I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Love Notes

I'm a member of a parenting-of-HOM group on facebook (for the uninitiated, HOM = Higher Order Multiples, a fancy word for multiple births that are triplets, quads or more because clearly that sort of parenting is a higher order of insanity.)  It's a fascinating group because it has everyone from all stages of parenting HOM's - the ones who are still pregnant all the way to ones with adult children. Recently one of the mothers (of fairly young triplets) posted a photo of a note she wrote to her husband, captioned, "Can you tell I was pissed off?"

I won't post it word for word here, but it basically was full of curse words and things like, "just because you work all day does not give you permission to come home and sit on your backside" and "I work all day too you know, they are your children too!" and so on. It was one of the most angry notes I've ever read and clearly she was having a pretty crappy day. Not every day with baby triplets (or baby, singular) is a picnic and she was obviously having one of those days.

In all the times when I've wanted to throttle DH, I can honestly say I've never wanted to do it in print like that. Yes, of course, there are times when I've torn shreds off of him (verbally) because I too had one of those days, and I was really just taking out my frustration on the nearest target. Even in my angriest moments, I can't imagine putting pen to paper like that - which is surprising given that I'd almost always rather write my thoughts than speak them.   I suppose this woman's version of communication was on paper - but I was really struck by that note and how indelible it's mark now is. (I won't even begin to analyse her need to post it on facebook...)

While I believe that you cannot take back words that have been said, I think words that are on paper are almost worse in a way. Seeing something in black and white like that is somehow more hurtful than words which are said ... I suppose because we all blurt out things we do not mean when we are angry, but taking the time to write them down implies (to me) a certain amount of thought and effort beyond what you might blurt in a moment of weakness.

This is probably a reflection on my communication style in general though - I don't write anything (not a blog post, not an email, not a birthday card, not even a text messsage) without either editing it first, OR going back afterwards and reading it again and then sending a second missive to explain myself better. With blogging I try very hard NOT to edit (because I find I express myself better when I don't force it too hard) but I still consider my words carefully as I write them, and I will re-read my posts many times after I've already hit the publish button. I don't know - there's just something very real about words which are written down. I just think they somehow carry much more weight than spoken words do.

What do you think? Which is more powerful? The spoken word, or the written word?

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