A perfect parent does not exist. Yet when we see things like a Mom using her cell phone while with her kids, we lose our minds. Why is it that we judge other moms so hard? And maybe it’s about time we especially stop judging the mom on her phone.
Do You Use Your Phone When You’re With Your Kids?
There are so many articles stating why cell phone use isn’t good for you. And about just as many articles telling you that you’re a bad parent if you are using your cell phone while your kids are around.
All of a sudden it’s a whole new level of mom-shaming.
But is it possible that there are some actual reasons why being on your phone is totally acceptable? And why we need to stop judging the mom on her phone.
Mom guilt is everywhere. Between vaccines and breastfeeding, how we punish our kids, or what school we put them in. We often judge ourselves harder then any other mom would ever judge us. So why is it that we feel the need to judge other moms?
We even get the guilt from our kids, begging us to put our phones down and pay attention to them.
Most of that judgment comes from the assumption of cell phone use. Most people think we are just surfing the internet, checking out Facebook, or even shopping.
No way we could actually be doing something useful with our cell phones, could it?
So NO, it’s not that Moms are addicted to their cellphones. And NO, we don’t care more about our phones then we do our children.
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Why You Need to Stop Judging the Mom on Her Phone
Believe it or not, Moms could actually have a good reason for being on their phones… even (gasp!) when their children are around. And maybe it’s time you judgy people stop to think about WHY a mom might be on her phone before you judge her.
Cell Phones Help Moms Make an Income.
In today’s world of advanced technology, we can do a lot from our phones. So much so, that more and more moms are working on their phones because that allows them to work in the office less.
I, for one, make an income using my cell phone. And many other moms do as well. In fact, being on my phone is what allows me to be home with my daughter more often.
So when you see a mom on her cell phone sitting at a park bench while her kids are playing around her, stop to think that maybe it’s because of that cell phone that allows her to be there and not stuck at work while her kids are in daycare.
Cell Phones Help Moms Run a Household
Maybe that mom on her phone is paying online bills, trying to contact a plumber, or even looking up a new recipe to make for dinner.
Again, getting these tasks done on her cell phone allows her to be at the park so her kids can play. As opposed to being at home on a computer while her kids are stuck inside.
Moms Deserve a break Too
Even if that mom on her cell phone is not doing anything productive, what is the actual harm of being on her phone for 10 minutes out of her day?
In a day spent helping and watching and talking to our kids every second, is it really so bad she spends 10 minutes scrolling through her phone looking at Instagram?
If a mom is at the park and reading a book, would you judge her for that? If she is sitting and talking to other moms around her, would you tell her to stop?
Chances are you would not.
Because we often view cell phones as unnecessary and a distraction. We don’t stop to think that there really isn’t much difference between being on our phone versus reading a book.
How to be on your phone around your kids THE RIGHT WAY
Now, I’m not saying it’s ok for moms to ignore their kids all day long so they can surf the internet.
It’s also not appropriate to be constantly interrupted by your phone while trying to interact with your child either.
Like everything, there are limits.
Always put your phone down during meal times and bedtime.
These two times should indeed be all about your family. During mealtime, talk about your day or things on your mind. Bedtime is the perfect way to send your kids off to sleep by spending the last few minutes of their day making it all about them.
Talk to your kids about your cell phone use.
When we go to the park, I talk to my daughter before she runs off and plays. I say to her “Mom needs to get a little work done on her phone, so I’m going to spend the next 15 minutes working. When I am done, I’ll come to push you on the swing and watch anything else you want to show me”.
Because I actually talk to my kid beforehand, she understands WHY mom is on the phone. She also learns the importance of not interrupting. And because I gave her a time limit for my cell phone use, she doesn’t complain about it.
She knows if she is patient, I will be along to play with her soon.
Prioritize what’s necessary.
If you have work to do on the cell phone that allows you to not be in an office all day, then prioritize that work when you are with your kids. Learn how to not get distracted by social media or text messages from friends. But if you need just a moment to breathe by flipping through Pinterest, then allow yourself to do so.
Before you judge the mom on her phone…
What other moms do with their kids is none of your business. Whether it’s in the home or out in public.
Perfectly acceptable reasons a mom could be on her phone…
- She is texting another Mom and trying to give directions to the park they are at
- She is sending adorable photos or her kids to a family member
- She is dealing with a broken pipe at home and trying to keep her kids out of the mess
- She is googling other parks nearby to see if there is somewhere better to go
- She is consoling a friend who just lost her dog
- She is looking up some fun food for kids as an exciting way to spice up dinner
- She is making notes of the funniest things her kids said that day, so as not to forget them
- She is trying to correct a major screw up at work
The list could go on and on forever but the point is… you never truly know what another Mom is going through or what her circumstances are. So try to remind yourself of that before you pass judgment on her.
Kids don’t always need to be the center of attention
Sometimes, parents need to make it a point to pick up a book, talk to a friend, or scroll through Instagram. If a Mom needs to take a breather, let her! In a world of “look at me look at me”, it’s about time we teach kids to wait 10 minutes, don’t interrupt, and entertain yourself for a bit. Let your kids learn how to be independent for 10 minutes of their lives.
We all grew up without cell phones and can we learn to live without them for a while? Yes, of course! But we can also use them as they were intended to be… to make our lives more manageable, more convenient, and more fun.
If you are nodding your head like YES GIRL! then you would love my crazy Mom Life on Instagram too!
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