Who's Dinging You Now?

by | Oct 1, 2013 | Every Day Life

Now before anyone gets the wrong idea, no we have not come up with a new name for … Just know it is not that.
It’s the question my husband will ask, in a very perturbed tone, when one of my friends texts me in the middle of the night. Now let me clarify. To my husband the middle of the night is anytime between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. The man is sound asleep most nights by 10:30 p.m. and apparently, he believes the rest of the world should be as well.

The problem is that I am a mother. And as a mother I have been trained to keep a phone by my bedside just in case there is an emergency in the middle of the night. I don’t know who came up with this rule, but as far as I know it is a universally understood and non-negotiable requirement of all mothers. We must be on call at all times and in a moment’s notice. I have explained this rule to my husband more than once, but every time I get one of those dings he says, “Turn it off!”
You see, he thinks if my children really needed me they would call, not send a text. But as a mother I have also been trained to consider all worst case scenarios. And as a mother I have played out in my mind – over and over again – those scenarios in which they may need to text instead of call. Let me share a few with you: There is a robber in their home and they need to stay quiet; they are hiding from a crazy person, and the crazy person is standing close by; they are injured somehow to where they can’t speak. Ok, I know that last one is a long shot, but it could happen. And as much as my husband and children make fun of me for always considering the worst, IT COULD HAPPEN!
Anyway, I don’t think I am the only momma that thinks this way. I am pretty sure, for a lot of us, when our child is born some switch in our brain gets flipped and we see danger everywhere.

I guess he might have the right to complain – a little – since all of the texts I have received of late during the “middle of the night” have been from friends. He tells me there is a setting I could use on my phone to allow only certain numbers to get through at certain times of the day. He has strongly suggested that I use this app to allow only my children and family access to my phone during the “middle of the night”. Well, there is a problem with that: I consider all of the friends who text me in the “middle of the night” family.

This has nothing to do with being a mom; it has to do with being a woman. We women know that just like there are certain rules for moms, there are certain rules for close girlfriends. Nobody ever gives us a manual on this, but we all know that you are on call for your friends 24/7. So what if the current texts are all non-emergency related. Someday they might be, and I need to be ready to go.
Now, the really annoying thing for me in this whole situation is that my husband actually wakes up to the sound of a ding. This is the same man who slept right through crying babies, children throwing up, people stealing pumpkins off our front porch, massive thunderstorms and teenagers sneaking in and out of the house. People, I could go on and on with how frustrated I have been in our marriage about his ability to sleep right through the events that have shot me like a rocket straight out of the bed in full battle mode.
Not only would I have to wake him up, but I would have to “give him a minute to get his bearing”. You have no idea how many times that man nearly lost his life while I stood there covered in vomit while he “got his bearings”. And as I think about all those moments, I think for his own safety the next time he hears a ding in the middle of the night he had better just pretend that he is still sleeping. Because if he doesn’t then the answer to the question, “Who is dinging you?” might very well end with me dinging him right on top of the head with my phone.
Of course I will check to see if the text is an emergency first, then I will ding him.


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