This is for all of the child-free phone call loving friends out there.
Know that you are loved and valued but that your friends with kids just can’t answer the phone right now. It’s nothing personal, don’t give up on them just yet.
They’ll probably be free to talk on the phone again in a few years.
When you have small children in the house, it’s easier to chat via message. Though even then, it’s easy to get distracted and forget.
Your parent friends are trying their best to keep in touch with you, they’re just so damn tired they forget to reply sometimes.
If you don’t have kids, it’s hard to really imagine how chaotic and busy and relentless life with small children can be.
To help you out, here are 10 reasons why your parent friends never answer your calls:
#1: They’re In The Middle Of A Crisis
Parenting is all about crisis management. We’re not talking life or death things like earthquakes, terror attacks or climate change here.
We’re talking a mini crisis like not having the right flavour crisps of a favourite toy having gone missing.
It sounds benign and easily solved but it’s not – not when you’re a toddler. Those things are huge when you are a toddler. They have the power to make or break a day.
And, once broken, the day will crumble and be rubbish so your parent friend is busy trying to avoid that happening at all costs.
#2: They’re Trapped Under A Sleeping Baby
Being trapped under a sleeping baby is just about the nicest thing ever. They smell amazing, they’re nice and warm and the sound of their tiny breath is too adorable.
It’s also really annoying because often you’re thirsty, you need to pee and you can’t reach the remote. Sleeping babies, even when they’re stopping you from emptying your bladder, should never be disturbed.
If your friend with a new baby ignores your call, it’s probably because she’s trying not to wake her baby. Don’t ring again. She’ll return your call in about five years.
#3: They’re Cleaning Poop Off The Walls
Yeah. It happens. Parenthood isn’t all about the glamour. In fact, sometimes it can be pretty crap.
When your calls go unanswered, you might imagine your friend having the time of their life hanging out with their kid but, in reality, they’re probably just cleaning baby poop from their walls or scraping toddler poop off the living room carpet. Seriously.
#4: They’re Out
There is nothing more stressful than being out. Not out out as in fun out, but out as in with all your small children in tow.
A day out with small children is the most stress a person can encounter, way more stressful than losing a partner or moving house.
Your friend is probably trying to stop the toddler running into the road, breastfeeding the baby on the go and trying to negotiate with the preschooler to prevent a full scale breakdown in the middle of the street.
Your friend didn’t answer your call because they have no idea you’re calling, they’re in panic mode.
#5: They’re Enjoying Their Kids
Most of the time, parenting is hard work. Small children are pretty selfish and rude and ungrateful. Parents are tired and emotional and on the edge. It’s not a great combination but it’s the only combination they have.
Most days are a race to bedtime (aka wine time) in the hope of suffering as few meltdowns, tantrums and shouty parent moments as possible.
But, sometimes, when parents are really lucky, they stumble into the promised land of parenting. The warm cuddles and happy afternoons in the sun, the whispered sweet messages, the hand holding – they’re moments not to be missed.
These are the days where parents go to bed feeling like the best parents in the world because their kids are so awesome, they’re not days you want to miss because you were chatting on the phone.
#6: They’re At A Baby Group
Your friend would love nothing more than to talk to you. She would love to put down the rattle, stop singing the nursery rhyme and walk away from the room of other self-proclaimed ‘yummy mummies’ and chat to someone who really knows her.
She would love to talk to someone who knows her actual name (not just so and so’s mummy). She would love to talk about anything but sleep problems and nappy rash. She would love that so much you wouldn’t believe.
But she can’t, not right now, because she has spent $20 on this 30 minute baby class and she’s going to get her money’s worth.
#7: They’re At The Supermarket Alone
At the supermarket alone? Surely that’s the perfect time for a chat with an old friend?
No. No, it’s not. It would have been, long ago, when lone supermarket visits were boring life admin that simply had to be done. Things are different now.
When you spend all day being grabbed and whinged to and pawed at by small children, a trip to the supermarket by yourself can feel like a holiday.
Your friend is probably walking down the aisles with a huge grin on their face. That’s what freedom looks like.
They can’t talk to you right now because they’re relaxing. In the supermarket. What of it?
#8: They Have The Conversational Skills Of A Toddler
When you spend all day with a toddler, your chat game leaves a lot to be desired. Your friend probably spends their days saying things like that ‘look, a moo cow.’ and ‘that car is red, can you say red?’
Your friend isn’t answering the phone because she can’t remember how to talk to actual grown ups for more than a few seconds at a time.
#9: They Are Sitting Alone In A Dark Room
If you’re calling after bedtime, whilst that might mean the kids aren’t there to be a distraction, it also means your friend is probably all life-d out.
They’ve listened to chatter all day, stopped fights, cooked meals, wiped bums, prevented drama, kissed sore knees and read the same story five times at bedtime.
And, now that that’s over, they’re sitting in a dark room and enjoying the quiet. This is a sacred time in the land of the parent. It doesn’t mean they don’t love you.
#10: They’re Asleep
Maybe you’re the kind of friend who knows that bedtime is a bad time, so you wait until later before dialing your friend. Unfortunately, if it’s after 8:30pm by the time you call, there’s a good chance your friend has fallen asleep.
Parenting is pretty tiring work and your friend was probably woken up at the crack of dawn and have been run ragged all day. They’d love to stay up late and set the world to rights with you, but they have a toddler-sized 5:00am wakeup call in the morning.
Can you call back in, say, five years or so? Or, better yet, go visit them and take cake. And coffee. Probably wine, too.