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.