"Friendship is born at the moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one'."

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hearing Voices

I have been doing some thinking...about voices. Almost like having multiple personalities, I have multiple voices. This post started with a particularly 'off' day in our house when I caught myself...just before yelling at my four-year-old...walked into the garage, closed the door behind me, let out a garbled, grunty, screechy burst of frustration, took a deep breath, and re-entered my house. Dan and I strive to not be a 'yelling' house because really, where does yelling get you? We want our home to be a place where our kids feel safe and learn lessons in a constructive way. We aren't always successful, but we try.

Art by Anne Taintor. LOVE her stuff :)
Anyway, back to my voices. I was thinking about what voice my boys hear when I am frustrated since I don't often yell at them. And wondering if it is almost as bad? Almost like I have exchanged one for the other. They definitely know what that voice means. Once, Logan was quick to respond to THAT voice with, "Mama, have you had your coffee yet?" Which, thankfully, sent us both into a fit of giggles and lightened the mood.

So, upon further contemplation, I came up with my 'voices' on a scale of normal to elevated (somewhat similar to the national security terror alert chart):

Art by Anne Taintor
1. Silly/Playful Mama: 
This voice contains various sound effects including zerberts, roars, high pitched singing, giggles, grunts, and more. This voice reads stories & plays games. This voice is the one which most often brings out the twinkle in my childrens' eyes. This is the voice I strive to use at least once a day with each of them.

2. Normal Mama:
This voice is used most frequently. This voice asks, "How was your day?" "Can I get you some milk?" "Do you need to go potty?" "Will you please help me clean up?" This voice also says, "I'm proud of you" and "I love you".

3. THE Mama (accompanied by a certain look):
This is the warning voice. This voice means business. This voice says you need to stop what you are doing and listen...now. This voice is good for our kids. This voice sets boundaries and handles discipline.

4. Frustrated Mama:
The thing that bothers me most about this voice is when I hear my four-year-old making the same sound. I know frustration is a part of life and he is going to be frustrated probably every day...aren't we all? I guess I can take a small amount of pride in the fact that he grunts and says, "This toy is frustrating me" rather than throwing the toy, kicking the toy, or taking it out on the nearest human. Still, not proud of this particular piece that I have instilled in him.

5. Yelling Mama:
This is the voice that brings mommy guilt and shame. This voice is heard on very rare occasions and is inevitably followed by remorse and apology. Our kids deserve respect. And, I feel strongly that they deserve apologies from us from time to time, too.

6. Friend Mama:
I love this voice! This is the voice I use with my girlfriends. Pretty similar to Normal Mama, but laced with a ounce of fun...and sometimes 'spirits'. This is the voice that tells stories, listens to friends, jokes, quotes various pop culture. This voice is carefree...the voice that lets me be my girly self.

7. Sexy Mama:
This one is reserved for my husband. And, let's face it, is probably more comical than sexy. Usually includes something along the lines of "Hey baby...How you doin?" ...You can see where this is going.

So there they are. One I aspire to use more, one I hate myself for using, and everything in between. I would like to think that voices 1-3 are the ones heard most in my house, but have to admit that voice number 4 sneaks in on a daily basis.

Doing my best is the best I can do.


  1. seven, seven, seven, (hushed voice) seven...


  2. Gotta love a husband that can quote classic friends! I just spit out my cereal, BTW. Love you :) -Linz