How Parenthood Made Us Stop Listening To Each Other


woman with thermometer
One particularly difficult day made us realize... we need to listen harder.

A horrified look washed over his face as he realized how poorly I must feel to have slept through our son crying. He rushed off to collect Alex and make me some chicken soup. I soldiered through the end of the work day while David entertained Alex. I'm still unsure as to how he entertained him. Frankly, I didn't care. I was just glad to use the bathroom alone.

I'd like to say this is the first time we've faced a major communication malfunction. However, since having a child, miscommunications have happened more more frequently than I'd like to admit. In short, it seems we're just not listening to each other.


We used to balance everything smoothly, but the tiny addition to our family—an addition that screams rather frequently—has made it hard for us to hear each other. Plus, let's face it, 90 percent of our conversations are now about the baby. Having a conversation about me, or about us, seems like a foreign concept.

I certainly contribute to this environment, and we're constantly working on it. That doesn't mean it's not a bit frustrating when simple statements like "I'm sick" take hours to really hit home.

We need to do better, especially when we're sick.

That day, everything had combined in a perfect storm of miscommunication. He was too busy with work and snow shoveling to notice that I was a lame duck. I found myself too sick to use words to let him know how I felt. The next time I'm sick, I genuinely hope that we can communicate more clearly on the topic. At the very least, I hope there's not another blizzard.

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