Monday, July 29, 2013

The Art of Silence {and saving my sanity}



Somewhere around mid adolescence I realised I was an introvert. Despite thoroughly enjoying socialising and having an outgoing personality, it's in the quiet alone times that I recharge.

Being an introvert means I find the constant interaction with my ever present children can be at times, somewhat challenging. Gosh, what a shameful confession! I do love to hear their chatter when they are playing with each other, creatively putting out imaginary fires or building townships with lego - it's just when they want to talk to ME all day about.... well... nothing that I find my thinking getting foggy and my answers snappy.

It seems that for my young 4 year old, talking has become a habit. Even if there is nothing to say, he will talk, sometimes repeating the same sentence over and over and over. If he has run out of words for the day, he will make robot noises or car noises or mouse noises or any bloody noises just to fill the airwaves.

Where ever I am, they they are also. And when they are present, they are talking.

Constantly.

Now that there are three children, I have found it necessary, for my own clarity of mind, to put some boundaries around 'noise making'. Our days need an ebb and flow. Some time with incessant talking and just a pinch without.

I've started to employ one or two strategies to enforce a little bit of kind silence. When I say kind silence, I mean some quiet time where I'm not teetering on the edge of screaming 'would you please just SSSTOOOOOPPPP talking!'

This means it needs to be a regular part of our daily routines, not to be missed or compromised on. Each day at around 12.30 Zeph and Pip go to their rooms for a quiet play. They may choose to sleep, read* or tinker but they may not come out of their rooms. This provides me with a nice chunk of time (usually 45 mins to an hour) where I can gather my thoughts and do a wee in peace. I make sure that a hot cup of tea and a tuna salad are consumed during this session.

Later on in the afternoon, if the noise hits fever pitch once again, I set the timer on the oven for a couple of minutes and call a 'quiet time'. It's usually enough to break the pattern and keep things at at manageable level.


How do you manage all the noise in your home?

Are you an introvert who struggles with the constant interaction or does your extroverted personality allow you to thrive on the frenzy (Dave is one of these amazing people)?




*destroy books in Pip's case 

53 comments:

  1. I am an introvert and I too struggle with how much my two very talkative children, well talk ;) My five year old is a constant question asker. He has a science brain and NEEDS how things work. I am convinced he speaks everything he thinks. On one hand I am SO pleased he has such a thirst for knowledge (and I don't want to stamp that out) but I do get a bit overwhelmed by it all.
    Quiet time in this house is when both kids are watching tv (which doesn't last long as my daughter will only 'stick' with a show for about 15 minutes), but it is a time where I can go to another room and have a break from talking.
    Sounds like you have a good thing going with your 'quiet' time' :)

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  2. While I don't have children myself (yet!), I can definitely understand where you are coming from. My husband often questions my need to get up early and I repeat again and again, that this time in the early morning is sometimes the only quiet time that I have to myself all day. I crave this time to be by myself in the silence, to recharge as you say.

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  3. gah, the noise thing totally gets to me too. and the husband is a constantly chattering extrovert along with the kids. I don't mind the talk though, it's the volume that irks me to shushhh-dom.
    I have to go outside somewhere, far enough from the house i can't hear any of them and listen to birds. just a couple of minutes and I'm sweet for the rest of the day (although sometime i have to revisit the birds in my head). but quiet time would probably benefit them too so I'm going to give your plan some thought (i may need duct tape though) x

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  4. I could have written this exact post! My 6 year old has always been a talker. Exactly as you have said, if he hasn't got any words to say it's constant car or siren noises and yes, any other bloody noise to fill the silence!! I often feel my ears can only tolerate so much noise before my head is filled and I'm ready to explode. I am thankful he is at school now so I have a break from his noise! My four year old is not quite as noisy, nor is the 20 month old yet, though I fear he will be similar to his big brother at some point!! Good on you for setting up strategies to get your peace during the day. I am the same. I recharge with quiet and no one around me. Bit hard with three crazy kids!!

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  5. wee in peace made me laugh out loud..

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  6. I am the same as you, and it sounds like our Angus is at the same stage as Zeph. I feel terrible how his constant chatter drives me up the wall sometimes. Once during dinner, I burst out, "Can you please just not talk for ten seconds!?"

    His response: "Okay mummy! One, two, three, four..."

    That cracked me up.

    I enforce quiet time like no tomorrow in our household. Two hours, minimum. (Eek!)

