I have very distinct memories of my sixth grade computer class, where we used to have game day on Fridays. Game day involved floppy discs and computers that did not have a mouse attached. Floppy discs! Look how far we’ve come, guys! Now, we all basically have tiny computers in our pockets, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Technology was never more important to me than it was during my first year as a parent, as there were moments my phone literally saved my life as a new mom. Before my son was born, I had grandiose ideas about never using my phone around him; about reading actual books to him while I breastfed and limiting my own "screen time" and finding other interactive forms of entertainment. How cute, right? I specifically remember one of my girlfriends, an experienced mom, nodding politely and going “Mmm-hmm,” when I told her this ambitious plan.
As I’m sure you can guess, I lasted about two and a half days before I caved and started relying heavily on my phone. Some of it had to do with the fact that our breastfeeding issues and struggles meant that it could take an hour for me to (attempt to) feed my son, and what else was I going to do when I was required to sit still and stay awake and be continually frustrated for upwards of six or eight hours a day? My little handheld device, literally, kept me sane and able to continue breastfeeding when it was difficult.
And, as it turns out, nursing wasn't the only time during my early months as a mom, where I relied heavily on my phone. Allow me to share a few a few more moments when my phone literally saved my new-mom life (or at least made it much easier):
When You're Feeding Your Baby
Nursing, yes, as we've just discussed, but also bottles. Rice Cereal. Purees. Solids. Whichever stage you're at, sometimes mealtimes can, um, take a while. Best to keep your device close, which will also help when you need to do a quick search for "carrot and prune stains."
When You're Attached To Your Godforsaken Breast Pump
Two years ago, I couldn't imagine my life with a breast pump. At this time last year, I couldn't imagine life without it. Now? I can't imagine how women who pumped longer than I did do it. I wish I could give all of you iTunes gift cards.
When You Need To Quickly Google Something Without Stopping What You're Doing
Quick! How do I know whether or not the consistency and color of this poop is normal?
Then, When You Need To Follow-up And Look For Reassurance About Whatever Terrifying Thing You Just Googled
OMG. I don't even know what search terms I'm supposed to use now. Thoughts and prayers accepted.
When Your Baby Is Sleeping On You But You Want To Text Someone
Seriously, in the first months of my son's life, I think approximately 85-90% of the contact I had with the outside world was done while he slept on me.
When You Want Your Baby To See Someone Who's Far Away
Admittedly, we didn't introduce video calls until my son was around one and a half, but I think if we were to do it again, we'd start a bit earlier. I'm not sure whose heart melted more when he started smiling at his grandparents through my phone; theirs or mine.
When You Want To Take A Quick Photo
Remember times of yore, when cameras weren't handheld devices that we kept in our pockets? I've taken thousands of photos of my little guy already, and while not all of them are keepers, I'm thankful to have so many options.
When You Need To Check Out For A Few Minutes And Play A Mindless Puzzle Game
I have a distinct memory of slouching on the floor and playing, like, twenty minutes of digital Soduku while my partner took care of our infant. I remember being so overwhelmed and exhausted that it was all I could do to finally get some chill back in my life, and thankfully, it actually did help.
When Your Partner Is At The Grocery Store And You Need To Tell Them What To Get, But There's No Way You Can Get Away With A Full Phone Conversation
Bananas. Wipes. Diapers. Pacifiers. Rice Crackers. Wine.
When You Need To Keep Track Of Diaper Changes And Which Side You Last Nursed On
In the early, early days with my son, I relied on my phone and, specifically, a baby tracking app to help me manage some of his basic care, like diaper changes, feedings, and naps. That way, whenever we were in touch with our doctor's office (which, admittedly, we kinda were excessively because I'm prone to worrying) I could tell them exactly what they needed to know. Additionally, there was no way I was going to remember which breast he last nursed on unless that information was saved somewhere.
When You Want To Order Something From Amazon Prime But You Are Too Tired To Get Up
I almost feel like we owe previous generations of American mothers a moment of silence to recognize that they lived without Amazon Prime.
When You're Away From Home And Want (Okay, NEED) To Check-In With Whoever Is Watching Your Baby
The first couple dates my husband and I went on after our son arrived were for a few major milestones, like our anniversary, or when The Book Of Mormon happened to be in town. If perhaps you are wondering what might be worth the trouble of leaving an almost-three-month-old home with his grandma for an afternoon, The Book Of Mormon is it.
When You're Away From Home And Can Have Baby Pics Sent To You
Oh man. Once I went back to work, the occasional photo of my son gave me life.
When I Need To See What I Look Like But Definitely Don't Have Time To Go Stand In Front Of A Mirror
However, let's not talk about the accidental selfies that happen when you are trying to get sleep out of your eye with the help of your phone's camera.
In The Odd And Rare Event That You Need To Call Someone
I'm pretty sure the only people I called were Poison Control, my son's and my doctor, and various restaurants to order food. Everyone else? Text.