Freedom From Mommy Guilt
I have a confession – I blog, tweet, instagram, check my email, and do all sorts of other technological things in front of Caleb. *Gasp* I know, how could I? I’m on a role with these posts speaking out against what I read on Facebook this week. #SorryImNotSorry All over the internet I feel as though I’m being bombarded by people saying that it’s not ok to use technology in front of your kids. They say that parents need to be solely focused on their kids or they’ll grow up feeling like they’re not important and not loved. A few days ago I read a post written by a woman who sat in her sons’ room as they were playing and tallied up how many times they looked at her. It ended up being 28 times. She then went on to tell parents that, if she had been on her phone or computer, that would have been 28 times her boys would have felt that the internet was more important than them. That would have been 28 times her sons would have felt unloved and unvalued. First off, I want to say that I am not writing this against that mom AT ALL! That mom sounds like an amazing woman and an amazing mom. She obviously loves her sons and is doing everything she can to show them that love in tangible ways. What I do want to talk about is mommy guilt. We women feel guilty enough and wonder if we’re doing right by our kids and we don’t need others condemning us for our parenting choices. Yes, I spend time on my computer in front of Caleb. I’m working on growing my blog to be a source of supplementary income for my family so I have to be willing to view my blog as a job. Being able to be home with my little man is something I’m incredibly thankful for. I know not all moms who want to be home with their kids are able to. I feel so fortunate that Nate’s job pays enough for our family to live on but pastors don’t make a ton and so I also feel so fortunate that blogging can provide some added money to go toward loans, savings, and our trip to Mexico this spring. The thing is, I am totally able to work on my blog while keeping an eye on Caleb and being right there when he needs me. There are plenty of times every day when Caleb has crawled over to me wanting to be picked up and I shut my computer right then and pick him up to give him cuddles. There are other times when Caleb will look up at me and chatter and I’ll smile and chatter right back until he goes back to whatever he was doing. I am constantly showing him that he is more important than my computer, even when I’m working. Is it difficult for me to have so many interruptions? Definitely! But it’s worth it to be loving on my little guy. Sure, there are times when I have to tell Caleb to wait a second. He’ll want to climb up on my lap and I’ll tell him to wait for me to finish writing a sentence, drafting an email, or put finishing touches on an edited picture. Because of this he is beginning to learn patience and, as soon as I’m done with the finishing touches I had to do, into my arms he comes. Caleb and I also spend a ton of time together technology free. We go for walks, we read, we wrestle, we have people over, we go shopping… The list goes on and on. That time is totally special and extremely important. It would be wrong for him to always see me on my computer or phone. That would certainly be teaching him unhealthy habits and showing him where my priorities are. If we think about it, it’s only been in recent history that moms have been charged to focus every bit of their attention on their kids. In the past women had so much to do! Definitely more than we women in today’s day and age have to do! Do you think a woman had the ability to acknowledge all 28 times her child looked at her while she was scrubbing clothes, plucking a chicken, or weeding the garden? I don’t think so. And I don’t see anything wrong with that. She was teaching her kids work ethic, how to free play, and how to be disciplined. I’m certainly not judging moms who choose to not use technology in front of their kids – there’s certainly value in that – but we also need to stop judging moms that do. It’s not going to harm their kids to see their moms using technology in a healthy manner. They’re not going to feel unloved and unvalued if they’re not the center of attention at all times. Let’s stop casting mommy guilt on one another (as long as a woman is not doing something that’s truly WRONG and HARMFUL to her kids)and accept that we’re all doing the best we can to raise our kids well! Your Turn:
Do you use technology in front of your kids?
What’s an aspect of mommy guilt you would like to see eradicated?