Some moms go back to work after having kids because they desire adult conversation. They say they can’t imagine spending an entire day talking about “Dora the Explorer,” “Sesame Street” and debating what’s a better lunch – grilled cheese or peanut butter and jelly.
Being around adults in an office allows moms to interact with people their own age (well, relatively speaking at least). Moms have the chance to gab about “American Idol,” talk about the world news and keep up with the Kardashians.
That adult conversation lasts only eight hours, though, because the second you walk in the front door, you don’t even have a chance to kick off your heels before the kids are running up to you telling you ALL about their days. After being away from the kids all day, it’s great to see them and hear how excited they are to share their activities and adventures.
But. There is a man in my kitchen cooking. I’d love to ask him how he’s doing, but I can’t. There’s no time. The second I open my mouth to ask him how his day was, the kids run in and tell me more about their days. I just drop my head and can’t help but chuckle. We hurry to get food on their plates because maybe while they are eating, we can chat.
Nope. We strategically plan our bites of food to counter theirs so that while they are eating, we can at least say “hi.” Then we lose track of our bites and while we try to say something to one another, one of our kids blurts out a question or says something fascinating about their day. It’s a lost cause for my husband and I to talk before 8 p.m.
There is so much we have to share with one another these days, but the conversation is limited. I miss talking to that man in my kitchen. I miss adult conversation.
It’s not just the conversation with my husband, it’s all adult conversation when my kids are within ear shot. It seems that all conversation with my mom these days revolves around my kids and what I need her to do for me. I don’t have a chance to talk to her about my new job, about her upcoming trips or about my sister’s adventure into parenting.
I tried to have a conversation with my mom recently while on a road trip with my kids and we didn’t actually have meaningful conversation until . . . you guessed it, after 8 p.m. It wasn’t until the drive home that we actually spent some serious time catching up. It was great.
I feel bad for any adult who comes into conversation with me these days. My colleagues at work, my friends, random lady at the supermarket – all of these people could ask me how old my kids are and I would go into a long, drawn-out conversation about my life just to be able to speak to a grown person.
Us moms are a little desperate for adult conversation – whether we work or not. I don’t mind talking about the latest third-grade and preschool drama. We can sing ABCs until our lungs dry up. But I just need five quiet minutes to ask the man in my kitchen how his day was. My kids can have me after that, until 8.
Angela Borchert is a freelance writer who lives in Vacaville. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.