Taking a Call – with 3 Kids

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Basically, let me start this post by saying the above situation SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN if you can help it.

But sometimes, if you are busy parents of 3 like us, work and parenting mix quite often. This is because you are constantly multi-tasking, and because you don’t have a choice, really. Kids and productivity don’t mix.

That being said, I own a small business and inevitably there’s always something that comes up. I try to avoid a business phone call like the plague while I am with the kids. This is why:

The phone rings and it’s a business call. I usually say something like this:

Me: OK kids, mum has to take this call. DO NOT MOVE, MAKE A SOUND, OR ASK ME QUESTIONS. JUST SIT THERE AND BREATHE.

When you say things like this it is inevitable that Newton’s third law kicks in: “For every action, there is always opposed an equal reaction.” So any of these scenarios WILL happen:

  • He’s punching/kicking/licking/ me!
  • The hamster escaped!
  • He made me drink toilet water!
  • He won’t let me have a turn!
  • Mum, can you help me do/eat/paint/unwrap/build/find this?

Oh, and I almost forgot. On top of that, I am always holding a squirmy baby.

While this scenario is absolutely painful, there is something even worse:

The important phone call you must take in the car

This is the phone conversation I had recently (on bluetooth, so the person calling can hear everything):

Me: Hello and so good to talk to you. I thought that we could

Chewbacca Jr.:
MMMMWWWWAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHMWWWAAAAHHHHHHHMWWAHHHHHHHH.

My youngest son has decided that this is the right time to do his Chewbacca impression OVER AND OVER. I’m so thankful that Outnumbered Dad taught him this important skill that morning. Great timing on everyone’s part.

The caller: Excuse me?

Me: Sorry about that, I’m going through a tunnel. Anyway, let’s talk about

Chewbacca Jr.:
MMMMWWWWAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHMWWWAAAAHHHHHHHMWWAHHHHHHHH.

The caller: What is that?

Me: [Trying to sound professional and mouthing STOP IT!!!!] The phone reception is just terrible, sorry about that. So let’s get back to….

The baby: hi hi hi hi hi hi hi hi hi hi hi hi hi hi hi hi hi hi hi hi hi hi hi

The baby’s only word is “hi.” And lucky for me, she says it LOUDLY until someone says it back to her.

Me: [Whispering to my older son] Say hi to the baby NOW!

My older son: What? What? I can’t hear you.

The caller: Perhaps… this is a bad time?

Me: No, no, its just great.

Chewbacca Jr.:
MMMMWWWWAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHMWWWAAAAHHHHHHHMWWAHHHHHHHH.

Me: I’ll have to call you back.

Most important lesson learned in this situation: know when to admit defeat.

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