    Ronnie xo

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    Replies
    1. LOL this comment cracked me up. Ronan is the same...he says 'excuse me mum?' and I say 'yes?' and he says 'ummmmm....'

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  7. Oh, yes I hear you loud and clear. Except at our place it is mooing, quacking, squealing and a four year old set semipermanently on "whiny". I could have written this exact post except I would not have been able to do it politely. Hats off for your quiet time achievements, mine are only achieved with screens alas and are tightly rationed, would love to dole out more for my own sanity! mel x

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  8. I hear ya. We are like peas and carrots. My kids have 'quiet time' EVERY day. It is essential ;-)

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  9. I am much the same but unfortunately I get snappy with miss 3 when she's following me around like a shadow and rabbiting on. Sometimes I want to just go back to bed and snuggle under my quilt and drink my tea in quiet. Somedays poppy plays quietly and I feel life is balanced, lovely. I'm grateful for those days. The days when it doesn't go to plan bribery, mister maker, craft or a movie doesn't go astray. You just have to move through it.

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  10. Great post and a great idea to save your sanity. I do the same and I'm an extrovert. Having children parroting the same thing to you is almost worse than us saying the same thing over and over again. Well done to setting boundaries. With three you'll be so glad they're already in place! Xx

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  11. I can't be surprised that I am Mumma to two VERY talkative children! So yes, peace is rather scarce here too. We do the very same thing here and it is such an important time of the day. Remy is still having a big day sleep but that quiet time for Bijou really sets the tone for the rest of the afternoon. I think it's awesome you're doing that with your poppets. Enjoy that hot cup of tea Mumma :) xx

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  12. Great thought-provoking post Em!
    Can you believe I just Googled 'extrovert/introvert' and took a few tests, and apparently Im a good mix of both. But I totally hear you on the whole need-for-quiet thing! Like you, I still push for day naps, or reading time in their room - Jasper is 3 and 1/4 and has only just started showing he doesn't really need a day sleep (think up till 9.30pm if he's sleep 2ish hours!) but I still enforce room-time and tell him he needs to sleep or read till George (2) wakes up - usually 2 hours. Hes pretty good and mostly sleeps every day because I wear them out in the morning, taking them to the beach or long 'runna bike' walks. Hard one though, I really struggle when I'm trying to relax and gather thoughts/drink a tea and I have niggling toddlers whinging at my feet, my patience isn' the best either...like you, my hubby is amazing and full of patience and calmness! oh to have it!
    x

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  13. My 4 (from 3-10yo) drive me crazy in the car. It's like they tag team each other. They know that they have me trapped! This is where I usually initiate the 'quiet' game. It's a competition to see who can be quiet the longest!

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  14. I almost wrote this post today
    I have two that run stream of consciousness chat from dawn to waaay too late
    Fortunately(!) one is at school now and ABC kids has been known to silence the other one for at least 15 minutes time (tea and a wee!)
    I started counting his questions this morning - and gave up after the first 150 - no one needs to know that many answers in one day.
    x

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  15. Yes! I am too, an introvert. I find myself towards the end of the week asking my hubby to just leave me be in front of the tv. I know it's probably one of the most lazy things you could possibly do, but I NEED it. Those minutes of vegetating are perfect for my soul. They allow me to turn myself off for a few moments to reenergize. Although, some people might feel the opposite. We have an almost 15 month old babe who, although doesn't officially "talk", has plenty to "say". And I do at times find myself looking forward to those moments of silence during nap time.

    We are only having one child, but no matter how many you have, finding a good balance between noise & sanity is always a must. And whatever tools or tricks you can put into place to implement that, is exactly what you need sometimes!

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  16. I need peace!!

    We play a game called "spoons" (no idea why it's called that). The first to speak loses... It's my favourite game in the world.

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  17. I love this post. I found myself nodding as I was reading it. I have a 7, 5 and 3 year old and at times I feel like I'm going to explode with their noise and talk.
    We are only on the 3rd day of school hols and I can already feel myself going mad! My 7 year old can't cope with silence, and as for my 3 year old, she seems to like the sound of her own voice constantly talking over her older brothers.
    Your idea of a quiet period in the day is brilliant. I'm not sure my kids would obey it if I started doing it now, but it such a good idea. I find locking myself in the bathroom for 5 minutes is usually the only silence I get and even then I usually end up with a queue of kids waiting to talk to me as soon as I come out!!

