The Sweetness of Silence

Today I am fortunate to have Robin from Farewell Stranger guest posting.

Robin was one of the first bloggers I connected with when I began writing and she has inspired me, encouraged me to find my voice, and is one of the first people I go to when I need a PPD friend.

Her blog focuses on her journey through PPD, motherhood, and PPD awareness. She is a brilliant writer, huge supporter of all writers, and is a wonderful friend.

Please take the time to check her blog out!


Saturday afternoon I was standing in my driveway in the blazing sunshine feeling a little jumpy.

Our driveway is pebbled, not smooth, and the rocks were digging into my feet. I took a step to the left to stand on the grass, which was softer, cooler and more feet-friendly. But my feeling jumpy was less to do with my feet and more to do with the toddler pushing his fire truck around on the lawn.

This fire truck is new, and he LOVES it. Seeing him light up when he plays with it lights me up too. He turns the siren on and insists that you call the fire chief (him, and he has the hat to prove it) to come and fight the “fire” we made out of construction paper. It brings out his joy and his imagination and his boyishness. I love that he loves it.

In that moment, though, I wanted him to love it somewhere else.

My mom had offered to take him for a sleepover and was at our house to pick him up. He had showed her the fire truck. He had demonstrated the siren. He had worked the ladders. We were all well acquainted with the fire truck, but the suggestion that he get in the car to go to Grandma’s was falling on selectively-deaf ears as the fire truck drove in circles on our lawn, tackling clover and other natural disasters.

It’s not that I don’t love him, but after an up-and-down, incessant-banging, non-sleeping sort of week I kind of wanted him to hit the road.

He loves sleeping at Grandma and Grandpa’s, and they love having him (a night at a time, anyway). We’re blessed to have my parents who can and will take him for a night to give us a break. The irony, of course, is if the situation were reversed he’d be saying, “Stop talking!” and “I want to go RIGHT NOW!”

That, however, is not something I can yell at my toddler – not without a black mark on my nomination for mom of the year, at least. But my staccato, “Connor! Come on! Get in the car!” pretty much conveyed the same message.

Yep, my inner three-year-old came out in that moment and I realized just how much I was looking forward to a quiet house.

The suggestion of a stop at the store to buy ice cream caught his attention long enough to get him moving toward the car, but there then required a discussion about whether or not he could bring the truck into the store. At that point I would gladly have tied the truck to him and buckled him, ladders and all, into his car seat, but instead stepped aside while my husband got him settled.

Then I stood looking at him as he sat in the car, windows open, about to drive away from both his parents. He’s been away before, to my parents’ and to friends’ for sleepovers, but in that moment he just looked like a little boy with a fire truck and my mama heart melted.

“I love you!” I told him, and we exchanged a kiss through the open window. And then they were off.

As I went back into the house, the sweetness of that toddler kiss lingered for a moment. And then all that was left was the sweetness of silence.


Thank you so much for guest posting Robin!


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23 Responses to The Sweetness of Silence
  1. […] technical difficulties) at Leighann’s blog, Multitasking Mumma, sharing a story about the sweetness of silence. Leighann is a fellow awesome Canadian and one of my first bloggy friends. Love […]

  2. Julie @ mamamash
    July 5, 2011 | 6:17 pm

    This is precisely why I stay up too late every night. After the baby is asleep, I just enjoy the peace!

    • MamaRobinJ
      July 6, 2011 | 4:34 pm

      Julie, me too! I never used to be someone who stayed up late, but I totally am now because I love the quiet.

  3. Cookie's Mom
    July 5, 2011 | 6:33 pm

    Robin, this was so well written. I could really feel everything you were feeling in those few moments, probably partly because I have been there. This year, as a kind of birthday present to myself, I took a two-day vacation… alone. But guess what happened? I came home before the second night. I had a great time, did a little shopping, got to sleep in, and then missed my family – those hugs and kisses – too much. I totally get the torment of being frustrated by the noise (coupled with the fatigue of having done the job day in and day out for far too many days in a row) while also wanting to soak in the joy of our tiny tots every minute that we can. That’s motherhood in a nutshell!

