The Day My Son Told Me To Get Off My Phone

I got my first cell phone when I was 17 and the only reason my parents got it for me was for emergencies. Now my phone has more functions and buttons than I could ever imagine. Social media, news, photos and countless apps overtake most of our smartphones nowadays. Most of us don’t leave the house without our phones; phone, keys, wallet is my mantra before I leave my house. Now that I have two kids, my phone is used for everything: Googling kid-friendly recipes for picky toddlers, taking pictures of my five-month-old sitting up for the first time, and texting my mom tribe about our crazy families. I don’t know what I would do without my phone.

Being a SAHM, I don’t have time to sit and use a computer, so my phone is EVERYTHING to me. It’s my lifeline to the outside world and it keeps me sane. My son recently made me realize that I was using my phone way more than I should.

 It was another crazy morning in our house, splitting my time between my three-year-old and five-month-old, and trying to get us ready for the day. I was on my phone scheduling a play date, when my son yelled, “Hello, hello, hello mommy!” I stood there in shock; he was trying to get my attention. I had been entranced with my phone and ignoring him. I remembered that I’d promised to read him a story and then  decided to grab my phone and schedule our lives. I realized I needed to put away my phone, not just for that moment, but for the day.

I quickly apologized to my son and told him mommy was sorry for ignoring him. I promised myself that I wasn’t going to use my phone for the ENTIRE day. I would keep my phone in a drawer and ignore it all day. I wanted to be present for my kids and I learned so much after not being on my phone for a day. Surprisingly, I didn’t miss it; I didn’t have to worry about notifications from my email, random texts from friends or family, and the biggest culprit: keeping up with social media. I was free, and it was nice not being glued to an object all day, worrying about missed calls or messages. I could just be Mom and play and enjoy my children.

My three-year-old was having tantrums and fits at random times of the day and I just attributed it to being a toddler. I soon realized that he was having tantrums because I wasn’t listening to him completely. Having my phone next to me at all times was keeping me distracted and I wasn’t focused on him or listening to what he was telling me.

Thanks to my son I realized I was not being present…I was glued to my phone all day, which was causing behavior issues in him. I am definitely more conscious of where my phone is and how often I am on it now when I am with my kids. If I do have to be on my phone, I tell my son what I am doing and how long it will take so he understands why I am using my phone and how long it will last. 

Ashley Chan
Ashley was born and raised in North Texas and settled down in Frisco. She met her husband while playing intramural basketball at UNT. Ashley taught Pre-K and then was a trainer for a technology company until having her little one.She loves cooking, going for walks with the whole family and watching HGTV and Food Network. She's loves to keep up with the latest tech gadgets and is the nerd of the family. She and her husband own pandachans productions, which specialize in video production. She spends her free time trying to finish her adult coloring book, reading the news and enjoying home life with her little one.