To Whom it Concerns(or does not concern):
This is “Mom with the iPhone”. You don’t know me, but apparently you assume that you do.
Thanks for your efforts and concerns about the well-being of my children, but I am not accustomed to taking advice in the form of a presumptuous, anonymous open letter. But since your concerns seems to run so deep, and you have made some moms feel extreme guilt about their phone use… I feel the need to debunk your theories of what is going on in the less-than-5% part of my day that you have witnessed.
Let me say again: You don’t know me. You don’t know my children. And since you have remained anonymous, I don’t know you. Maybe you are another parent that some might call a “helicopter parent”? I don’t judge you. It is how you choose to raise your child. Maybe you are someone who rejects the ever-growing modern technology. I don’t judge you. I admire your strength. Maybe you are just nosey. I won’t judge you if you keep your comments to yourself. Maybe you are an old man who sits by the playground and watches my kids… please stop. It’s creepy.
You do NOT know me. You do NOT know my children.
See my daughter spinning in circles pretending to be a princess? Before we came out to the playground, we sat and read 4 different princess books together. She is only 5 and can read about 95% of the words in these books. We read together a LOT. After reading, she dressed up like a princess, while I cleaned up breakfast. She danced and listened to Princess Songs. My husband and I treat her like our little princess. She knows she is our little Princess.
See my son trying to get my attention? We are working hard to increase his social skills and his independence, both at home and with his teachers at school. He is very shy, and has trouble making friends. He would much rather hang around with me, or another familiar adult. The time he spends on the playground is his time to find children his age to play with; it is his time to navigate the playground independently, without my prompting him at every step. Before we came out to the playground this morning, we made a HUGE batch of blueberry pancakes together. While we ate breakfast, we discussed the plan: while at the playground, without my help, he needs to find one child to talk to. It is still a work in progress.
You do not know me. You have witnessed less than 5% of my day. I am fortunate enough to have a job where I telecommute, and I don’t have a set schedule. It means I get to spend the morning with my children, focusing on getting ready for school. It means I don’t have to drop them off at a daycare, or have a nanny come in and take care of them. It means when they need me I am there. I am fortunate, and they are fortunate.
See me on my iPhone? I am answering all the work emails that I avoided all morning while I read to my daughter and made pancakes with my son. I am sending emails to soccer parents… I am my kids’ Soccer Coach. I am searching for a dinner recipe, so that I can send my husband a grocery list. And yes, I am on Facebook, posting something funny, reading something funny, liking something funny. Being a parent does not mean surrendering your sense of humor. I am catching up with my adult friends, learning about the birth of one of their children, or the death of one of the their parents. I am sending my love. I am instant messaging another Stay At Home mom. We are chatting about our struggles of the morning, telling funny stories about our kids, sharing jokes. We are having personal/adult interactions for 5% of our day, which is otherwise dedicated to our children, our housekeeping, our part-time job, our second part-time job, our small businesses. I am being ME: MOM, FRIEND, EMPLOYEE,… ADULT.
Growing up we went outside and played. We weren’t driven to a playground. Our playground was the neighborhood. We played in our friends’ back yards. We rode our bikes or rollerskated around the block. We navigated through the woods behind our houses. We didn’t see our parents for HOURS. Most of us turned out just fine. We love our parents and appreciate them for letting us play, make friends, use our imaginations, and have adventures.
I don’t know you. But now you know a bit more about me. I am the mom on the iPhone, and my kids are going to be just fine. So please stop watching them. It really creeps me out. Thanks.
~Mom on the iPhone