Posts Tagged ‘stay at home mom’

It’s been interesting over the last few days to deliberately observe how differently my family members add or remove “noise” from their environment.  What caused me to take note of this was a headline – though I admittedly didn’t read the article – about whether music is distracting to kids while they are studying and doing homework.  My thought?  I think it really varies by personality.

I’ll start with me because I’m pretty sure I know my noise personality: it’s up and down, and closely tied to my mood.  In general, I prefer no noise.  Yes, I choose quiet most of the time.  I’m a stay-at-home mom, but unless there is a breaking news story, the tv is never on.  NEVER.  Nor do I have music playing at home.  When I exercise, usually swimming or walking, I don’t listen to music either.  (At one point before getting married, I had a waterproof belt that I put a walkman in while I was swimming laps.  I’m sure now they make a waterproof iPod pouch but I’m certainly not in the market for one.)  In the car is where I’m most likely to listen to music, but even then it’s 50/50.  The girls like Radio Disney, and I’ll also listen to pop and 80s on occasion.  But when the DJs start talking or commercials come on, I’ll flip the channel OR turn it off entirely.  I have no problems driving in the car without any music whatsoever.  The exception being on beautiful, cool, sunny spring days – like today – when the windows are down and the beat is thumping.  (OK, well, not thumping exactly … I mean, I do drive a minivan.)

My husband is easy – he’s all noise, all the time.  He’s a HUGE music fan and he is actually UNable to concentrate without noise of some sort.  When he’s working in his home office, the tv or music is on.  Always and without fail.  The only time he really breaks this rule, which I realized last night, is when he’s mowing the grass.  He doesn’t put headphones on.  It will be interesting to see if he starts once he reads this – my guess is that it just has never occurred to him to do so.  But otherwise, he’s always got something playing – when working out, in the car, when at work.

Our older daughter seems to be more wired like my husband, while our younger daughter is more like me.  This morning before leaving for school was a perfect example.  They had both finished breakfast so they had a few minutes of free time, so the younger one chose to color quietly at their art table, while the older one chose to pound out some notes and melodies on the keyboard.  In general, that’s a pretty good representation of their noise styles: the older one loves music (and possesses a fair amount of musical talent as well) and is better able to concentrate WITH noise, the younger one – perhaps a result of her sensory-sensitive nature – tends to choose a quiet environment.

Which begs the question: with two adults who have opposite noise styles and two kids who also are quite different, how does it work at home?  To be honest, we don’t really have many issues.  My husband’s home office is in the basement, and when we added that room, we insulted it fully.  So he can be down there with the music or tv turned up loud and I hardly hear it on the main level.  I understand that his version of downtime involves noise, and he understands that my version of downtime does NOT involve noise.  It’s not as if I never watch tv – we still enjoy watching tv together in the evenings; or if I come outside to help wash cars, he might turn the radio off so we can chat or interact with the girls.  The different styles don’t seem to impact the girls much at this age, though our older daughter has recently re-discovered her iPod and seems to enjoy listening to music throughout the day.  And that, of course, has prompted our younger daughter to ask for an iPod of her own.  But that’s another post for another day…


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