First of all, I'm not an iPhone user. We love our Macbooks over here at Chez Dan et Lindsy but we are Android users allllltheeeewayyyy. Now that I've got that off my chest, the title of this post is in reference to a recent blog post by Tonya Ferguson called: Dear Mom on the iPhone, in which she, a mother of 4, writes to an imaginary "iPhone mom" who's so wrapped up in her iPhone she's missing beautiful moments with her kids while they play at a park and try to get mom's attention. I paraphrase. I've read a few angry responses to the post which seem to be filled with hyper-defensive remarks reminiscent of "You dont know me!" and "Don't you daaaare judge me". I get both sides. It does look really bad if your kid is trying to get your attention and you're just double-tapping that Instagram feed without even a glance in their direction. But, it's not so cut and dry.
BB goes to daycare a few times a week when Dan is in town and he's there Monday through Friday when Dan is touring. I cut my work hours back so he's with me/us for a couple hours in the morning and a couple hours at night. I've tried keeping him home but he's just such a distraction (in a good way...and sometimes bad) and I'd rather have him with me when I can give him my full attention (before and after daycare) not while I'm clicking away on the computer. One of the responses to Ferguson's post was explaining that, as a stay at home mom, taking her kids to the park is her time to unwind. She assures everyone reading that she has sweet moments with her kids all day long. You're only seeing the 30 minutes of the day when she gets to check her iPhone and just let her kids enjoy some unstructured play time.
I think that Ferguson meant well. It is merely a reminder to pay attention because kids grow up fast. For the record, I'm all for giving your kids so much love that they get annoyed and reject your attempts at kissing them for the 1 millionth time that day. But I am not about guilt trips and judgement. Cell phones are a part of our world. I don't think they're going away any time soon. As a child born in 2011, the BeeBs is going to have to get used to a screen in his face (or mine) pretty much at all times. Before I start to freak out about how this is a terrible era to raise a child, I think back to my parents who gave me attention but also raised me to be independent and creative. I specifically remember my parents ignoring me with a book, a newspaper or a TV show and I turned out
great fine! :) Why do modern parents feel that they have to spend every waking minute attending to their child? I think every parent knows their child best and knows how much attention they need. If they are the child that's yelling "Look at me!" every ten seconds, plan little one-on-one dates where they get your undivided attention and satiate their needs with an abundance of love. But, don't overdo it or you'll wear yourself out and probably be a worse parent for it. If your cellphone apps are how you unwind, go for it - just maybe not in public. ;)