Heater, Mother of Lance

I’d totally be a groupie

Last night we had snacks and drinks with some close friends and inevitably the men all ended up on the couch talking about nerd-related topics while the women corralled the kids and discussed More Important Things: childcare, work, what was Natalie Portman going to wear to the Golden globes?

My friend has struggled with the decision to increase the hours her son is in daycare, and the dilemma is made all the more unsettling because nosy people keep asking, “So when are you going back to work?” Lemme just go ahead and fist pump all the stay-at-home parents out there who want to yell OH HELL, NO.

Have you ever been a stay-at-home parent? Do you have any idea the amount of rigorous work and emotion it requires? The tireless hours of performing tasks that will never earn you a raise or a gold star or even be acknowledged by another human being? Cause Imma let you shut your mouth if you haven’t.

Anyway, my friend was like, no, I’m not going back to work anytime soon. In fact, I’m going to sit on my butt and listen to the quiet.

And I was like, The Quiet? Who is this band, and why have I not heard of them?

Someone has got to make this happen. Someone has got to put a band together that just stands still on stage, their guitars hanging languidly around their necks, the keyboard and drum set untouched. And in order to buy a ticket you have to be a parent. And you can’t bring your kids. And you just sit there in the theater with all these other parents basking in the exhilarating silence of it all.


“What’d you do last night?”

“My husband and I went downtown to see The Quiet.”

“Oh yeah? I’ve heard they’re pretty good live.”

“You’ve no idea. The track I downloaded from iTunes doesn’t do them justice.”


I told Jon about this idea on the way home, and skeptically he asked, “You can’t even talk while you’re sitting there?”

Um, no, I explained. In fact, if you say one word the security guards will come yank you out of your seat, drag you to an airtight room filled with screaming toddlers covered in peanut butter who have been ordered to try and climb into your lap.

And you have to sit there for as many minutes as you are old.

  • Daddy Scratches

    2011/01/17 at 1:46 pm

    The airtight room with the screaming toddlers covered in peanut butter should feature performances by the antithesis of The Quiet. Say, a rotating roster of The Wiggles, Yo Gabba Gabba, The Imagination Movers and Hip-Hop Harry. Get them to sign on, and I’d say you’ve got yerself a perfect slice of hell on earth right there.

  • cohmomto3

    2011/01/17 at 1:47 pm

    I would be their number one fan. I love the people who ask, when the youngest is starting kindergarten, what the Mom is going to do now. Are you kidding me? After enduring 5+ (or more) years at home, that mother deserves a medal.

  • Kelly

    2011/01/17 at 1:47 pm

    Why hasn’t someone come up with this idea already?? I’d totally be there – in a heartbeat.

  • tallnoe

    2011/01/17 at 1:54 pm

    I just ask a friend of mine who WANTS to come back to her job when she’s coming back. Not when she’s going back to work… b/c that’s pretty lame. She does enough work.

    At the same time, she gets pissed when people say, “Oh, it’s too bad that you have to go back to work.” She says she WANTS to…

    Anyway… Can The Quiet maybe have sounds of the ocean? I mean, I’m not a parent yet, so I can’t even attend the show… but yeah.

  • curlsz

    2011/01/17 at 1:59 pm

    Sadly they’d probably look out into the crowd and see a bunch of people on their smart phones – cause we can’t be quiet anymore – always moving must be doing something at all times!!!

  • Mme Wong

    2011/01/17 at 2:00 pm

    Love it! You’ve just provided me with a new “happy place” to escape to.


    2011/01/17 at 2:00 pm

    As a nanny, I often feel like people have that same opinion about my job. Like it’s not a REAL job. Hello? Raising kids is no easy task. But I LOVE what I do and can’t imagine doing something else right now.

    I’d definitely be a groupie of The Quiet. AMEN.

  • missusclark

    2011/01/17 at 2:01 pm

    When my youngest kids (twin girls!) started kindergarten last fall, I was not-so-subtly directed towards the volunteer sign-up list. I busted out a hysterical laugh that scared the pants offa the kiddies and shrieked, “Are you kidding?!? I’m going home and having a nap!!!”

    I’ll totally be there at the Quiet, but there has to be cocktails. A nice Manhattan, up, with two cherries, please.

  • Cloud

    2011/01/17 at 2:02 pm

    I keep telling my husband we can’t go out to the movies because I’d just fall asleep, and why should I pay $10 to take a nap?

    And then I think… hey! I could get a nap for only $10. Sign me up!