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  18. ohmygoodness.....my 5 year old daughter is a CHATTERBOX. Once upon a time, in my naivete, I actually couldn't wait until she learned to talk so that I could listen to her, communicate with her, and hold conversations with her. From age 3 to present, her words fill my day, and my only saving grace is that even at 5, she has retained a sweet little girl voice that I still love to hear, even if I have to hear waaay too much of it.

    I've been told 5 year olds 'chill out'.....I'm still waiting for evidence of that! ;-)

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  19. I have the same struggles when it comes to introverted rest and toddler raising. It's one of my main reasons for only having one child, I don't think I could handle more than my Elie! Elie's nap times are my main recoup times nowadays.

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  20. Love the idea of quiet time. I have a 7 year old who talks from the moment he wakes till his eyes close again at the end of the day and a 4 year old who needs speech therapy- probably because he cant a word in edgeways! I love that he asks so many questions and is hungry to learn but I find it hard to concentrate and function with the constant stream of words! Quiet time may be a new feature of our day- thanks for the tip.

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  21. I'm definitely an extravert but i still need quiet time. Being with kids 24 7 is tough and requires moments of silence to restore ones mind! Hope you will join in on my new series. will email you! xx

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  22. My husband and I are both introverts... we enjoy getting up in the early morning for a few hours of quiet time before the day starts. When my husband's home I'll go for a walk with the dog, and the time with quiet outdoors gives me so much more energy for coping with all the questions and chatter! A quiet time in the centre of the day is a brilliant idea!

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  23. Totally agree with the 45 minute quiet time and it's good for them and good for you. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

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  24. Totally agree, we have compulsory quiet time sometimes too. My daughter is 6 and wasn't especially talkative as a pre-schooler but has not stopped talking since she started school. I find non-stop talking (over each other) in the car the hardest as there is no escape!

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  25. Quite time is great. I'm not sure if you have read any of my blog - I have not gone into it, but mentioned, that I had a stroke AND still can't drive. So 5 days a week I am at home with 3 boys (Parker at Kindy 2 of them!. So no escaping here!! I too have DownTime in the rooms....but I love the egg timer in the kitchen. Popping that on my kitchen bench now to remind me!! xx

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  26. Lucy and I are both extroverts but I still need some quiet time. Try explain that to the kid who has to be in the same room all the time.
    It's cute. Lets say its cute.

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  27. I hear you...pun intended.
    And I only have one!
    He will say the same thing over and over and over until I repeat it back to him.
    And my current least favourite thing is if I am talking to someone and he wants to talk to me he says, "Mommy stop talking."
    Thank goodness nap time is still a part of our daily routine...a quiet cup of tea!

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  28. Ditto ditto ditto.
    If they aren't talking at me, they are talking at each other and if no one is listening to said children talking at each other, no one cares and they just keep talking at themselves or the teddy or the spider or the lego man... My nearly two year old currently thinks it's hilarious to strut about saying "thats not funny"...and "ahh yes coffee time".
    2hours min "quiet time" here for 3 boys under 6,
    and then hubby gets home from work and... talks at me....
    Jeeeeppperrrs. But one day, we will be sad that they don't want to talk to us like they used to. Touche.

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  29. Did you see this...

    http://www.fastcocreate.com/1683402/your-guide-to-interacting-with-an-introvert#1

    I sent it to (extroverted) sam and now, finally, after all these years I think he gets my need for my own space and why i sometimes crawl into my shell or go crazy when i don't get it.

    rachel xo

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  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  31. I am an introvert. My daughter is only 10 months old so i haven't had to learn to deal with chatter yet but i'm sure it will come soon enough. I remember when i was very small my parents would tell me it was time to rest my tongue when i was talking too much so i would poke out my tongue (it's very long!) and rest it on my arm!

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  32. I love room time for my kiddies as it gives me that time to recharge with a tea too of course and I think it is important for my kids to learn to have their own time out as well - win win. If in doubt I would run away like Sonia from Love Life and Hiccups does :) http://lifeloveandhiccups.blogspot.com.au/2013/07/the-day-mum-me-ran-away.html You're gorgeous Em. xx

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  33. Oh I can totally relate to this...especially when I'm driving home after work. I just like to sink into my own thoughts, it helps me relax! My kids used to have quiet time in their rooms when they were younger. Now school-aged, they tend to come home and take some solitude of their own accord.

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  34. We have a mandatory nap/rest time after lunch every day. I am quite the extrovert, but every mama needs some time and space to herself!

