I spent 15 minutes yesterday trying to record my active greeting for voicemail. I came up with several variations of saying the same thing, the gist of which is of course, “PLEASE, PEOPLE! I HAVE SMALL CHILDREN! TEXT ME IF YOU NEED AN ANSWER NOW, BECAUSE THE VOICEMAIL YOU JUST LEFT HAS DISAPPEARED INTO THE DEEP BLACK ABYSS OF MY INBOX TO RESURFACE ONLY IN DIRE NECESSITY” followed by “IF YOU’RE NOT FRIEND OR FAMILY AND I DON’T ALREADY HAVE YOU IN MY CONTACT LIST, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS SANITY-DRIVEN LEAVE A MESSAGE BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND WILL NOT CALL YOU BACK BLINDLY, SO IF IT’S IMPORTANT THEN DON’T JUST ASSUME YOU CAN CALL BACK LATER. THERE IS NO “LATER” WITH SMALL CHILDREN”. And in coming up with these variations as my three year old started screaming in the background for the hell of it (and further illustrating my point) I came up with this list of reasons why you REALLY need to just text me and hope I’m going to be checking on my various mobile games or snapping a picture of my kids being cute in the next few minutes.

1) I went out last night and left my phone in my purse. It is now dead, because the battery life on mobile phones is short.
2) I took it into the bedroom with me when I went to bed last night. In the middle of the night Homer finished his latest quest/task and I was alerted of its completion so I turned on the “do not disturb” feature. My phone has been silent all day and I have forgotten I did this. It is also buried somewhere under the blankets because I couldn’t be bothered to put it back on the nightstand.
3) My three year old had it this morning when I handed it to him to get some extra sleep. He turned off the ringer and it is now buried in the blankets of the bed.
4) My three year old was watching Paw Patrol on my phone and drained the battery. The phone is now dead and buried under the blankets. I will find it several hours from now when I realize I haven’t heard my Simpsons go off all day, after I tear apart the rest of the house. Said phone will then need to be charged for a few minutes before it even turns on.
5) My three year old was practicing his amateur photography skills with my phone. I now have 900 new pictures of the cat, the floor, the TV, his foot, and my phone is also dead.
6) My three year old somehow managed to turn my phone ringer off AND hit “do not disturb” and then left it between the couch cushions.
7) I took my phone back from my three year old and put it on the charger. I forgot to check to make sure that not only was the ringer back on, but that the volume was turned up and “do not disturb” was no longer in effect.
8) I remembered to turn the ringer on and check “do not disturb” but failed to check the volume.
9) I remembered to turn the ringer on, check the volume and disable “do not disturb”, but the charger was doing that thing where the cord wasn’t in the right spot and my phone that was 15% charged failed to charge anymore. It is now dead. I will find its corpse hours later when I need to use it, and curse the gods.
10) My phone is still in the charger in the kitchen. I can’t hear it though because I’m in another room and the kids are screaming for the hell of it.
11) My phone is in the kitchen, I’m in another room, and I can’t hear it because I’m yelling at my three year old to stop hitting his cousin/jumping on the couch/swinging his toys around where his sister is crawling.
12) My phone is in the kitchen, I’m right beside it, but I still can’t hear it because my three year old is screaming that he’s hungry (even though he just ate a whole apple, an orange, and his lunch is still sitting uneaten on the table) and I’m holding a screaming, teething baby.
13) My phone is in the kitchen but I’m washing the dishes. If I like you I’ll call you back after I’m done…if I remember.
14) I was downstairs doing laundry and didn’t bring my phone with me.
15) I was feeding the baby and my phone wasn’t within reach.
16) The kids were napping and I turned the phone on silent. I am currently playing Simpsons, but I don’t want to risk waking them by answering the phone as that might cause my son to suddenly sit up and ask “Daddy?” and then my peace is broken.
17) *I* was napping. The phone is on silent. I’ll call you back after I wake up, if I remember.
18) You called before 10am on a Saturday. You are not my husband. Therefore I turned the phone to silent and went back to sleep.
19) It’s lunch time. Maybe not specifically that time of day, but the kids are having lunch and I just sat down.
20) I seriously JUST sat down. My phone is in the kitchen. Call back later or text me if it’s important.
21) I didn’t recognize the number. If you’re a friend or family, text me so I know you’re not a telemarketer.
22) I was on the other line and didn’t want to end my conversation prematurely.
23) I was on the other line and can’t figure out how to effectively put one person on hold and switch over and then back.
24) I was on the other line and didn’t recognize the other number, so I ignored you. Seriously, TEXT ME!
25) I was actually out shopping, phone was in my purse. In theory I should be able to hear it, but I have small children and stores are noisy. In theory, communism works too.
26) I was out shopping and my phone was in my purse. I forgot which zipper compartment it was in and by the time I was able to dig it out, you hung up. If you wait 5 minutes before calling back and don’t leave a voicemail (if you’re family or friend) then I might just call you back to see what you wanted.
27) In digging my phone out of my purse I then accidentally dropped it. By the time I picked it up you were gone.
28) I was out shopping. My three year old had my phone. He hung up on you because he was watching Paw Patrol or taking pictures of his feet. In his defense, you interrupted him 😉
29) I was at the park with the kids. I can’t hear the phone over the sound of kids screaming everywhere.
30) For some reason the phone was stashed in the diaper bag. By the time I realize this and dig it out, you will have hung up.
31) I have determined that your number is not any that I know or SHOULD know, and that you are a telemarketer. You will further prove my theory correct by not leaving a voicemail.
32) I am in the middle of the chaos that is dealing with small children and just CAN’T deal with another person right now.
33) I’m changing a diaper.
34) I’m trying to placate the whining three year old and don’t have time to answer the phone right now.
35) The kids are napping and I finally have a moment’s peace. I’m not cutting into my break time to answer the phone unless it’s super important. In which case, text me.
36) I’m in the bathtub. I’m not getting out.
37) I’m in the shower.
38) I’m with my husband. We’re busy. If you want to avoid a graphic description you’ll stop asking questions.
39) It’s date night.
40) It’s Mom’s Night Out.
41) The kids pushed me past the edge and I went to bed at 7pm when they did.
42) My husband is home, I’m not expecting any calls today and I didn’t feel like getting up to answer the phone. If you’re in my contact list I’ll text you.
43) I don’t feel like answering the phone. Text me.
44) I’m pissed at you and am now freezing you out.
45) I know why you’re calling and don’t have the information/answer you want and don’t feel like explaining that to you.
46) I got a head’s up from a mutual friend/family member that you would be calling. I need time to think about what I now know you’re going to ask me.
47) It’s easier to just NOT answer the phone right now.
48) I’ve reached my quota on dealing with other humans today. Try me again tomorrow. Or text me.
49) I don’t like you and don’t feel like pretending I do.
50) You’re calling at a time when I specifically warned everyone I would be busy. This could be a meeting OR I could be watching Game of Thrones, Pretty Little Liars etc. Either way, phone is on silent.
More than one reason can apply. Either way, if it’s important, TEXT ME! Answering the phone takes effort and while I’m in the trenches with small children “effort” is reserved for things that are actually worth it. Also, if you pocket dial me, and I actually answer the phone, I will KILL you.