    @tallnoe, The Quiet couldn’t have sounds of the ocean, because that is the sound that comes over my baby monitor while I’m waiting for the baby to wake up and scream.

    I was laid off in November, and I’m amazed by the number of people who think that I should have immediately yanked my kids from day care. Putting aside the disruption to their routines and the chaos that would create, I always wonder: how do these people think I would look for a job with two kids in tow? Do they have no idea what caring for kids all day actually entails?

  • Squeaker

    2011/01/17 at 2:04 pm


  • kcbelles

    2011/01/17 at 2:05 pm

    This is it! I knew I had a talent – I could so be part of that group and do it good! Hell, I could be the lead quiet person!

  • muyiwa

    2011/01/17 at 2:10 pm

    I would get a job as a reviewer and make sure i get assigned to review The Quiet regularly – you know, in case there are any changes. And I’d be there all the time. And work overtime.

  • Deborah L Quinn

    2011/01/17 at 2:11 pm

    There is a brilliant moment in _The Phantom Tollbooth_ (one of many brilliant moments, true), where Milo is instructed in all the different kinds of silence: the silence before a storm, after a baby falls asleep, when the music stops…I don’t think I fully appreciated all the modes of quiet until after I become the mother of two boys and realized that all modes of quiet had fled the premises. On an seemingly permanent basis.

    And as for those questions about going back to work? Two answers: A) work is VASTLY over-rated as a filler of time; and B) caring full-time for children is exhausting, numbing, joyful, painful, and frequently incredibly dull. Which means that all elementary school teachers (particularly those who are ALSO parents in their own right) should be in line for canonization. Or at least a really hefty pay raise.

  • Trina

    2011/01/17 at 2:16 pm

    Genius Heather. Pure Genius. Can I be the drummer? 🙂

  • sayschu

    2011/01/17 at 2:20 pm

    In the kindest, gentlest way possible, I need to say that a part of me weeps every time someone says how rigorous and tireless it is being a stay-at-home.

    I want to be a stay-at-home but I can’t.

    I can acknowledge the hard work involved and still be jealous of you, right?

    It isn’t any *less* hard raising children when you work out of home, right?

    I’d give up all the quiet in the world to be home with the madness.

  • sdkitty

    2011/01/17 at 2:28 pm

    There’s an artist, John Cage, who did a musical piece call 7 minutes, 33 seconds, if I’m remembering correctly. The whole thing is just silence.

  • atpanda

    2011/01/17 at 2:29 pm
  • kcbelles

    2011/01/17 at 2:33 pm

    Dang. Figures – out of a job before it even started 🙂

  • Mo

    2011/01/17 at 2:40 pm

    Instead of (or maybe alongside?) a bar at this venue, they could have nap-mats, for those who would like to enjoy The Quiet in a prone position….

  • Rebekah

    2011/01/17 at 2:44 pm

    I had to link to this since I thought I remembered Heather being a Radiohead/Thom Yorke fan.

    It may not be a concert’s worth, but it’s a full 2 minutes… and it was designed to raise money from the download profits to benefit British Veterans and their families.


    Even though it’s silent, the video is beautiful.
    (I have to admit, I first heard about this on mamapop.com)

  • 2under2

    2011/01/17 at 2:49 pm

    LOVE!!!! As I write this I have my 2 year old in my lap and my 9 months old pulling at my pant leg and yelling because she wants up too. We are also listening to a Sesame Street live CD that my daughter is obsessed with. Nap time is my favorite time of day! I turn everything off (tv and phone) and read or knit.

  • strawick

    2011/01/17 at 2:53 pm

    this reminds me of a song by todd snider called “talking seattle grunge rock blues”. you would be a groupie of this band.
    itunes it and give it a listen. you’ll laugh.

  • Feastafterfamine

    2011/01/17 at 3:11 pm

    It already exists; they’re called the Quakers.

  • tiny apple

    2011/01/17 at 3:15 pm

    so long as the quiet sells alcohol at their concerts, i’m in.

  • sdb

    2011/01/17 at 3:15 pm

    I use dental appointments for my quiet. I know, kind of sad and maybe a bit odd. I would appreciate when they were a few minutes behind schedule as I would sit in the waiting room and empty my head of all thoughts. Forget the magazines available, that would involve working my brain. After the cleaning they offer a magazine while waiting for the dentist to come check over everything. I’m always, no thank you, just let me sit here in peace and quiet.

