Clearing Away the Chit-Chat

Are you a talker?  I am a talker.  Not the kind of person who can’t stop talking while someone else is talking during a meeting but the kind of person who likes to hang around and chit-chat with others as meetings are wrapping up and ending.     Helping out, cleaning up, and carrying on conversations are great ways to get to know people a bit better and make friends.  They call us “personable” and it’s not a bad trait.  Of course, be warned that if you hang around chatting, it is more than likely you’ll find yourself taking on extra duties and scribbling your name on those sign up sheets that look a little empty (because all the smart people got out of Dodge as soon as they could!).

Chit chat

Photo Credit: Alan Ainsley via Flickr

However, it’s also a great way to turn your “The meeting should only last an hour, I’ll be home around 6p.m.” into a big, fat lie as you sheepishly, walk in your own front door around 7:3op.m.  I’m so bad that my husband doesn’t even bother to call when I’m an hour late arriving home because he knows.  He knows I’m talking and not paying attention to the time.   Often, I come in from these meetings tired, stressed out (because I know I should have been home with my family), and hungry.  Yet, my husband is ready for a break, the boys are ready for some attention (or homework help or a referee to break up the latest argument), and I’m ready to zone out for a few minutes.  It does not exactly add up to a blissful, family setting.   I need to remember to give as much time as attention to my own family as I do to making idle conversation.

I bet I would even enjoy making the effort to chit-chat with my own family a bit more.  I really should try it some time.  It would be a challenge to not let my mind wander as I listen to the latest on the YouTube game videos or all about great  Minecraft mods (how sad is it that my youngest has been talking about Minecraft mods for over a year now and I don’t even know what a “mod” means…modification maybe?).   My husband is not huge into chit-chat so I’ll have to keep that in mind but I do know that he does prefer for me to be here in the early evenings to help with dinner, homework, and bedtime.

I have to go to a parent meeting tonight for my older son’s church youth group.  I am going to challenge myself to simply go to the meeting and come home.  I’m going to try to limit my chit-chat so I can come home on time (I have no idea how long the meeting will last but I’m guessing an hour).

One small thing I do want to clarify on this topic:  I still think it is important for a mom and wife to have an occasional night out.  I am not about to give up meeting with my friends once a month.  If I have a chance to catch up with an old friend, I’m still going to take it.  Part of putting my family first means functioning as happy mom and wife and that means giving myself a break once in a while.  I’m just going to challenge myself to be more mindful of the time.  If I say I the meeting will probably only last about an hour, I need to make sure that I hold myself to that time frame.

It’s time to talk to my own family more and carry on fewer conversations when I should be in my car heading home.  What about you?  Do you need to spend more time talking to your own family?  Do you also suffer from the personable people-pleasing affliction that plagues me?  Is there a cure?

(This is the 2nd post in my 31 Days Series titled Putting My Family First.  Click here to read about the series as well as find links to any posts you may have missed).



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5 thoughts on “Clearing Away the Chit-Chat

  1. Tanya

    I just ran into this situation last night and was talking to my husband about it. I run into almost every single day. I am a nanny for two of my very close friends. When they get home I tend to hang around and chit chat while my kids are at home waiting for their Mom and my husband is waiting for his wife. I need to work on getting home to them right after work and spending time with them. Perhaps I set one day aside I stay later. Thank you for this post and the reminder that while chit chatting with friends and forming relationships is not a bad thing , balancing them with the relationships of family at home is the most important.

    1. Jean Post author

      I’m glad you found the post useful. I bet it is a bit tricky working for friends in trying to balance everything.

  2. Pingback: » Quitting the Committing

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