What you do see
What you do see is just a snippet. A tiny, little piece of time in our day. Yet you sit there, making assumptions and being all Judgy McJudgy Pants while my kids play happily, paying no mind to your condescension. Yes, you see me scrolling Facebook, typing messages, and emailing all the while keeping an eye on my kids. Again, as they play happily ignorant of your increasing frustration at what you label my, “bad parenting.” You see my children sharing. You see my children smiling. You see my children greeting others with kind words and smiles. All of this is going on, but you are missing it, caught up in your own thoughts. Yes, even when I’m on my phone, I can see it.
What you don’t see
What you don’t see is that I am actually working. That I am using the time, while my children are playing, to financially contribute to my family. What you don’t see is that I work while my kids are happily playing so that I can be home, so that I can snuggle with my children extra long in the morning, so that I can be there to kiss their boo-boos. Those few minutes of what you see and condemn me for, allows me to be the stay-at-home-parent that God calls me to be.
What you don’t see is that despite living with a chronic illness, I can still contribute to my family financially and emotionally. Working on my phone, during that snippet in time that you judge me for, allows me the freedom to go to countless doctor’s appointments and be at every game. What you don’t see are the times that I push through my own overwhelming joint pain and teach my children to read, to count, and to be compassionate.
While you sit there
While you sit there, huffing and puffing with your exasperated sighs about the “state of the world today,” and “our dependence on electronics,” I’ll be quietly tucking my children into bed tonight, singing them their songs, and teaching them to pray. The whole while knowing that my children are not neglected, and I am right here where they need me to be.
What you don’t see is that I can tell you, with a simple glance, what is going on in my children’s heads. I can tell you what they dreamt about last night and what they ate for lunch. Because I am there, I’m the first one they see in the morning and the last one they see before bed. I fix their meals and play games with them. I am blessed to be the one to teach my children, to be the one who kisses their tears away, and hold them when they are scared, all. day. long.
So much more that you don’t see
Sure, I’m not hovering over them every single second. I’m balancing my time to work with my time to play as best as I can. I’m not waiting with baited breath to address their every need. That is not my job. My job is to teach my children how to be independent, how to think for themselves, and how to be strong when life is hard.
So yes, it may not appear as if I am “cherishing every moment” or “engaging with my children” there is so much more that you don’t see. Yes, you see me scrolling Facebook and typing on my phone. I know you are busy judging me, I see you. But what you don’t see is so much more important.
So while you are standing there, judging my from your pedestal on high, take a moment to think about what you don’t see.
Of course, like most moms, I struggle with my own Mom Guilt. I feel like there is always more that I can do, that somehow I’m managing to mess up this whole tough mom thing. It is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. But like you too, I’m sure, we are both just doing the best that we can. Perhaps if we had a little less judgement in the world, we would all be much better off.
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Excellent points. I don’t judge people about their cell phone use except when they are doing it in a way that poses a danger to someone or when it’s interfering with me. Yes, if someone is on the phone while driving, I’m going to feel free to judge. Or if their loud cell phone use is disturbing an expensive fine dining experience, for example. And I have witnessed a few instances of bad parenting where the mom was so distracted by her mobile gossiping (not working) that her children were actually in danger. But it sounds like you’ve got it handled! Not an easy job even for those without chronic illness. Keep up the good work!
These are such excellent points! You are right! Very relatable! Although I don’t stay at home with my kids, I use their play time as well so I can work on the side. In the hopes that I would be able to turn this into a full-time business so I can stay at home with them.
Belle | One Awesome Momma
Thank you Belle! We sure have to use every second, don’t we ? Thanks for reading!
i love this post! it is so true. everyone judges when they see someone on the phone and have no idea what it is they are actually doing. you go mama!
I often have to have a chat with my husband on this topic when I go to the park. I know my kids, but mama needs 5 minutes to be herself. My husband gets all judgey-mcjudgey, but he doesn’t get it. When we are at home, I’m on, and someitmes I just need them to be them and me to catch up on my life
Yes!! We had visitors at our house and I heard them gossiping about me and how I’m just “on my phone all day.” They didn’t know I was working and doing what I love. We don’t need to make assumptions about others.
I agree what you said We have our own Guilt I do feel sometimes that I can do much more than this for kids and family but then I need time for myself . Loved reading the post.
Well said. I work from home too and the amount of times I’ve felt awkward replying to an email or something when out with the kids I have lost count of. It doesn’t bother me anymore but for years it used to and I’d try and explain myself too much.
I often wonder how much of this is us answering to mum guilt? I feel bad that other people are judging me for being on my phone but actually I’m often too busy or distracted by my family to pass judgement on what other mums are doing… either way I’m tired of both the judging and the guilt. X
Isn’t it just so interesting others think they know your situation with a glance? I often bring my phone or tablet to catch up on things while the kids are doing something that is fun. Nothing wrong with that.
Yes, I so agree. I make sure my daughter is safe, but my phone is how I connect to the outside world, despite my chronic illnesses. It’s also a really important way I deal with my anxiety: it’s a shield of sorts, and it’s hard for me to be out in public with my social anxiety without it. I am not compromising my daughter’s safety, and you aren’t either. Rock on, mama! I look forward to following your blog; love connecting with other chronically ill writer mamas.
Leanne I understand perfectly what you are talking about. No one knows what we carry inside and what we have to live with. Blessings to you for being strong and just shrug off the mcjudgies.