  • Fattened Cat

    2011/01/17 at 3:17 pm

    If we’re considering parenting and keeping house a job (which it undoubtedly is), here’s a fist pump to all of the parents who work outside of the home AND at home! All of the work in half the time!

  • TexasMom

    2011/01/17 at 3:36 pm

    I thought QUIET was dead! As a stay-at-home mom of 2 teenage girls, yes 2 – with one driving eeek!, I’m also a child care provider! So I not only manage my house and family but also help raise other people’s children (currently 8 kiddos, age range from 2-11, 11 hours a day). Seriously, I really thought quiet had passed away!

  • slappyintheface

    2011/01/17 at 3:41 pm

    Somebody asked me the other day what I was going to do when all of the kids were grown and my answer was “WHATEVER THE HELL I WANT TO!” for example:

    I might go to the bathroom by myself.

    I might drive somewhere without anybody asking where I am going, how long until we get there, how long we are going to be there, and whether or not we can stop and get drinks on the way.

    I might take a pottery class and turn off my cell phone because any emergency had by my grown children can be handled by themselves.

    I might call other people who have recently had children move out and just stand there with the phone to my ear, because neither one of us will remember what it is like to have a conversation on the phone without at least two children tapping you on the arm saying “momma … momma … momma … momma … mommma …”.

  • Johi

    2011/01/17 at 3:51 pm

    I would actually volunteer to be a part of the band, I’ve always wanted to pretend that I play the bass guitar.

  • claandaca

    2011/01/17 at 4:02 pm

    I was also going to mention the Todd Snider song, but see that someone already beat me to it.

  • MrsFun

    2011/01/17 at 4:12 pm

    Oh my hell!! I would be a groupie. Please say they serve adult beverages that we can silently sip and enjoy.

  • filmlady

    2011/01/17 at 4:13 pm

    If by some miracle I’d pawned the kids off on friends for a couple of hours, my husband would always come into the living room and see me sitting on the couch. No TV, no radio, no iPod, no book. Nothing. He’d ask what I was doing, and I’d say “I’m enjoying all the BS.”
    Blessed Silence.

  • itcouldbelove

    2011/01/17 at 4:22 pm

    Okay, so I’m not a parent, but I am a preschool teacher. Am I allowed to go to the concerts? ‘Cause that’d be AWESOME. I know I don’t have a kid with me all day & night after work… but I can have 14 children at once. Doesn’t that count for something? I’m the freakin’ Octomom for 8 hours a day!

  • kmpinkel

    2011/01/17 at 4:43 pm

    I would just like to say that I would definitly be compelled to flash them my tits.

  • Jen28

    2011/01/17 at 5:07 pm

    After enduring this “holiday” today with both kids home together who were sick and tired of each other after spending all weekend together, I would like to go on tour with The Quiet please. Or at least listen to the extended remix of one of their songs.

  • SunnieB

    2011/01/17 at 5:38 pm

    Definitely using the line “Imma let you shut your mouth” the next time anyone gives me lip for being a SAHM.

  • SuzRocks

    2011/01/17 at 5:42 pm

    Two words. Ear plugs.

    They are the best invention in the whole entire world.

  • Mrs. Cave

    2011/01/17 at 5:47 pm

    I am lucky enough to stay at home with my 2 kids age 3 and 2. I love it but geez, the noise. And no naps anymore. Yay me. My husband, a teacher, had the nerve to tell me “we” were on vacation when his winter break started. Uh huh… and “we” still had to get up and take care of two kids every.single.day while listening to the never ending noise. I love it but I would totally love The Quiet and would pay big bucks for that.

  • Pandora Has A Box

    2011/01/17 at 6:10 pm

    I’m with @tiny apple.

    Let’s just say that I love my kids, but I may love my kids’ nanny who comes two days a week even more. And I’m counting down to when my son starts preschool. Because in two months, I’ve just been informed that the nanny is leaving me for a full time job. Can you believe the nerve? 😉 Just because someone is having a baby and will need help five days a week…wah-di-wah. What about *me*?

    Seriously, I would pay GOOD MONEY to see The Quiet. I don’t think people get hearing loss from old age. I think they get hearing loss from having their kids shrieking directly into their ear drum for years on end.

  • HappyMama23

    2011/01/17 at 6:47 pm

    This is the best thing I’ve heard all day! Hell, it’s the best thing I’ve heard since my daughter was born!

  • Funnygirl78

    2011/01/17 at 7:16 pm

    Me and my band “The Still” would totally open for them.

