Top 10 Parenting Issues When Laryngitis Strikes

I have no voice.

Okay, it’s a slight exaggeration.

I have a voice capable of speaking anywhere from “whisper mode” all the way up to “you can hear me if you stand less than three feet away and the room is silent” in volume.

It has been this way for almost a week.

Parenting two children, both under the age of five with such a voice is full of challenges.

Top 10 Parenting Issues When Laryngitis Strikes

Top 10 Parenting Issues When Your Voice Fades to a Whisper10.  You can’t read to your kids, who happen to love books.

9.   It is very hard to play when every other sentence out of your 4.5 year old’s mouth is, “What did you say, Mommy?”

8.  You cannot make the stern “Listen to me, or you’re in big trouble” tone without your voice cracking.

7.  You cannot use words to calm your screaming child.

6.  Your daughter wonders why you don’t follow the rules and yell, “Ahh! Ahh!” when she attacks you with the prehistoric crocodile-looking toy.

5. They cannot hear anything you say while dining out.

It's impossible for the kids to hear me with laryngitis in the van - especially since they aren't quiet.

It's impossible for the kids to hear me with laryngitis in the van - especially since they aren't typically quiet.

4.  You cannot talk to them in the car, because you are incapable of being understood over the road noise. This pisses them off.

3.  You have people to call and the usual challenge of being heard over your children in the background is now impossible. Plus everyone thinks you’re depressed thanks to the monotone quality your voice has.

2.  You never have a long enough period of time without needing to talk to let your voice recover.

1.  You need to take a translator or surrogate mommy on errands or to the park because once your children reach further than three feet away, they cannot hear you. This makes it impossible to call them back without chasing each one down.

Or you have swallow your embarrassment to nudge a random stranger and say, “Can you please yell “Tackler” to get my child’s attention? I have no voice.”

What challenges do you face when you lose your voice?

About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos ( sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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16 Responses to Top 10 Parenting Issues When Laryngitis Strikes

  1. Ugh.

    One year I did an entire set of parent-teacher interviews (4-8 pm) with no voice. None. I had a sign up. I asked the parents to tell me about their child. I responded in whispers. The admin wanted me to stay home but it would have meant rescheduling 50 appointments over two nights. So they hired me a sub during the day. I slept. I came in for two evenings. It wasn’t fun, but it beat losing the next 2 weeks to interviews and phone calls!

    Hope you’re better!

  2. Nice post! I love the tail end of laryngitis – the last day or two before the voice comes back …I like to pretend I’m Demi Moore 😉

  3. Nightmare. I’m pretty sure that pushing through years of laryngitis is how I acquired vocal chord damage. Feel better soon. Drink tea!

    • It’s just so warm for tea… but I plan to. It just never quite happens.

      I’ve lost my voice upon occasion. Sometimes due to cough, sometimes due to screaming. Once due to speaking like the Wicked Witch of the West for an entire play practice while I had to train my voice.

      Nothing is more frustrating than not having it for corralling your kids. Especially my kids, who are free range and like to wander.

  4. Sad truth: I never lose my voice. Ever. Not when sick. Not while screaming at my children. Not after teaching six classes back to back day after day after day.

    Why is this sad?

    It’s the result of a LIFETIME of not shutting the hell up. It’s actually embarrassing to have trained your vocal chords to endure such extremes.

    Yes. I was and am that annoying. To my parents. Friends. Husband. Family.
    True story.

    • Liz McLennan says:

      Ah, Julie, kindred spirit, soul sister. I know you. You are me.

      Aren’t we awesome?

      Feel better, Kel!

    • I was once that way, only losing my voice while training to speak just like the Wicked Witch of the West for a play.

      Because I too, never shut up.

      Then I became a stay at home parent.

      And I try very hard not to yell. I don’t typically scream. So roller coasters plus allergies knocked my voice out for a while.

      I’m still only at about 70% – I can’t yell without my voice cracking or going into a coughing fit.

      You can come annoy me any time, my dear.

  5. Ugh. I am so sorry it’s gone on so long! I don’t know how I’d parent without the ability to be loud upon occasion. I hope it ends soon. (I think we have the same van.) 🙂

    • If you have an Odyssey, we do in fact have the same van.

      I really need to be loud for the whole “in public wrangling”. At least more than a monotone-slightly-above-a-whisper.

      Now every time I try a louder decibel and succeed, I go into a coughing fit….

  6. I love the last image of asking someone to yell “Tackler” for you. 🙂 There’s just something about being a mom that makes absolutely everything okay…

  7. John says:

    Oh, I love the concept of you going up to strangers to have them yell “Tackler” at your boy. And I’m crossing my fingers that you actually call him “tackler.”

    I have “the voice,” the “you better pay attention to me or I’m going to yell,” and when I yell, they cry (this makes me feel like the greatest parent ever). When I lose my voice, I lose “the voice,” and my authority flies out the window.

    • Our authority should not be so linked to our volume, but we spend so much time cultivating the “you better pay attention to me or I’m going to yell” tone so we don’t have to yell.

      And we fail to achieve that due to laryngitis and are unable to follow with the yelling, it tells then we lack our former follow through and suddenly years of conditioning fly out the window.

      I can only imagine the looks I’d get if I did address him as “tackler” in public. I wouldn’t mine, but frankly, I don’t need to be giving him ideas….

  8. Pingback: Hot for Teachers | Dances with Chaos

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