Do you Hear what I Hear?

Before I go into my blog, I should set the scene.  Remember how I mentioned we moved into small house in a gated community.  As is typical to gated communities, every house looks the same.  Have you ever seen The Big Hit with Mark Wahlberg?   The running gag through the movie is that every time he comes home to his little house in the ‘burbs, he pulls into the wrong driveway because all the houses look the same.  That’s my neighborhood with Southwestern houses, which makes me a little ill to think about it.  Among these houses are five-foot tall walls, separating the small back yards.  Add that most of the residents are retires, and you now know everyone.


The other day, my neighbor stopped me as I was ushering the boys out of the house to go get the mail.  This nice woman was telling me how sweet and charming my boys were which I couldn’t help but agree.  Then she told me how she and her husband prefer to keep the windows open and sliding glass door open for the cool air, which everyone does here.  She told me how she enjoyed hearing the voices of my sons playing and how it brought back the days when her own sons were young.  That terrified me.


It dawned on me that she and the rest of the two blocks had heard my family at our best and at our worst.


I am by no means a quiet person.  I get excited; I get loud.  I get talkative; I get loud.  I get happy; I get loud.  I get angry; I get loud.  You get the picture.  It’s really a shame that we don’t live somewhere where I can holler my boys’ names across hills and woods.  In tight quarters, I am a bit obnoxious, and I started to wonder how we sounded.


Did we sound like a happy family?  Did I sound like a happy mother?  Did I sound like I was in control?  Do my boys sound happy and uncrazy?  Do I nag all the time?  Do I yell all the time?  Can they hear how much TV my boys watch?  Is it too much?  Am I a good mother?  Are my boys good boys?  Lord, help me, do I sound like I belong on the show “Cops?”


Now I know I’m not an uptight, control-freak mother.  I only need total creative control. (And yes, I did have someone, mention that I needed all control back in my college days and the guy had only two classes with me, go fig.)  But I’m not uptight.  My husband and my mom agree on few things, and one of them is my utter lack of discipline or in other words, not as much as they want me to have.  But I think I’m a pretty good mom because my boys are happy and smart.  Sure, I’m not perfect nor do I want to be.  I’m still trying to do this all by trial and error while reading and listening to the experts.  I just want to be the best mom, the best person I can be for my kids.


But I have to wonder in those bad mommy moments {;-)}, who is listening and who is judging.  


And I have to remember to close the window at night.



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11 Responses to “Do you Hear what I Hear?”

  1. KathyB! Says:

    OH FAEMOM! Definitely close the windows at night… Bad mommy moments we can take (and all the good ones, too). Midnight rendezvous with hubby? Not so much 🙂

  2. ck Says:

    Oh I remember that well. When my older daughter was in the depths of tantruming we had the windows shut at all times because she could go for 1.5 hours without pause.

    And PS: you’re a great mom. Which is why you shouldn’t be surprised when a little blonde and her redheaded sister show up on your doorstep with their suitcases.

  3. ymK Says:

    Kathy B is funny, but so right! Shut those windows.

  4. C Says:

    So funny, I am thankful the only neighbors that can hear my yelling and ‘bad mommy moments’ 😉 are my family…They know how loud I can get.

    Sounds to me like the lady doesn’t hear the bad parts, or was she tastefully letting you know she can hear all?? xoxo

  5. Jenny Says:

    I live in that kind of community, too, minus the walls. And our houses are so freaking close together. We moved here in a hurry, when my husband got orders to deploy to Kuwait with the National Guard, because it’s close to my sister and had a miniscule sidewalk/yard for me to shovel/mow. My husband deployed very soon after we moved in, and it was a rough period in my life. I remember one day hearing another family on our baby monitor. My heart SANK. I had the same thoughts you describe here. To boot, the week after my husband left, I attended some lame neighborhood association meeting down the street, where my then toddler splatted face first on the driveway after dismantling the host’s garden border. She screamed bloody murder as I walked her home with everyone else watching, sipping wine and beer, wondering about the poor, new, apparently single mom who’d just moved in. After I put my daughter to bed, I put my feet up in the lit office upstairs and started drinking wine directly out of a bottle, exhausted and sad. It didn’t occur to me until about 15 minutes later that the neighborhood meeting was breaking up, and while my new neighbors strolled home in the dark, they could look up into my office window and see me like that — so soon after the screaming incident at the meeting. So, long story not very short (sorry!), I really feel for you about the compact little Edward Scissorhands neighborhood! It does feel like Big Brother is watching, doesn’t it?

  6. pinnythewu Says:

    Oh my god, how horrifying. I couldn’t stand the idea of my neighbours listening to me. I’m far too underclass for that.

  7. Zeemaid Says:

    I can so relate. I am what you would call a “yeller”. I know, I know Supernanny we’re not supposed to yell but it must be the European in me cause I can’t help it. My prob is not so much the neighbours, although I do cringe when I’ve just lost it and notice an open window, but my inlaws live upstairs so everyday it’s like this daily reminder of how I’ve failed in my not yelling scheme. Arg. It helps (a very little) a little that my MIL says she was a yeller too but somehow I just can’t picture it!

  8. Gibby Says:

    I can be a (ahem) yeller, too. There have been times when I actually close the windows, and then yell! I am that psycho! Instead of thinking of a better way to deal with the situation, I just close the windows. Sigh. My kids are going to need therapy.

  9. faemom Says:

    KathyB!~ You’re awesome! I mentioned the end of the blog to my husband, who didn’t get it. Either he’s niave or it’s been to long. 🙂
    ck~ Your girls sound so cute and sweet (and all those cute Easter dresses are out) that I might just have to keep them. Granted, you would owe me one.
    C~ I think she just hears the good parts, but you never know.
    Jenny~ It does! Totally! All these old woman who had a different concept of childraising, though they may have just seen it all.
    pinny~ As though parenting in public wasn’t bad enough.
    Zeemaid~ Wow. Wow. Yeah, the in-laws upstairs would be bad. That’s why we keep moving further and further than mine, though secertly I think I’m doing a better job.
    Gibby~ Don’t worry I grew-upn with a yeller WITH serious PMS issues. I don’t yell as much as she did. I’m still looking over the shoulder for the PMS issues.

  10. joz1234 Says:

    Haha! I am a yeller too! That would have freaked me out!!!

  11. faemom Says:

    It totally makes me rethink what I say when the window is open.

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