Honestly, I find it really hard to refrain from constantly checking my phone. I usually excuse this obsessive behavior by claiming I'm checking my phone "for work." The truth? Well, the truth is I'm usually checking my social media feed. My son has quickly caught on to my addiction and will copy me, too, swiping the screen on his toy phone. As a result, I've starting saying the things all moms say they're doing on their phone when they're really on Facebook, because, well, sometimes a little white lie is extremely necessary.
As a culture, I think it's safe to say our reliance on technology has improved our lives in many ways. I certainly prefer following the directions of my GPS rather than trying to read the map. I love being able to check facts and figures at a moments notice via Google. I definitely love the ability to communicate with people in other states (or half-way around the world) as easily as I do thanks to social media and email and texting. I can send photos, videos and messages to my family thousands of miles away at the click of a button.
Yes, there are times in our children's lives when us parents probably need to put the phone down and totally be in the moment. However, for those times when you need to zone out for a minute via a seemingly endless Facebook feed, have the following excuses at the ready. After all, us moms deserve a little break, right?
"I'm Just Calling Dad (Or Mom)"
When I tell my son I'm really on the phone to try and get a hold of his father, he'll usually try to jump up on my lap and speak to his dad, too. Then I have to say, "Oh, too bad! Dad didn't answer. He must be busy." The lies, the lies!
"I'm Just Checking The Weather For Our Walk"
My little one already knows how to ask Siri if it's raining which, for the record, is adorable. Plus, this excuse makes me sound like I'm about to plan a big, fun adventure if only the weather would co-operate, when really I'm just "liking" a picture of my friend's dog.
"Hold On, I'm Buying You A Toy"
This lie works double duty. It gives you a few minutes of uninterrupted time to finish scrolling through your updates, but it also makes your kid start behaving in the hopes of scoring this imaginary toy. I mean, that's a win-win situation.
I definitely advise you to be careful, though, because you definitely can overuse this excuse. I think my son is expecting a massive delivery of new toys at any moment.
"I'm Answering An Important Email"
Most kids, and at a relatively young age, understand that we can send a message to anyone in the world with a click of a button. My son definitely knows that part of my job involves responding to messages, so he usually gives me a little room and time to finish a necessary task that involves my phone. Even if my "task" is usually just living vicariously through the vacation snaps of my inner circle.
"I Want To Take Your Picture"
My son is pretty good at avoiding the camera. Sometimes he'll grace us all with a beautiful smiling pose, but most of the time he'll turn away or hide. That's why this particular fib is my go-to when I need a minute to myself. It will usually send him running to another room, allowing me to finishing creeping my friends' Facebook profiles.
"I'm Just Checking Our Schedule"
From dental appointments to soccer classes, preschool and music lessons, families with small children have really busy schedules. My little one will often start the day by asking, "What are we doing today, mom?" This gives me just enough time to respond to an invite, "like" a cute picture, or add a new friend.
"I'm Using The Phone's Calculator"
It's kind of a family joke that I'm horribly bad at math. As a former teacher, I don't love the idea that I'm known for this flaw, though. Plus, personally I don't think my counting skills are all that bad, thank you very much.
However, I am a tad lazy and prefer to use the calculator on my phone rather than working out a sum in my head. That's why it's the perfect, believable excuse for when I am busy sharing baby goat videos. You know, the important stuff.
"I'm Writing A Shopping List"
My son loves to come shopping with me, and really loves it if we go to the store with his own cute shopping cart that's just his size. So he'll definitely give me a minute or two to write a shopping list if he thinks it will mean he gets to push the cart.
In truth, I actually hardly ever write a list because I am an impulse shopper and I buy what I fancy when I see it. But shh, because my kid definitely doesn't need to know that.
There are so many benefits to working from home. I don't have to deal with a commute, I rarely have to dress up for work, and I get to see a lot more of my family. If I had to clock eight hours at the office I probably wouldn't be able to do everything I do in a given day. However, it's not all perfect and I do sometimes feel that my child hears "I'm working" in a snapped tone more times than necessary. Because he is used to me rushing off to work mid-Lego build, this tactic does give me a few extra minutes to myself.
If we're honest, not every minute spent with our children is fun. Sometimes it can be plain boring, and that's when you need a couple of minutes to mindlessly scroll through Facebook. Whether it's laughing at your friend's #ThrowbackThursday high school picture, or simply a viral video of a cute cat, a little mental timeout can be the difference between getting through the day unscathed, or feeling like that day will never end. So I say don't feel guilty. Sometimes we all need to lose ourselves in some mindless social media fun. I mean, that's what the internet is for, right?