Dear Mom On the iPhone, I see you over there on the bench, messing on your iPhone. It feels good to relax a little while your kids have fun in the sunshine, doesn’t it? You are doing a great job with your kids, you work hard, you teach them manners, have them do their chores. But Mom, let me tell you what you don’t see right now….. Your little girl is spinning round and round, making her dress twirl. She is such a little beauty queen already, the sun shining behind her long hair. She keeps glancing your way to see if you are watching her. You aren’t. Your little boy keeps shouting, “Mom, MOM watch this!” I see you acknowledge him, barely glancing his way. He sees that too. His shoulders slump, but only for a moment, as he finds the next cool thing to do. Now you are pushing your baby in the swing. She loves it! Cooing and smiling with every push. You don’t see her though, do you? Your head is bent, your eyes on your phone as you absently push her swing. Talk to her. Tell her about the clouds, Mommy. Tickle her tummy when she comes near you and enjoy that baby belly laugh that leaves far too quickly. Put your eyes back on your prize…Your kids. Show them that they are the priority. Wherever you are, be ALL there. I am not saying it’s not ok to check in on your phone, but it’s a time-sucker: User Beware! Play time at the park will be over before you know it. The childhood of your children will be gone before you know it. They won’t always want to come to the park with you, Mommy. They won’t always spin and twirl to make their new dress swish, they won’t always call out, “WATCH ME!” There will come a point when they stop trying, stop calling your name, stop bothering to interrupt your phone time. Because they know… You’ve shown them, during all of these moments, that the phone is more important than they are. They see you looking at it at while waiting to pick up brother from school, during playtime, at the dinner table, at bedtime….. I know that’s not true, Mommy. I know your heart says differently. But your kids can’t hear your words, Mommy. Your actions are screaming way too loudly. May our eyes rest upon those we love, first and foremost, and may everything else fall away in the wonderful, noisy, sticky-fingered glory of it all.  Disclaimer - this blog post was written by 4 little Fergusons.

Dear Mom On the iPhone,
I see you over there on the bench, messing on your iPhone. It feels good to relax a little while your kids have fun in the sunshine, doesn’t it? You are doing a great job with your kids, you work hard, you teach them manners, have them do their chores.
But Mom, let me tell you what you don’t see right now….. Read the rest here

By now I’m sure everyone has seen this meme going around Facebook, everybody passing it along with statements like “So True!” and “This will never be me again!”  I read it and felt pissed.  Oh great, another thing I’m being judged for at the park.  And anywhere else where mom’s judge each other, which is pretty much everywhere.

I posted an angry response all over Facebook, and felt relieved to get nothing but agreement.

“Ugh. Look, I know cell phones can be a problem. Lord knows I’m not perfect with mine. But you know what else is a problem? Judging other parents you don’t know at the park for their parenting skills and their phone usage. You don’t know why they are on their phone. Maybe there’s a freaking emergency going on. Or maybe they are desperately searching for a job so they can feed their kids, and taking their kids to the park while they surf classified ads is better than sitting in their mom’s basement. Or maybe that mom is a student in the middle of researching for a really big research paper so she can make a better future for herself and her kids and she’s trying to find creative ways to do it while still keeping her kids entertained and active. Or maybe she’s a perfect, freaking devoted mom every other second of the day and just for this one blessed hour a week she needs a fucking break to read a fucking article or check her Facebook so she can stay sane, refill her cup, and better be able to devote herself to her kids the other 167 hours of the week!

Let’s tone down the assumptions and the judgements, people. Being perfect and a constant paparazzi to your child 100% of the time is not a requirement for motherhood.”

Why do we get off on judging each other’s parenting so much?  We all do it, and yet we all feel extreme amounts of stress and anxiety because we know other people are doing it to us as well.  I know I have altered my own parenting practices in certain times and places because of my fear of judgement from other moms and people in general, sometimes doing things that I don’t think is right for my kids or me.  I have avoided certain social situations because of all the stress.  I have agonized and cried and felt too sick to eat over all of this nonsense.  And I know I’m not alone.

I am of the personal belief that I need to be the change I’d like to see in the world, and stop judging other moms.  While it has not spared me any judgement so far (I am, officially, the weird mom in the neighborhood that no body talks to), I’m not going to contribute to it anymore.  I’m not going to add power to the judgement force.  At least not over stupid shit like cell phone usage.

I hope maybe one day more parents will join me.

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