When you're a mom you pretty much prepare yourself to be judged, but all the preparation in the world can't prepare you for that special brand of judgment: cell phone shaming. The moment you come across a raised eyebrow that screams, "Look at that mom on her phone! She's the worst!" or a smirk that says, "OMG, why isn't she paying attention to her kids?" it can be difficult to conjure up a coherent sentence. But there are ways to handle this kind of unnecessary criticism, my friends. Because it is very, very unnecessary.
Look, should we make an effort to take a break from our phones? Sure. Our kids do deserve moments of our undivided attention and whole presence. But please don't assume that seeing me on my phone at the playground or grocery store while in the presence of my children is a representation of my entire day. You're witnessing a moment and, sometimes, this mom needs a goddamn moment.
And can we talk about the fact that I hear this criticism mainly from the same people who claim kids today are too coddled and micromanaged? Like, which is it, Carol? Do you want me to let them go live in a tent in the Appalachians for a year to toughen them up, or do you want me to have an eyelid operation so I never have to blink lest something happen to them?
I also hear the argument that being on my phone means I'm "missing out" on my kids' childhood, but do you understand how many hours are in a day and how many of those hours I see them? I brought them to this playground because we've been interacting all day and they need some time to play on their own with other kids, people!
So when someone tries to make me feel bad for daring to look at my phone in the presence of my little one, I'll generally use one of the following responses. Yes, please feel free to borrow when necessary.