Oh hi. I’m a Mum. I am suffering from a very serious affliction. I can’t shut up about my kid.
Before I was a Mum, I saw other Mums come down with it. But I thought I was immune. Reality? Nope. It turns out that I have an acute case of verbal diarrhea when it comes to talking about my kid….
The most common form of this condition usually manifests as bragging. You know, the Mum who bursts forth with a stream of verbal gastro in highly contagious settings such as mothers group discussions about milestones (particularly when their child is ahead of the curve) or hot-button topics like “My kid did the cutest thing yesterday…!”
You know what? This is okay. Unless we’re committing the unspoken social media share-crimes, it’s okay as Mums to occasionally spout off about our kids. No shame.
Unfortunately, my case is much more severe than this.
I am one of the pitiful few that can find a way to bring my kid into any conversation. Not even in interesting ways, either. I just talk about him as though there is nothing else in the world to discuss. It doesn’t matter what the topic; Photography. Flowers. Pets. Food. Marriage. Holidays. Haircuts. Rocket science. My side of the conversation will inevitably be crafted around my kid. My little human’s name is ever-present on my lips. He is the only conversation. Did your eyes just roll around your head exorcism style? I kind of don’t blame you… but, oh, did I tell you about my son?
The truth is that once my lips part and that flow starts seeping out? There’s just no way to contain it. I can hear myself, I can see my friends’ eyes glazing over, but I just. Can’t. Make. It. Stop.
Here's an example. Brace yourself.
Just this week, I was having a coffee catch-up with a friend. We went to high school together and then she moved interstate, so our catch-ups are few and far between. I met her at a cute café, toddler in tow, and I tried. I really did. But somewhere between the major distraction of wrangling a 17-month-old who wasn’t strapped into a high chair (side note: WHY ARE CAFES WITH NO HIGH CHAIRS A THING!?) and trying not to wear his babycino as he haphazardly swung it around, it happened… We were talking about eating out, and I mentioned that for a treat, we sometimes let my son have chips. Groundbreaking content right there huh? As you can imagine it was riveting for her.
“Does he like chips?” she asked conversationally.
“He loves them.” I answered. And for another Mum, that answer would have sufficed. But not this Mum. Something clicked in my brain, my pupils dilated, and the words “GIVE ALL THE DETAILS! GIVE ALL THE DETAILS NOWWWW!” began to roar in my ears. I was helpless.
“Chips are one of his favorites. He also loves eggs. Pineapple. Sweet curries. Spaghetti.” I began.
“Ah, he’s a good eater,” she interjected, probably in an attempt to move the conversation along, but the 1000-facts-about-my-toddler train had left the station and was plummeting down the track and it suddenly became very important for my friend to grasp the full picture of my son’s relationship with food.
“Yeah. Bread. All things bread. Noodles. Porridge. Bananas. Blueberries.”
“Ah, that’s good…”
“It is! Yes. Well. Except lately he’s been weird about his food.”
“Oh?” to her credit, she was being terribly polite.
“Yeah. He hardly touches it lately. He won’t even eat his favorites. I gave him some vegetable soup the other day and he just drank the broth. Didn’t touch the noodles! And he loves noodles! He won’t touch his eggs either. Oh, and grapes. He loves grapes. He won’t eat grapes! He’s hardly eaten today, you know. He’s eaten like a bird…”
I kept rabbiting on (and on and on) as my poor friend nodded and sweetly feigned interest. Sure, I could hear myself. Yes, I knew what I was doing. But I didn’t know how to make it stop. I was elbow-deep in my own verbal diarrhea. We were all drowning in a sea of sh*t about my kid. There wasn’t a life preserver in sight. We were all about to go down.
Saved! We both checked the time, realized we had places to be and it was done. That particularly severe bout was over. To be honest my friend left really quickly. I secretly understood why. I’d done it again.
Am I the Only One? Surely, not?
But the reality for a Mum like me is that this condition can take over at any time. I can be going about my day, I can be perfectly fine… and then suddenly, I’m not. My affliction hijacks the conversation and renders me helpless, and I find myself once again crying out about my son’s sleep routine and the new leggings I bought him at Big W and the fact that he doesn’t talk but he loves to bark like a dog. It’s exhausting. But it’s my life now. Tell me I’m not alone. I can’t be the only one who #cantstoptalkingabouttheirkid
Trust us, you’re not alone. That’s why we’ve compiled the list..
How to Deal With a Friend Who Brags Too Much About Her Kids
Wiki has great advice on dealing with a friend that talks about their child too much… here’s a summary of what they’ve got to say… click on through for more!
It’s almost inevitable that when you get a group of parents together, comments about their child’s achievements will begin to fly. Although it’s human nature to be proud of your child, especially when they accomplish huge feats, bragging about your child to others can seem both overwhelming and rude to people who feel constantly accosted by the exaggerated updates.
If you’ve encountered that friend that doesn’t seem to understand that being a braggart about her or his child isn’t cool, here are a few steps you can take to deal with the behavior:
- Change the subject once your friend begins to brag. A quick hint that you really don’t want to hear it is to change the subject the minute she or he says, “Did I tell you how smart Billy is?
- Smile when your friend starts to tell the story, allow him or her to finish and then move onto the next subject. You’ll need a good segue but after a story about Sarah’s winning goal at the soccer game and how everyone was carrying her around on their shoulders say, “Oh my God, you should have seen the bride and groom at the last wedding I went to–they were on chairs and people were carrying them on their shoulders. They were adorable!”
- Relate the subject being bragged upon with something in the news. From sports to intelligence, don’t comment on what your friend says, but instead, relate it to something else. For example, if she or he talks about how gorgeous her or his daughter is, respond by saying how beautiful this Labrador Retriever is that you saw at the pet store yesterday. Make an entire story up about it (even if it didn’t happen!) where you considered purchasing the dog, but then wasn’t sure–make it lengthy so that you’ve taken the wind out of your friend’s sails.
- Nip the issue in the bud. The instant she or he starts talking about kids, smile and as nicely as you can and say “Please don’t talk to me about your kids/grandkids”. Soften this by saying something about wanting to hear how she or he is doing or has been up to. If she or he brings this back to the kid topic, cut your friend off and smile and repeat the request.
- Jokingly say if she or he wants to tell you about their kids, you have to time it and she or he has to then listen to the same amount of time, of course, of you talking about yours, or your diet, poodle, latest affair, or hemorrhoids. Or, remove the humor and say it with a deadpan face, showing that you’re genuine.
- Look at your watch and say, “Oops, I forgot I have to be somewhere.” If you just don’t want to have any interaction at that point, leave the scene immediately. Make something up but get out of there fast.
Would you dare to try any of these tips? Or do you think it’s a mums right to brag about her kids? If you know #thatmum we can only say… good luck!