It’s 4AM and my bedroom is lit by the soft glow of my iPhone. My newborn needs food. I need a distraction. What’s on Facebook at 4AM? Nothing exciting. Just me, looking for something to pass 10-15 minutes.
I despise my cell phone. I was one of the last people I know to “upgrade” to a smart phone. I had a lovely little flip up until about 4 years ago. I felt that it was bad enough people could find me whenever they wanted; I didn’t want the Internet to find me either. At this point, I had also deactivated my Facebook page. I was Internet-addiction-free. In fact, people would get really upset with me because I would often leave home without a phone at all. It took me forever to respond to text messages and emails. And now, post-kids, I feel like this ridiculous rectangle has become an extension of my own hand.
One would logically assume that having kids would make me less attached to such a device. I’ll be honest. I hate that I always seem to have the phone in my hands or at least in my back pocket. It literally makes me boil over with anger. So why do I have it so conveniently located? Well… Good question. Truth is, since I’ve become a stay at home mom, I find myself severely missing peer interaction. Before my son was born, I made it a point to get out with my daughter every single morning. Every. Single. Morning. Just to have some adult conversation. But now that I have a newborn and I’m still learning how to manage with two, including one very feisty and independent toddler, I find myself hanging out in my house a lot more often than I would like to. Hence the phone. Almost a lifeline to the outside world.
Thoughts that go through my head approximately every ten minutes:
1. Maybe I can find a cool event to take the kids and husband to this weekend! Let me look and see if anything has popped up.
2. Oh, a text message! Please don’t be a coupon code from RedBox or Target or Babies ‘R’ Us. Please be another adult.
3. Hmm, I need to look up ______________ immediately. Must have all the answers. Thank you Internet for providing me with weather, sports scores, breaking news, potential jobs that I won’t actually apply to but I will daydream about, random information about pretty much everything, etc.
4. Baby just __________. Better check to make sure that’s normal.
5. Toddler/Baby just ___________________. Better take a picture so I can torture her/him with it at future Thanksgivings.
I really feel sad when I see kids with iPads/Phones out in public. I feel sad when I see adults doing this as well. But, behind closed doors, I’ve become just as bad if not worse. And I hate myself for it. Seriously. I often toss my phone far away so I can’t reach it. Or I try and leave it in another room so it’s totally inconvenient. But the hours. Oh the hours. So many hours.
We draw. We play with blocks. We practice the alphabet and spell words together. We read books. We sing songs. We have “tea time.” We play hide and go seek. We use our imaginations to create new games. We exercise together. We listen to music. We play with the train set. We play with bubbles. We play in the backyard in the sandbox and on the slide. We garden and talk about flowers and herbs. We go for walks around the block. We listen to the baby cry. We change diapers. So many diapers. We figure out food situations. We cook together. And after all that, it’s only 11:00 AM. And I’m fresh out of ideas. Maybe the Internet can help…
So to all of you who find yourself looking at your phones way too often… I understand. I won’t judge you. But one day, and this I promise, one day I will put away my cell phone. Hoping this day comes sooner rather than later. But for now, if you need me, just send me a text. I’ll get right back to you.