Common name: Involuntary Oversharing
Latin name: totalis blabbermouthium
Symptoms: Inability to refrain from expelling a build up of information, every single thought that has entered sufferers head, or anything vaguely exciting that has happened to them. Symptoms usually appear on meeting another adult after extended periods in only the company of children.
Sufferers: Most commonly found in stay at home mothers but, increasingly seen in fathers over the last few years.
Infectius status: Not originally thought to be contagious, but with the advent of baby groups and preschool activities it has been found to infect all mothers who come into contact with each other.
Cure: See bottom of page
Okay so that was all a bit silly but the chances are, if you are parent who has spent extending periods of time alone with only your children as company you will have suffered from what I see as a debilitating disease. Unless you are able to vent all you thoughts throughout the day then as soon as your other half walks through the door after work, or the postman delivers a parcel, or you meet someone you vaguely recognise walking down the street, you are likely to chew their ear off with no abandon to what you are actually saying!
I know in the past, especially when our eldest four were little, Lee would be swept off his feet by the amount of information I *needed* to get out of my system, the second he walked through the door! He would barely get a hello out of me before I was reeling off the fact that so and so had bumped their head, whatshername had thrown a tantrum in the middle of the street, I hadn’t done blahdiblah, that one had blah blah blah blah blah, I’m sure that’s what it all sounded like to him, poor guy wouldn’t even have managed to take his boots off!
Over the years I have come to realise it isn’t just me who suffers from this problem. Just recently I stepped in to a lift with this mum and her young child. In the two minutes it took to go down a floor I had learnt that:
- She was there to meet her boyfriend who was there to watch a film with his son from a previous relationship.
- She had taken ages to find a parking space, ended up parking right at the other side of the car park.
- She wanted to go home already as she had only slept an hour the night before as her little one was up teething.
- She didn’t have her phone on her to tell him they weren’t coming because it had run out of charge and she couldn’t find the charger.
- They were going to have McDonalds as treat.
- She hoped that her boyfriend would find them and she didn’t know what time their film finished so they could be out already but possibly not yet.
This is a classic case of Involuntary Oversharing, this poor mum was obviously feeling totally exhausted, coupled with the isolation from adults for at least the previous few hours it was inevitable that she was telling me, another mother of a young child, all these things.
But don’t be disheartened, this disease won’t last forever and there are a few things you can do now to relieve the build up of information in your brain.
Use social media frequently throughout the day: By sharing your thoughts and experiences immediately with random strangers you will avoid the tension of a huge backlog at the end of the day. Twitter is especially good for this purpose as you don’t necessarily need any response from anyone but it does raise your spirits if a stranger favourites/retweets your tweet. Instagram is also good for ridding yourself of the desperate need to show everyone, anyone, all of your baby photos!
Text friends or family: With this method it’s best not to share too much in individual little chunks and to save up a few nuggets of information for one larger text.
Phone friends or family: A less popular choice since the rise of social media and texting, this option is also best for when there are a few things you need to get out of your system. When phoning other mothers it’s best to remember that they too may be in need of an information download so it is courteous to allow them a few seconds to speak also.
Start a blog: Obviously this is my favoured option! I can’t always get on my laptop during the day but I also use the WordPress app on my phone which allows me to jot bits of interesting information down and is the reason I have 59 draft posts!
Do you suffer from bouts of involuntary Oversharing?