10 reasons why I haven’t called you back

a yellow toy truck running over a phone

When I first became a mum, my competency at returning phone calls diminished significantly. Since becoming a mum of two, the chances of me returning a phone call have dropped to practically zero.

Unless you leave me a message saying I have won a million dollars, or that my electricity is about to be turned off, your chances of hearing back from me are slim to none.

Sadly, this doesn’t just apply to service providers or sales calls; I rarely return even my closest friends’ phone calls, instead making do with replying via text message several hours days weeks later.

To be honest, I’ve never been much of a phone chatterer, not since my teenage years anyway. If I’m going to have a chat I much prefer to do it face-to-face. But I’m pretty sure that before my two little cherubs arrived I was at least able make a quick return phone call to touch base.

phone leaning against a tree stump

So, perhaps you left me a voicemail a couple of days ago, and you’re wondering if you’ve done something to piss me off and I’m ignoring you.  Or maybe you’re wondering if my phone service malfunctioned and I didn’t get the message.

Neither is true.

I’m certainly not ignoring you – in fact, the knowledge that you left me a message and I haven’t had the time/privacy/energy/memory to call you back is eating away at me. I feel like a bad friend. I want to prioritise my friendships, I want to connect with my loved ones, I want to call people back when they leave me a message.

But here are 10 reasons why I haven’t:

  1. I plugged my phone in to charge but Little Miss pulled the cord out of the plug to use it as a skipping rope for her dolly.
  2. I picked up my phone to call you but the Stuntman scaled up my leg like a hairless chimpanzee and grabbed it out of my hands to watch videos of himself dancing.
  3. I tried to return your call but discovered that Little Miss had deleted my entire contact list.
  4. I took my phone to the toilet so I could multitask and return some calls ‘in private’, but the Stuntman pushed his way in and insisted on sitting on my lap while I finished my business.
  5. My phone was the victim of a tug-of-war between the kids, and ended up smashed against the wall in four pieces.
  6. I picked up the phone and started leaving you a message, but Little Miss started yelling at me to “stop talking, stop talking, STOP TALKING”, until I stopped talking.
  7. I had planned to call you back on my way home from work, but I used up my entire battery looking at photos and videos of the kids over the course of the day.
  8. I couldn’t actually listen to your voicemail because my whole phone memory is now taken up by Peppa Pig videos and ‘educational’ apps.
  9. I scheduled time to call you back after I got the kids to sleep but then fell asleep on the sofa as soon as I’d eaten my dinner.
  10. I don’t want you to hear the absolute uncontrolled chaos in the background, because I want you to think I’ve got my shit together. I don’t.

So please don’t think I don’t value our friendship if I haven’t called you back.

It is purely a matter of logistics.

Are you a terrible phone-call-returner like me? Or have you got some sort of secret phone-call-returning system to share?



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