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.
8 thoughts on “Yes, I’m a Mom on my iphone”
Oh honey, I am ALWAYS that mom at the park and I spend most of my child's waking hours working away from home, away from her. So I must be the worst mother around. I agree with the second post you linked too: I try to gently teach my daughter to entertain herself, to make friends at the park, to read books to herself, to be self-sufficient. I also teach her that sometimes mommy just can't do what she wants her to do, and I help her to understand what that means for her and how she can remedy the situation for herself. Are there times when I'm on my phone and I probably shouldn't be? Yes. Absolutely. But I am not missing out on my daughter's childhood. And I am giving myself a much needed break. So I'm willing to forgive myself. And I hope others are willing to forgive me too.
I've been posting those rebutalls post links all OVER the place lately – most especially on people's FB feeds, b/c I (like you) am SO tired of the guilt mongering. Sheesh. Great post!
Brilliant post and you are right. I too felt guilty reading the article but really my kids know nothing but love and attention, they can wait 1 minute for juice while I finish an email. Good point there. And of course I'm typing this while sitting on sofa with them watching Mickey. Bc really do I need to be zoned out to the show too? 🙂 I think a balance is all we can strive to achieve, the article did make me take pause and I'm changing small things, but you are right, we have to stop the guilt!
Loved your post.. And enjoyed reading it while on my Iphone:)
Yes, Yes, YES!!I'm often on my phone around my kids– and sometimes I need to put it down when Liam's begging me to play trains with him… and sometimes I don't. My kids get PLENTY of my attention, but they don't need it every second they're awake. I try my best to mix up our days between independent play & parent-lead activities, whether that's an outting or an art activity, etc.I'm so sick of all of these Get Off Your Phone! Don't Plan Elaborate Parties! BE A BETTER MOTHER! posts. Enough is enough. We're all doing the best we can, trying to raise healthy & happy kids, while doing things we enjoy & keeping our sanity.
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I couldn't agree more. What's with all the judging?
Amen, sister. My kids make me a lunatic at times and I need the break. It's a great way for my mind to shut down, me to calm down and then come back to them with a renewed personality. Women just LOVE to make other women feel like crap. About their looks, staying home vs working, nursing vs formula, types of food choices for kids, etc. It's WAY overwhelming!!!