**I found this post that I wrote almost a year ago and never published (until now)**
So… you may have seen the article floating around titled something to the effect of “To the iPhone Mom…” It calls out and exposes those moms who have their smart phones out at the park and aren’t giving their child 100 % of their attention. It goes on to point out all those precious moments that we moms miss out on because we can’t seem to tear ourselves away from our screens. The author makes a valid point.
Then there’s this other one floating around titled, “In defense of the iPhone mom…” This one gives that mom who was called out in the previous article some grace. The author assumes that she has spent most of her day experiencing those precious moments of childhood and is now stealing away a few precious moments of her own time to connect with the outside world through social media. This author asks the first author to give that mom a break. This author also makes a valid point.
When I posted the second article on Facebook, the responses were not nice. They oozed judgment. The comments were made by people who do not know me and what I do ALL DAY LONG. Yet, they felt the freedom put my life under a microscope. One of them said, in response to the mom on the smart phone having a bit of “me time”… “Kids should be in bed by eight then mom can have her time. That’s when I enjoyed time to myself when my children were young.”
Kudos to you ma’am for having “time” to yourself. Because, from what I can tell, “me time” is a myth. I am not a mom who has my kids in tons of extracurricular activities… they aren’t in any, in fact. I do not rush and run all over town taking my children here and there. Most days, we are home. Most days, I’m on from the crack of dawn until way past when my children go to bed (at 8, as a matter of fact).
Let me give you a glimpse into my day… today.
6:45- Little Sister is up and at ’em
7:30- everyone else is up and breakfast is going (super dad made breakfast this morning)
8:30- We have an extra child with us for the morning- she arrives and I start preparing for the school day (because we homeschool) while the kids play.
9:30- Super Dad leaves for work and our school day begins. I put baby girl in the pack and play to entertain herself while I have Bible and Calendar time with the other four.
10:00 snack break
10:00-11:30- School continues. I don’t sit down as I’m circling the table helping a 3, 5, 6 and 8 year old complete their various assignments.
11:30- I put lunch in the oven and then paint 5 kids faces… because we can
11:45- I listened to Big Brother explain how and why he created motorized nun-chucks (is that how you spell it?) with legos
12:00- Our little friend is picked up and we eat lunch
12:30- I start tackling a double sink filled with dishes… we don’t have a dishwasher
1:30- Baby Girl goes down for a nap
2:00- Big Sis goes down to nap (which means I read her a story and lay with her until she falls asleep)
2:15- Big Kids grab books and have quiet time- I head outside to exercise
3:00- I sit at the table and eat a protein bar, while trying to catch my breath, glad I don’t have to exercise again until tomorrow
3:15- Big Sis comes out
3:30- Big kids get up
4:00- Baby Girl wakes up
4:30- I finish tackling the giant pile of dishes in the sink
5:00- We go outside to play
5:15- We come in because it’s hot
5:30- We watch Signing Time
5:45- Super Dad comes home
6:00- Kids start cleaning up bedrooms and I get dinner ready
7:00- Baths and Bed time routine
8:00- Kids in bed and I sit down at the computer to pull together lessons for tomorrow’s school day
8:15 – Still sitting at the computer… I catch up on the day’s events with my husband
9:00- Finally sit on the couch and veg out for a little bit before I pass out until morning when it all starts again.
Where’s my “me time”… and don’t tell me it’s when I’m exercising… because that is “me killing myself” time… not “me relaxing and regrouping” time. I am that mom on the phone. I don’t have my nose to the screen at all hours of the day. But I do steal glimpses of facebook here and there. I do check my email. I do post pictures through Instagram. I do relish feeling connected to others. I love… I adore my children. They are not my identity. If I pour every ounce into my children… every waking moment dedicated to their fleeting childhood… if I make sure I never miss a twirl from my girls in their spinning dresses or a “hey mom watch this!” from my son… if I do that… I will not have any of myself left when those children have grown up and left. I need to know who I am outside of being their mom.
I am a mom… for the next 20 or so years… that’s what I do… mom stuff. I want this life.. this mom life. But I don’t want it to own me. We moms are so judgy… you know? What would it be like to turn that into encouragement and grace?