I Like Your Nice Voice

{I started this post six months ago.  Provided I gather the courage, I’m clicking publish tonight.}

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While I was cuddling and cooing in Sing Song Mom to my wide-awake newborn the other morning, my 3yo daughter sidled up to me and said “Mom, I like your nice voice!

My nice voice.

The surprise in her voice spoke louder than her words and her wide, round eyes betrayed the thought that she wasn’t keeping secret in the first place.  It was as though she was hearing something beautiful for the first time.

As though she didn’t know my nice voice.  It was a novelty.

And that crushed me.

She knew well my voice.  My short, scolding, sighing, not-now-I’m-holding-the-baby voice.  My stop that, don’t do that, why do you always, are you listening, don’t, can’t, won’t, NO voice.

But not my nice voice.

Apparently the nice voice was reserved for the baby.  For the well-wishers.  For the phone callers.  But not for her.

Nice voices shouldn’t make an appearance for only the innocent infant demanders; robbers of time and sleep and sanity.  Nice voices should be spoken freely; gifts for even the once babies.  The classic now middle child who fights for attention with exorbitant amounts of mischief and patience-trying orneriness.  That child!


That beautiful, precious, God-given, never-a-dull moment child.  She deserves my nice voice.

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Comments

  1. Thank you for having the courage to hit publish – I needed to hear this tonight.

  2. My heart aches for you, Amy. Thank you for sharing this raw post.

    For me, my children get my nice voice and my husband doesn’t. God has been telling me about it over and over, but old habits die hard. I am but a sinner, and I’m going to keep doing it wrong.

    But I sure am trying to get it right. Hugs to you, Mama.

    • I relate to this–exactly this–so much, Tara. My husband too often is on the receiving end of my shortness and frustration… I, too, continue to pray and work hard on it, but I’m definitely not “there” yet.

    • Thanks, girl. I know my own hubby is on the “short” end of my tone, too. Must. Fix. That.

  3. I too say thank you for hitting the publish button. As a wife and mom, I need to hear this nicely spoken heart cry. I remember as a kid hearing a song–”You always hurt the one you love, the one you shouldn’t hurt at all…” Oh too true. Thank you for the reminder to use my “nice voice” for everyone–especially those I love most.

  4. hippie4ever says:

    Great post and what a beautiful girl :)

  5. Yes, yes, yes! Thank you for this timely reminder.

  6. This genuinely honest post is most definitely a finer thing. Thank you!

  7. What a deeply honest post. Thank you. She is beautiful!

  8. I relate so much to Tara and Jessie Leigh’s comments above. Sigh.

    Thank you for your courage to hit publish. You’ve made it easier for me to admit my shortcomings.

    xoxo

  9. This is great insight. My church is putting on a parenting class in March about this very topic. For me, it takes a constant effort to keep my tone in check. My tone problem has more to do with my failed expectations running my household, than it does with my children acting out. Fortunately for you, your daughter thought your sing songy voice sounded nice. My kiddos have each made comments toward my singing voice such as “Mommy can you just let the radio sing by itself?” I love my kids’ honesty because I really can’t sing. Thank goodness the Bible says “make a joyful noise!”

  10. Ouch.

    Ditto over here. I hate it, too, because I distinctly recall my mom screaming her head off at us, then picking up the phone and being an entirely different person. I always swore I’d never do it, and yet…ugh. My husband and daughter deserve my nice voice far more than my short and frustrated one.

    • I find that I really notice when “other moms” are yelling at their kids. My grouchy voice is more of a growl than a yell, but still…

  11. Well, this made me teary-eyed. Thanks for the reminder.
    Actually Tara offered a good reminder too.

  12. Thanks for sharing!!! I get convicted on this front daily! It really helps to know that there are others facing the same trials as well.

  13. This made me teary-eyed as well! Thank you Amy!

  14. WOW, I needed to hear this. I bet my 11 year old would say the same thing. Thanks for the insight, and I REALLY appreciate you posting this.

  15. Thank you for this wonderful post. My daughter has made a similar comment to me about my “nice voice”. Definitely need to use it more often. Thanks for the reminder!

  16. Love this.

    Hallee

  17. Thank you for this reminder!!!!! Very needed!

  18. Ouch Girl! My 13 and 11 year old kids need to hear my nice voice more often. I know they are affected by the way I talk to our two year old – and how different that voice is from the Mom they know.

  19. That is so beautifully said…and your daughter is precious!

  20. Wendy Brunner says:

    I think that the posts and the speaking engagements and the books and the articles that take the most courage to write and publish… are the ones that will resonate with listeners and readers the most. Thanks for clicking publish.

  21. I can totally relate to this! I’ve been working a lot on my nice voice lately. I definitely remember Mom using her angry voice on my teenaged siblings when I was little and it made me hide under the table.

    Because my younger daughter has autism and doesn’t react, it’s easy to let the angry voice out…but my heart knows I’m doing an injustice to both my girls, and God keeps convicting me. I’m a lot quieter now…which is a challenge when one is kicking the other, and the other is biting me in reaction, but these are the dues of parenting, and I’m ok with that!

    Great post :)

  22. becca roscoe says:

    Thank you so much I was looking for ways to show respect to my husband.. I think I found one a big one so BIG THANK YOU he will thank you too

  23. Well, this post made me cry–excuse me while I go call my “once baby” five-year-old grandson and share with him my very nicest voice!

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