Sunday, June 9, 2013

"That" Mom

I'm that mom at the park right now. You know the one, iPhone in hand. I can feel the disapproving stares. 

Well, hate on, haters. 

My kids are big enough to play without worries of getting hurt on the equipment. We're in an enclosed space, so I'm not particularly concerned about weirdos trying to swipe them. They've both taken self defense classes, and I'm confident in their abilities to junk punch any would-be playground bullies. Last but not least, at 8 and 11, they aren't really interested in their mommy doting over them and shadowing their every move...and I don't think that's a bad thing. 

Not too long ago there was a post on Facebook that went viral about how awful these iPhone moms are. About how they're missing every precious second with their kids, because they are tweeting about how cute their kids are. For shame!  

First, I thought to myself, not every second is precious. Some seconds involve picking noses and eating boogers. Then I noticed, with some great measure of irony, most of the moms I knew that shared this post were sharing it from (drumroll please) their iPhones. Do as I say, not as I do. 

Shortly after that, there was a little backlash. Not earth shattering, but a backlash nonetheless.  Honest moms saying that they are better parents when they have a few minutes respite. I happen to agree. I also agree that whether the respite comes in the form of a glass of wine with friends, watching an hour of TV by themselves, going to the bathroom uninterrupted (like that actually happens in real life), or checking their iPhone at the park, it's absolutely no business of the judgy Facebook posters. 

However, those posts did make me think about my own childhood. I don't remember there being any such thing as a "helicopter parent". I don't remember my parents clinging to us at the park. I don't remember overly monitored play dates. I remember our parents playing with us for a bit, then sitting down to chat with other parents, or read a novel, or work a crossword puzzle. Probably because they didn't have iPhones. And yet, somehow, we all survived. 

So, I will sit on this bench blogging till my heart's content. 

Amazingly, though they're being horribly neglected, the kids are having fun. They are playing with other children. They seem well adjusted. 

I'm hopeful they won't fail out of school and turn to a life of crime because I am occupying myself while they play. But only time will tell. 

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