Elisabeth Röhm’s Blog: Do You Fight In Front of the Kids?
The actress, 39, currently stars as Taylor on The Client List, while upcoming film Transit will be out May 11, with Officer Down following later this year.
In her latest blog, Röhm — mom to 4-year-old Easton August with fiancé Ron Anthony — wonders if avoiding confrontation helps or hurts her family.
Do you fight in front of the kids? How do you decide what’s appropriate for them to hear you discuss? Share your experience in the comments.
I don’t know about you ladies, but I’m a lover, not a fighter. I’m huge on communicating as a way to avoid conflicts in general. I’m famous for a lot of talk, talk, talk, but fighting has never been my style. I tend to just want to keep on trucking, without getting caught up in the superficial dramas of life.
Ultimately, I believe that there really isn’t that much that’s worth getting upset or bent out of shape about. I’m not bothered by much. Maybe that’s a choice, but it’s one I’ve made. Because of that, I find it challenging to deal with others who seem to get ruffled by just about everything. You know those people too, right?
As a way to deal with this, I’ve made a commitment of heading things off at the pass before they bubble up and boil over into a heaping mess on the floor that even the heartiest of paper towels just couldn’t clean up. I tend to talk it out before there is a need for a talk, I hope.
Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t. Ultimately, there is a whole world of other people who don’t feel an ounce of discomfort with conflict, and therefore my desire for peace is hard-won.
It is true that I am likely to put my needs aside as a way to resolve issues … just so that I don’t have to have an argument that results in — hopefully but not always — a great make-up session. I’d just like to avoid the whole mess in general.
I’m guilty of wanting harmony so much that I can tend to avoid difficulty. I sometimes find that I push things aside that are uncomfortable, assuming that all will be better later and that whatever I’m feeling is not really a big deal.
My motto is to not sweat the small stuff. I realize this means that I don’t always speak my mind, but it’s so much better than having a drag-out conversation that lasts hours or even days. This is the case even more so now that I’m a mom.
So be it, I’m guilty of being a pleasure-seeker who wants everyone to not “worry, be happy,” like the song suggests. Because of this, I like the music playing in the house mixed with sounds of laughter and giggles, and just a dose of the real adult stuff that needs handling. I’m more interested in having a good time than dealing with drama over a list of items that could easily cause stress and worry. Everything gets handled in the end.
If I’m the one being confronted by another party, I tend to acquiesce pretty quickly as a way to find easy resolution. “I’m sorry” is comfortable for me to say, especially if I’m dealing with a loved one, if there’s a child in the house, or if it’s my partner who needs to resolve some issue that’s rubbing him the wrong way.
I’m just not one for a big blow up. Unfortunately I find that I’m in the minority in this regard, and that others are totally comfortable with confrontation and even crave it as a way to fix things, move on or feel connected to their partner.
I have found that over the past four years of Easton’s life, I really tend to be an avoider of adult conversation when she is present, so as not to make her feel the stress and burden of adult issues. And no, I’m not talking about the small stuff. I’m referring to the bigger private conversations you’d only have at home and face-to-face.
I think this was pre-programmed in me from my early childhood because there was a lot of drama and adult stuff going on around me from a young age. It was overwhelming at best and scary at worst. Tell me, what do you do in these cases?
Feelings are complicated and relationships need maintenance. People need to talk things through so that issues don’t get swept under the rug time and time again, creating rotten floorboards, with the whole house collapsing because of a disintegrated foundation. But when do you do that with a child around 24/7? I often wonder when it’s actually appropriate to have these adult conversations at all?
So the question is, PEOPLE.com, do you have adult conversations in front of your kids? When do you “get into it”? Do you talk about money issues in front of them? Do you bicker about housekeeping? If you or your significant other piss each other off, do you have it out in front of the kids, or do you wait until they are scarce to dive into a deep discussion?
Have you decided that some adult conversations are good for them to hear so that they have sense of reality? Perhaps you are more comfortable with conflict and think that honest and open discussion is appropriate for kids to hear.
I don’t know about you, but based on my childhood I tend not to want to discuss the difficult stuff in front of the little one. Any time things could possibly get heated, I always reply, “Not now.” Good in some ways, not good in others, I’ll admit.
In truth, by the time Easton goes to sleep, I’m pooped and not really in the mood to have some intense conversation about feelings. All I want to do is get into soft clothes and crawl under my covers for some rest. Let’s face it, you run around all day getting things done and then when you come home you just want to chill, right?
Tell me, ladies, do you fight in front of the kids? And if you don’t, when do you find the time to talk to your partner or spouse? Is it on the phone after you’ve dropped the kids off at school and are on your way to work? Or is it during those precious hours after the children have gone to sleep?
It’s tricky, I know. Many of my friends complain that by the time the kids are asleep they are too tired and not interested in giving up their few free hours to resolving some conflict with their spouse. I couldn’t agree more much of the time.
When do you manage to get real with the one you love? When do you have it out, get deep and find resolutions to the problems that inevitably arise in your intimate relationship? And what is appropriate for the little ones to hear?
I’m dying to know the methods you use to handle this inevitable madness.
Until next time! xo
— Elisabeth Röhm