Something to Talk About
Yesterday I had lunch with a friend whom I have known for over thirty years. It’s quite difficult to put that in writing. I don’t actually feel like I’m old enough to be able to say that.
Needless to say, we have a huge amount of shared history. We have been there for each other when great things have happened, and when things in our lives have gone a bit pear shaped. He is one of my best friends, and I was so happy to have him meet my new baby.
We trotted off to the local coffee shop to test out their brew. This is something we have done in hundreds of places over the years (he is something of an aficionado) and got down to the business of catching up. Suddenly, all I could talk about was my kids.
I LOVE my kids. I adore my new baby and my four year old daughter is the absolute light of my life, but I know that not everyone wants hear about them for over an hour!
So I started to think about what I could do about the fact that I found myself with nothing else to say. Here are four things I came up with to help stop the “kid talk” overload.
- Free yourself to pursue something grown up.
I have talked before about the benefits of using a breast pump and having someone else feed your little one once a day. Having a convenient stash of breast milk in freezer bags can be a lifesaver for your sanity. It gives you a little reprieve from the endless (adorable) nappies, crying and feeding. This week I’ll be using this method to do a little trip to the movies with my four year old. While she’s not quite grown up, at least I’ll be able to comment relatively intelligently on a recent release, even if it is rated G.
- Join an online group
And I don’t mean a mums group, although you could do that too. Find a group that is pursuing something that interests you, and believe me, there are groups on EVERYTHING, from cats to canoeing, from plumbing to patchwork and from dancing to dieting. Spend some time getting to know some new people, and talking about something that you’ve always been interested in. It will help you to reconnect with adults and set you up with some conversations starts that don’t start with “... and then she did the cutest thing ...”
- Get active
Do something active. Having a fitness goal can help with refocusing the mind. Get the bottle and the expressed milk out, get your breastfeeding sports bra on, hand the baby over and get moving. Regardless of your fitness level, there are things you can do, and getting active acts as a freeing agent for your mind. Use the time to focus on your goals and think about how you can achieve them. Get enthusiastic; it will come out when you talk to people.
- Become an expert
If something about your kids interests you or fascinates you or frustrates you, so much that you can’t focus on anything else, become an expert. There are so many avenues for obtaining information. The internet, libraries, radio, courses. Find out what you can about your kids, behaviour, personality, skills or traits, and use it to start a conversation. If we really have to talk about our kids all the time, let’s start a conversation that has a deeper meaning than just bragging or complaining, for our own sake as well as our listeners.
I’ll be trying all of these in the next few weeks and months. Hopefully I’ll be able to add one or two things to my repertoire so that my friends don’t’ fall asleep from boredom when I go out for coffee with them.