  • jocelyn21401

    2011/01/17 at 8:29 pm

    I am sitting right now, with my night time friends: Peace and Quiet. I have to wait until after 9 or 10 at night for it, then I am loathe to let it go before 1 or 2 in the morning. Even though I KNOW I HAVE TO BE UP IN A FEW SHORT HOURS.

    My husband works from home a lot, and is very hands on. At the end of those days I am very tired. The days when he is gone all day, I wonder how women do it EVERY DAY. I send a shout out to the universe to all the women who are single moms, or moms who have shitty husbands (or partners), and full-time SAHM’s, ’cause this shit is HARD.

    I got laid of two years ago. Adopted a baby a year ago, and am now being forced out of the nest to look for “work”.

  • jennisdrinking

    2011/01/17 at 8:41 pm

    My daughter just started “all day” school in the fall. I was at my limit with the turdknockers constantly asking “what are you going to do now?” and “are you EVER going back to work?”. I should receive a gold medal for restraint for not pummeling the living hell out of every last one of them.

    If it’s ok with all the judgemental ass clowns, I’d like to take some time now and get my house to NOT look like a tornado hit it…is that really too much to ask? My husband seems to be fine with it. But, as they say, opinions are like assholes, everyone’s got one.

  • WVKay

    2011/01/17 at 10:54 pm

    An excellent idea. I would have been a groupie, too.

  • AlisonCaroline

    2011/01/17 at 11:04 pm

    During the holiday season I realized I would PAY to go into a store with NO seasonal songs. No reindeer, no merry little Christmas, no Parson Brown, no bells jingle or otherwise, no holy night, no partridge in a pear tree. A silent store that would let me look at merchandise in peace. That’s what I wanted. I did not get it.

  • megtanglao

    2011/01/18 at 5:00 am

    The Quiet never comes to play in Brooklyn.

    Although the symphony of fire truck sirens, car alarms, pigeons and their conspiratorial cooing (I imagine that when they’re all huddled together in their little bird groups they’re all just deciding who to shit on next) and my Trinidadian neighbors’ cockatoo (very large and terrifying bird who squawks at 5 in the morning because I guess I’ve got some karmic debt to pay) is sometimes quite lovely.

    After all, it is home.

  • giantmt

    2011/01/18 at 5:29 am

    As a SINGLE stay at home mom, I’m just going to roll my eyes and walk away. I don’t have the energy for another battle.


  • amyj

    2011/01/18 at 5:30 am

    Ok, this post makes me feel less bad about counting down the hours and minutes until nap time. Because, not to get all philosophical on everyone, lately I’ve really been wondering why I’m eyeing the clock all the time waiting for the kid to go back to sleep. He’s a lightening bolt, to be sure, which means I’m now back down to my divorce-weight (you know, that weight you reached 3 weeks before you left because you stopped eating in a fight-or-flight response to the wholesale change your life was about to undergo?) just by chasing him around! He has a smile that could cure cancer and is getting to be funny in his own right, which is either his personality or his response to living in a house where Mommy and Daddy value funny above all else. He’s getting smarter and doing amazing things, he’s climbing on all kinds of stuff and saying a few words and signing a few signs. He laughs at the funny parts of Curious George and pulls books off the shelf and climbs into my lap so we can read them. He gives kisses. Big, open-mouthed, tongue-fully-involved kisses on the cheek. He’s faster than fast on land and a fish in the water, and he’s only going to be 20 months old once and only awake roughly 12 hours a day. So why is it I can’t I wait until he goes back to bed?

    I’ve settled recently on the fact that, when there’s a little guy around, you can’t do anything passive that you would normally do, like leave comments at Dooce.com, wash a few dishes, or change the bedsheets, because you really want (and need, in the case of a maniac climbing child) to be within eye- and ear-shot of the kid at all times. And so these little tasks you want to do pile up and up and up so that when he does go to sleep, you’re faced with a huge list of little things that need to be done, as well as the freelance work you’re trying to do so you can continue contributing financially to the family, more than just by keeping him out of day care. And I think that’s hard…

    But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Not in a million years. So yes, @sayschu, you can TOTALLY be jealous of us. Because it is the very best job in the whole of the world, and I cherish every single second of it.

  • aaflood

    2011/01/18 at 6:34 am

    Heather-you’re my hero. And now Deborah L Quinn (comment #13) is too…LOVE IT!!!

  • NYCJessa

    2011/01/18 at 7:14 am

    I think the logo for The Quiet should be the new masthead for February.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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