    • MamaRobinJ
      July 6, 2011 | 4:35 pm

      That’s so funny – I sort of did the same thing. Early this week I went away for a couple of days with my mom – it was a great, really peaceful place to be but I was restless and kept missing my boys at home.

      What a great birthday present to yourself though!

  4. Rach (DonutsMama)
    July 5, 2011 | 9:41 pm

    I soak in the baby sounds, but I enjoy the silence too when she is sleeping and quiet. It’s a hard balance sometimes.

    Love Robin, love her writing. Hope you get to feeling better Leighann!

    • multitaskingmumma
      July 6, 2011 | 8:43 am

      I so love Robin!
      Thank you for your well wishes my friend

    • MamaRobinJ
      July 6, 2011 | 4:36 pm

      Love back atcha. I know exactly what you mean.

  5. mammacockatoo
    July 5, 2011 | 10:50 pm

    I totally understand that tug-o-war between needing a break from them and missing them. I agree with Julie – it’s part of the reason I still stay up too late (I was always prone to that habit, but craving the quiet feeds it)!

    • multitaskingmumma
      July 6, 2011 | 8:42 am

      It certainly is a tug-of-war isn’t it!
      We love them so much but also love the time alone.

  6. Jessica
    July 6, 2011 | 1:58 am

    Tough to balance the kids and quiet time. I hope you enjoyed the time that he was away.

    • multitaskingmumma
      July 6, 2011 | 8:29 am

      Its very tough!
      And it’s tough to recognize this as a mother!

  7. Kimberly
    July 6, 2011 | 2:46 am

    Such a sweet post. I love spending my time with the kids, but I also love the quiet so I can get things done. It’s a bittersweet exchange.

    • multitaskingmumma
      July 6, 2011 | 8:29 am

      I love that, bittersweet! I feel this way too.
      We really do need time away and so do the kids!

  8. Alison@Mama Wants This
    July 6, 2011 | 3:57 am

    Love Robin, and such a great post! Leighann, hope you’re feeling better!

    I take my son to his grandparents every day, and I get 3 or so hours to myself. I need that time, his grandparents need their time with him, and he needs time with all of us. This way, it’s win-win. I refuse to feel guilty.

    I do miss him though. 🙂

    • multitaskingmumma
      July 6, 2011 | 8:28 am

      Love Robin Too!
      I think it’s very important to have your own time! Hubs and I take turns with our daughter, he does the mornings and I do bedtime, we split the evenings an hour each.

    • MamaRobinJ
      July 6, 2011 | 4:37 pm

      Alison, that’s amazing that you can do that and that they get to spend that time together. You’re right – it’s so important they all have that opportunity.

      My mom always talks about wanting to take him more often but she still works and frankly I think he’d wear her out!

  9. Paulette (MsPDrama)
    July 6, 2011 | 9:59 am

    Loved it! I know there were probably several days I felt the same way when Nana/Pop would come to p/u one or all of my kids. Now that we live w/them, I’m thinking I need to find someone to take them for a night sometimes.

    • multitaskingmumma
      July 6, 2011 | 4:05 pm

      I’ve been thinking that too.
      But finding a babysitter is a delicate thing.

  10. Amy
    July 6, 2011 | 1:06 pm

    The silence is so sweet after the screaming and yelling and banging and pushing all stops.

    So sweet.

    • multitaskingmumma
      July 6, 2011 | 4:03 pm

      Agreed! so sweet.

    • MamaRobinJ
      July 6, 2011 | 4:38 pm

      Isn’t it? It wasn’t until right then that I really knew how much I needed some time away from all the noise.

  11. […] technical difficulties) at Leighann’s blog, Multitasking Mumma, sharing a story about the sweetness of silence. Leighann is a fellow awesome Canadian and one of my first bloggy friends. Love […]

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