some point, the phone is added to the equation. And this is a typical day in my home.
The other day my husband (who also works from home) tried to have a conversation with his wife. Poor guy. As he took a seat across the room in his chair, he placed all of these distractions between us physically. In order to give him the time of day, I had to bring my hands to my face and block my peripheral vision in order to listen to him. He looked at me like I was insane.
“What are you doing?” He asked.
“There’re too much going on and I can’t focus on what you’re saying.” I responded.
This poor attempt at communication with my husband made me think about other important things I may be missing out on because there is too much going on. I believe God speaks to us. But am I drowning Him out with all the noise around me?
By the evening, I had a major malfunction. The girls went to sleep and I felt anxious and jittery. All of my normal evening activities involved the computer and TV and I just couldn’t bring myself to look at either of them. I didn’t know what to do with myself and so I did what I always do when confusion consumes me. I got in bed and pulled the covers over my head.
“Ummm, what are you doing?” My husband asked.
“I don’t know I just need quiet. I can’t take any more noise right now. I need dark and quiet.” I responded.
“Don’t you have to work tonight?” he asked.
“Yeah, I just need 10 minutes of nothing. I’m craving some nothing.” I told him.
I didn’t get out of bed until the wake up alarm otherwise known as the screams on my youngest, Anna, woke me this morning.
The old saying is true. Peace and quiet really do go hand in hand. In my much needed time with quiet last night I indeed found a bit of peace - and my Lenten promise for this year.
It’s time for me to unplug a bit. It’s my hope I’ll be able to clear some noise from my head and my heart. This year, Lent will be my shield as I attempt to ward off the many things attacking my senses. Maybe then I’ll be hearing things a bit more clearly.