Hey Mom, Please Just Stop Talking

I’ve graduated, Friends. At this stage in the game we are stroller free on our morning walk to school. All three boys plow the sidewalks on scooters to drop off our oldest at school. I want to throw open the front door with beautiful wind-blown hair, holding a cheeky-saying labeled mug full of coffee, and shout to the world, “We’ve arrived.” 

But it’s nothing like that. At all. Most days I’m way less than put-together, and there’s still some hands-on parenting. Literally. No place for a coffee mug. 

Someone often gets in trouble. At least once a week someone tumbles. I kid you not. These three are anything but graceful. My patience cup already overflowing one weekday morning, I found myself lecturing to the middle kiddo for something. Maybe it was going too far ahead. For the love, just “stop at the for sale sign!” Maybe it was trying to race and pass up his brother. For the love, “it’s not a race!” Maybe it was running the other walkers off the sidewalk. For the love, just “hug the side with the bushes!” But it was one morning during that scooter ride to school that I learned a solid parenting lesson…

We talked about it after the fact, and he said, “But Daddy doesn’t say anything” when I approached him about what went wrong.

Well. Okay.

{I had taken my oldest to his first grade performance the night before; my husband followed later with the littles. And you know what? He probably didn’t say anything.}

My reactions went like this…

Well, of course he didn’t. He’s not the default parent … There aren’t nearly as many pedestrians and cars later in the evening than at drop off time … Maybe that’s why he doesn’t listen. I just talk too much … What would all of these parents thinks if I didn’t correct my kids? 

The thing is … I want our kids to be decent people. I want them to be more than decent. I don’t want them to think that the sidewalk is any more theirs than anyone else’s. I don’t want them to clip someone’s ankle or cause a kindergartner to topple over on his way to school. I don’t want them to be going too fast to miss a car backing out of a driveway. 

And honestly, I don’t want to be judged by other parents. I don’t want side eyes shooting over that I have wild kids. And that’s tough to admit. 

After I let myself foolishly feel bitter about my husband’s parenting and then tried to justify my reasoning for being so “vocal” on our morning commute, I reflected for a bit on the wise words from that four-year-old. Perhaps sometimes I just shouldn’t say so much. Sure, I need to keep them out of danger. Sure, there are lessons to be conveyed.

But I also need to trust in who they are. I don’t have to mold them into decent beings. They are good, kind {albeit sometimes distracted} people.

And a lot of times, they’ve got this. Sure, they will make mistakes. Someone’s heel might meet a scooter wheel. But that’s a learning opportunity. A heartfelt apology and promise to slow down and pay attention, and the world keeps turning. 

So if you see me one morning this week shouting to please slow down or stay on one side of the sidewalk, just shoot me an understanding smile that says, “It’s okay, Mom. They are okay. You are okay. You’ve got this.” And I’ll remember that indeed, silence is golden. After all, they’ll need my held tongue to learn and allow the goodness inside them to blossom.

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Jenn is an English teacher turned stay at home mom to boys Wyatt {2010}, John {2013}, and Abram {2014}. South Louisiana born and raised, North Louisiana educated, and Texas “polished,” she has found Houston to be home with her husband for the past ten years. After infertility struggles, in 2010 she traded in A Tale of Two Cities for Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site and has since been busy discovering ways to learn while playing, maintaining a semi-scheduled family life, and integrating both Texas and Louisiana culture into her family. Besides making memories with her boys full time, she enjoys reading, running, crafting, cooking, and football. Y’all stop by When In Doubt, Add More Salt to read more about family adventures with the boys and Jenn’s thoughts on hot summers and Pinterest pin attempts, and her love/hate relationship with March Madness brackets.


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