Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Dear Mom Passing Judgment on my Smartphone

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I see you over there, condemning me with your eyes. It feels good to sit there in the sun doesn't it? Especially when you are steeped in self righteous indignation. I can feel your eyes burning into the back of my head as I brazenly ignore my children. How dare I squander these precious moments in their childhood. You are a way better mother than me, the way you devote yourself to your children twenty four hours a day. Clearly you are qualified to pass judgement. You were able to see enough in ten minutes of observation to inspire your blog post "Dear Mom on the iPhone"

I guess it's ok if you only blog while your kids are sleeping...

But momma...let me tell you what you didn't see.

You didn't see me at 3:30 am rocking my baby back to sleep when teething pain woke her up crying. You didn't hear her gentle murmurs of contentment, or see her downy head nestled against my cheek as I lulled her back to sleep with a song.

You didn't see me at 8:30 pm, as I lay in a narrow bed with my toddler, easing her fears about boogeymen with kind words and much wiping of tears. I held her in my arms while we talked about her day. By the time she fell asleep she was laughing. She knows that I will always keep her safe from the monsters in the closet.

You didn't see me at 6:00 pm, bathing my daughter and gently working the tangles from that beauty queen hair that you were kind enough to admire. Did you think she had braided her own hair this morning? Nope, that was me. It's our special time. She loves to sit on the floor, on my feet, while I brush and braid her hair. Another precious memory.

There's a lot about me that you don't see.

Let me get this straight Mommy, this lady went on the internet to complain about you being on the internet? IRONY.

Believe me, my eyes are on my prizes. All day long. We play. We laugh. We create a thousand happy memories every day. It is an insult to mothers everywhere that you feel qualified to judge our parenting skills based on ten minutes of creepy park stalking. You don't see the work I put into my relationship with my kids. I signed up for motherhood, not martyrdom. What I choose to do with my downtime is my business. Why shouldn't I catch up on my reading while my kids are occupied with independant play (which, by the way, is an integral part of their early education)? Should I just give up now? Put away all my interests and hobbys and spend my every waking minute engaging with my children? I think if anything that would just weaken my bond with them. I can just picture my oldest daughter in a few years thinking "Man, I wish mom would get a life. She's cramping my style" There will come a time when they no longer want me to come to the park with them all the time but it will be because they are confident, independant girls who aren't dependant on me for every facet of their entertainment, not because they feel they come second to my mobile device.

Damn, I wish mom would get off her phone. I'm not having any fun digging in the dirt by myself.

Perhaps next time, instead of lambasting us for how we choose to spend our downtime, you could celebrate the fact that our children are outside playing in the fresh air and making new friends. I guess you missed the part where my daughter got bored with twirling and went up to that dark haired girl and asked her if she wanted to play. For the next half an hour she was completely oblivious to my existence. I'll try not to take it personally. I'm pretty sure my kids are just happy to be at the park after this long, dreary winter. And thanks for the suggestion about discussion topics for swing time with my baby but I think shes a little young for either meteorology or theology. Right now she's still amazed at the fact that swing goes up, swing comes down.

Tell me the part about Cumulus clouds again mommy, that was really interesting...said no toddler, ever.

I'll tell you what my children know...

They know that they are the best thing Mr. Zinga and I have ever done with our lives. I've shown them every day just how important they are to me, to us. Every kiss, every cuddle, every kind word I've ever said to them has been a memory made. I fix their booboos. I fix their dinner. I fix their toys, (even the loud ones that annoy me) all with the aim of making them happy, healthy and safe. I teach them positive values and how to live with balance, moderation and merit. I'll be damned if my children's memories are going to be of a frantic mother, hovering needlessly trying to stave off the mom guilt brought on by hypocrites who smugly denounce "techie" moms from the comfort of their blogs. No. I wont have it. Their memories are going to be of a mother who gave them everything they needed and wasn't afraid to take fifteen minutes for herself. I'm very glad you choose to blog only at night or during naptime. Thats not a luxury I have today. I have to do all my chores during naptime. I didn't get anything done today.

I was too busy taking my kids to the park.

Image stolen from Facebook
All photos courtesy of my smartphone

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