The other day a friend on Facebook posted a link to a blog titled Dear Mom on the IPhone, which I proceeded to read. And let me tell you, it kind of pissed me off. This post keeps creeping back into my mind and I get frustrated all over again because it just doesn’t settle with me. I, for one, spend plenty of time on my phone and in a world that tells me how I am not a perfect mom and shows me all the ways I am not stacking up, the last thing I need is another item on the list.
So let me explain who this Mom on her Galaxy III is.
First of all, I am head over heels in love with my punks. (And yes, I refer to my kids as punks and do so without guilt.) They are the very best thing I have ever done in my life. They bring me tremendous joy, unconditional love, laughter and fulfillment. They also bring me moments of feeling like a complete failure as a mom, frustration and tears that I’m never going to get this parenting gig down right. It doesn’t mean I love them any less, or make me less of a mom, when I feel like flipping them the bird when they point out all the ways I suck. It’s all part of the job I signed up for. I get it. When you’re a parent it’s not all rainbows and sunshine – it’s TOUGH. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done but I’m blessed to be able to do it.
Second of all, I gave up a career that I loved so I could stay home and be the one doing the raising (in hindsight, I may have been better of letting someone else do it but that’s neither here nor there). I felt that if I wanted them to be raised with the values that are important to us as their parents, I should be the one teaching them. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy going from a career that was social, fun, fulfilling, full of awesome perks (Hello, meeting Lady Antebellum complete with a concert for 20. Amazing.) and topped of with plenty of affirmation, to staying home with kids who don’t really care about the home-cooked meals I prepare daily (because no matter what when you are little McDonald’s rules and I can’t compete.) or the amount of time it takes to do all the laundry, fold it and put it away. I don’t expect them to give a shit. They’re little. I get it.
However, this is more than a fulltime job. I’m on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. My breaks come in 2 week increments, not every four and a half hours. My friends all work, outside the house, during the day. We don’t get to enjoy casual play dates at the park where we can catch up on our lives. My mom passed away almost 10 years ago so I don’t have the joy of sharing this part of my life with her. I get lonely, people. I need to know I’m not alone in this parenting gig. So yes, I spend plenty of time on my phone – taking pictures and videos of my punks, catching up with friends on Facebook and tweeting my life on Twitter. And you know what? I don’t feel guilty about it and I don’t want to feel guilty about it.
I miss the social life I had when I worked. I was lucky to have co-workers who became dear friends, a job that offered me something new every day and the freedom that comes with being in sales. So when I’m on my phone texting one of my best girlfriends about how my punk would. not. go to sleep the night before, or sending a video of my two year old punk dancing and singing “Moves Like Jagger” (And he does. New front man for M5) or posting on a friend’s Facebook status it’s because I need the break. I need the interaction. I need to know that I still exist, outside of my punks. Because sometimes it’s hard to remember that and I, for one, need to remember me.
As a parent, one of the greatest gifts I can give my children is the ability to be my authentic self. Flaws and all. To allow myself to still exist as an individual, as a woman who loves who she is, gives herself the permission to keep a piece of herself, before she had kids. You know why? I’m a better woman and mom when I do this. I teach my children that the entire world doesn’t revolve around them. I show my daughter the importance of girlfriends, of figuring out who she is and that she needs to value that woman. I may not make it to yoga every day, I may not get to spend as much quality time with my girlfriends as I would like and I may not give myself as much time to be me as I feel I need, but sometimes connecting with my friends on Facebook is enough.
So when you see me at Disney World tweeting about how I don’t understand why it’s called the happiest place on earth when there are so. many. tears., followed by a picture of my own punks having a meltdown, I don’t need you to tell me that I’m missing out on every single moment of my kids lives. I’m capturing those moments. I share these moments because we all have them. Parenthood isn’t perfect, kids aren’t perfect, hell, my life certainly isn’t perfect but I’m comfortable enough in my life that I don’t have to pretend it is.
This mom likes her phone and all the ways it allows her to capture her punks lives, her own life, connect with friends and give her a few moments of her own.
Even at Disney World.