Have you read the viral blog post Dear Mom on the iphone? It was posted several times on my Facebook newsfeed last week, and I read it, and then immediately felt awful about myself. Yes, I’m that mom who often reads blogs or plays Words with Friends on my phone while I push Grayson on the swing. I check Facebook and Twitter while I nurse Charlotte. But I also sing to Grayson and make silly faces at him to make him laugh while I’m pushing him. And I do plenty of staring at Charlotte in wonder while she’s nursing because she herself is a miracle and it’s a miracle that she eats. I definitely do not take that for granted.
Then I read several rebuttal posts like this one and I realized how judgemental the original post is, as are so many posts disguised at reminders to us moms to Seize the Day and Pay Attention because these little ones grow up in the blink of an eye. The thing is, I can’t think of any moms I know who don’t love their kids with everything they have and provide them with an abundance of love and attention. We capture so many moments on camera that the notion of us “missing” part of their lives is kind of ridiculous.
I’m all for limiting technology. I don’t want my kids growing up to think it’s acceptable to text or play video games at the dinner table. I want them to be able to look people in the eye and have an actual conversation. I want them to play outside and not spend their days staring at a screen. I don’t want my kids to ever think that my phone is more interesting or important than them. But, as this blogger pointed out so brilliantly, kids need to realize that the world (and Mommy) does not revolve around them, and it’s not just an iphone that pulls our attention away from our children. It’s not my job to be my children’s constant entertainer, although this is especially hard for me right now, because Grayson really can’t entertain himself, and I feel guilty if I leave him with nothing to engage him. I feel guilty when I’m feeding Charlotte (which obviously has to happen) and Grayson is crying on the floor. And then I feel guilty if I stick Charlotte in her swing for an hour so I can give Grayson the attention he needs. Sigh.
It’s so easy for Mommy Guilt to eat us up and make us feel inadequate at a job that we are all doing the very best we can. I really think it’s okay if we need to zone out on our phones for a few minutes at a time so we don’t go crazy doing a job that, let’s be honest, can be mundane and very repetitive at times. Let’s just all give each other a break.