Smart phones

Hi blog world!

It’s been awhile.

If you’re on any kind of social media, I bet you’ve been privy lately to the post(s) about moms being on their smart phones too much.  Don’t know what I’m talking about?  Read this (I’ll wait):

http://4littlefergusons.wordpress.com/2012/11/14/dear-mom-on-the-iphone/

Apparently it was written in 2012, but it has made it’s way into the “news” recently.

Well, I read it.  I’m a mom who is often on my iphone.  And I got pissed.  Mostly for what this response says (please read it or you won’t really understand the rest of this blog):

http://www.remakingjunecleaver.com/dear-mom-telling-me-to-get-off-my-phone/

I mostly agree with the author directly above.  Why “mostly?”  Well, first of all, I think her version of their day before and after the park is probably inflated.  I am a SAHM and have been for almost five years and I love my children so much, but our days are not sunshine and moonbeams.  I do a lot of wonderful things with them everyday, but I am certainly not “on” for the entire day, all day, minus the time we’re at the playground as the blog above is suggesting.

And I am definitely on all sorts of technology way more than I should be throughout the day, but that’s more because of my desire to stay connected to the outside world and to have adult conversations and interactions.  I’ll be completely honest with you (as I don’t think the second author above is doing)…I don’t *like* doing “kid stuff” that much.  I don’t think playing with dolls or figurines is super fun.  I don’t like making forts.  I don’t like pretending to be characters.  I don’t even really like play dough (although I tolerate it more than I do some other things).  I don’t think this makes me a bad person, and I don’t think it makes me a bad mother either.  I read to my children – A LOT – because I enjoy books and I really like reading.  We dance because that’s another thing that I like to do.  But, most of the time when I’m home with the kids, they are either playing by themselves/together or I “set them up” in an activity (get out the art supplies, give them the play dough and accessories, fill up the water table and make sure all the pieces are clean, etc) and then I go and do one of the one million things that needs to get done (cooking, cleaning, laundry, making shopping lists, organizing clothes/changing out clothes for the new season, writing Mother’s Day cards to the grandmas, etc).

My to-do list is so long that I often can’t even think about all the things I need to be doing.  If you count all of our house projects, the daily and weekly maintenance chores that have to happen inside and out of the house, the tasks that school sends home (this week was teacher appreciation week and we had a list of things to do for that), navigating the parks and rec offerings and signing the kids up for that, calling back the multitude of doctors we all have, figuring out why that weird charge was on the credit card, calling the insurance company AGAIN to try and sort stuff out with them, filing the mounds of papers we let go because of everything else in life….I mean I have only scratched the surface.  I could – quite literally – go on and on.  But that would get depressing for me and boring for you.

When I’m wasting my time on Facebook or NPR or looking at all the emails I haven’t taken care of yet, I mostly don’t feel bad for my children who are blissfully playing and enjoying life, I feel bad for me because I’m ignoring the endless sea of things I have to do because sometimes it’s almost easier to ignore it than it is to try and conquer it.  Right now, at this very moment, there are so many things I could be doing (and my kids have been in bed for quite some time), but I’m choosing to write this blog instead.  See what I mean?

Awhile ago, I posted this on my FB page:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bunmi-laditan/im-done-making-my-kids-childhood-magical_b_5062838.html

I am nearly 100% with the author of that one.  I don’t have a single memory of any adult actively playing with me from my childhood.  We played by ourselves (my sisters and I) or with friends.  I think I turned out alright.

My point is that not only do you not know what the rest of the day has been like for the “mom on the iphone” at the park, but her day may NOT have been all about her kids (as the second author suggests).  And so what?  She’s still allowed to be on her phone, and you’re still not allowed to judge her.  If she’s anything like me, she’s trying to get shit done while her kids are having a blast at the playground.  Just like I’m trying to get shit done while they’re squealing with glee while at the water table or when they both climb into the crib and play “house” for a half an hour.  So, if I’m wasting my time on social media, I don’t feel bad for my kids who lead a life where they get to play pretty much all day, everyday, I feel bad for me because I’m not getting the shit done that needs to get done.

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One thought on “Smart phones

  1. I’ve been thinking the same thing lately. “Don’t feel bad for my kids, feel bad for me for all the other shit I’m not getting done” — love that! I read this post a while back responding to the iPhone Mom criticism and I loved it. http://growinginashrinkingculture.com/2013/03/05/in-defense-of-the-iphone-mom/
    I think she nailed it about the mom guilt. We all feel it and don’t need other people (particularly strangers) projecting it on us even more. I also love her line at the end about teaching your kids that they don’t always have the ultimate trump card when it comes to getting our time and attention.

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