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  35. We have quiet time here after lunch too... my little one still naps so on the days my big girl is not at kindy, she has time in her room to read, play quietly or have a nap (on the rare occasion). A cup of tea during this time is my priority too :)

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  38. I still like quiet and i have been a mother for nearly 25 years! They both still live at home and i love the quiet times,and i think children should learn to enjoy their own company and their own space.I need quiet times for me to keep me happy if i don't get my own space i feel very unhappy and a bit deranged ,i am glad i am not the only one who enjoys their own company,my daughter loves it too,my son not so much.
    Lisa Mckenzie

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  39. I'm not a parent - so I can't talk about quiet time in that context. I have occasionally insisted on quiet time in English class which I manage to achieve through 10-15 mins of silent reading time. I figure that's my bonus for being an English teacher.

    It is pretty funny though - most of the kids know immediately that Miss Fenton needs some quiet time - and at least at the age I teach they usually go along with it, for mine and their own sanity!

    Is that bad?!

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  49. Greetings To Everyone,


    This is my testimony on how I won $3,471,009 million William Deluca, from USA I want to use this opportunity to thank Great DR OTIS DARKO for helping me to win the lottery of $66 million lottery ticket.I have been playing the lottery for the past 5 years now and I have never won. Ever since then I have not been able to win and I was so upset and I need help to win the lottery so I decided to go online and search for help, there I saw so many good testimony about this man called Great DR OTIS DARKO of how he have cast lucky spell lotto for people to win the lottery. I contacted him also and told him I want to win a lottery, he cast a spell for me which I used and I played and won $3,471,009 million dollars. I am so grateful to this man, just in-case you also need him to help you win, you can contact him through his email: otisdarko60@yahoo.com and he will surely help you......This is my testimony page as you can go through this it now on how I was given the check OK: http://www.megamillions.com/winners-gallery/man-finds-out-he%E2%80%99s-a-millionaire-while-buying-valentine%E2%80%99s-surprise-for-wife . ... HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS: otisdarko60@yahoo.com as he is so powerful and also he has solution to other problems you must have been facing in life also.....

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  50. Midred Jackson Says

    Am giving this testimony cos am happy

    My name is Midred Jackson from Michigan I never believed in love spells or magic until i met this spell caster once. when i went to Africa in June 28th 2015 this year on a business summit. i ment a man called DR OTIS DARKO. He is powerful he could help you cast a spells to bring back my love’s gone,misbehaving lover looking for some one to love you, bring back lost money and magic money spell or spell for a good job.i’m now happy & a living testimony cos the man i had wanted to marry left me 3 weeks before our wedding and my life was upside down cos our relationship has been on for 2 years… i really loved him, but his mother was against me and he had no good paying job. so when i met this spell caster, i told him what happened and explained the situation of things to him..at first i was undecided,skeptical and doubtful, but i just gave it a try. and in 6 days when i returned to taxes, my boyfriend (is now my husband ) he called me by himself and came to me apologizing that everything had been settled with his mom and family and he got a new job interview so we should get married..i didn’t believe it cos the spell caster only asked for my name and my boyfriends name and all i wanted him to do… well we are happily married now and we are expecting our little kid,and my husband also got a new job and our lives became much better. in case anyone needs the spell caster for some help, email address: otisdarko60@yahoo.com

    GREAT OTIS DARKO I thank you very much thank you in 1000000 times.. if not you I would have been losted and wasted thank you. Email Him Through his email address... otisdarko60@yahoo.com

    please make sure you contact him for any financial difficulties okay..

    What a powerful man such as DR OTIS DARKO.. he is so much powerful..\\ email him for any difficulties.. otisdarko60@yahoo.com................... YOU CAN ALSO ADD US UP ON WHATSAPP USING THIS MOBILE NUMBER:+2348077526136

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  51. I am very grateful sharing this great testimonies with you, The best thing that has ever happened in my life is how i win the lottery. I am a woman who believe that one day i will win the lottery, finally my dreams came through when i email Dr Ekpen Temple and tell him i need the lottery numbers. i have come a long way spending money on ticket just to make sure i win. But i never knew that winning was so easy until the day i meant the spell caster online which so many people has talked about that he is very great in casting lottery spell, so i decide to give it a try.I contacted this man and he did a spell and he gave me the winning lottery numbers. But believe me when the draws were out i was among winners. i win 1.900.000 million Dollar. Dr. Ekpen Temple truly you are the best, with these man you can will millions of money through lottery. i am so very happy to meet these man, i will forever be grateful to you. Email him for your own winning lottery numbers (ekpentemple@gmail.com) OR Whats App him +2347050270218.

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Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, advice and solidarity.

xo em