Friday, March 15, 2013

In defense of the Iphone Mom

This article was making its way around facebook and I saw lots of moms passionately commenting on just how true it was (If you are a thoughtful mom who is trying to do her best DO NOT READ IT unless you want a huge parenting guilt trip).

In my head I've been composing a response for the last couple of weeks.  However, this person eloquently and concisely puts into words exactly what I was thinking (and we've been battling a fever this week so sleep is in short supply at our house so please don't ask me to be too thoughtful).

If you're not going to click over, here is a highlight (and actually a large portion of the whole article).

here’s what I don’t get: why are there always so many negative posts and chastisements toward mothers when it comes to parenting, but very little positive reinforcements and encouragement? Why are there so many articles, blog posts, open letters gone viral, etc. that fuel mom guilt? Other mothers out there know what I mean when I say “mom guilt.” It seems to be something we naturally, instinctively have and wrestle with the minute our first child is born. We don’t really need condemning articles and opinions on discipline, being a working mother, daycare, domesticity, creative parenting, and technology use to get our guilty conscience to kick into gear. Even if they are written in the name of godly conviction.
A guilty reminder that we might miss a moment with our child is honestly not what we need. It is not going to be the grace-fueled motivation we need to pursue godly parenting.
Let’s say this hypothetical iPhone mom is a SAHM (stay at home mom). Let me tell you something about her, that I know from experience:
Know what she has a lot of? Sweet moments watching her children do things like spinning around in their dresses or watching them show off or watching as they bring you something they just discovered. Moments to play with her baby on the floor, read a book over and over again with excited inflections, moments of teaching them the sounds that animals make and about the clouds that our Creator designed. Moments of laughter and tickle fights and hugs and kisses. And for this reason, she is thankful that she has the opportunity to stay at home full time with her child(ren).
But do you know what she doesn’t have a lot of? Time to herself. Time to respond to an email. Time to read the News or thought provoking articles on culturally relevant and important topics.
So let’s just say that after a long day (or string of days) of playing “hide-and-go-seek” and dress up and Legos, and fort building and teaching shapes and sounds and singing, “The Itsy Bitsy Spider,” she takes her kids to the park so that they can play by themselves, exercising their imaginations, twirling in their dresses, climbing the monkey bars, and swing while she breathes in some fresh air, sits down by herself, and browses some articles and catches up on some emails. I say good for her. Because you know what? She needs a break. For the love, just give her one! Stop judging her parenting for one mili-second.


  1. Thanks for this :D Admittedly, I was one of those Moms who also read and shared the notorious iPhone Mom article without sharing anything much about the other aspects I had thought of... Namely the quips of all things in moderation and not giving power to things that don't deserve it. I liked the original article's thought that as a society we've become obsessed with our gadgets and technology, but that doesn't mean that just because someone is on their phone when they're with their kids it means they're going to hell. Its not up to us to judge. Besides, its only because of my phone that i get in a lot of my personal study time these days/early morning/late night feedings anyways. :)

  2. I didn't read either article, just what you put on your blog. But I really have to say thank you. I needed to read just this little bit. And maybe one day I'll read the whole thing, but for today that was enough.

  3. Amen. Moms have it tough enough. Let's be kind to each other. Thanks for your thoughts Sallee

  4. Since I'm not a mom and have no plans to be in the near future I don't feel like it's really my place to comment, but I'm going to anyway...I think generally in life it is always easier to judge someone we see doing something we "disapprove" of. I am the worst at this, but I'm trying to get better. Often times when I find myself being really judgmental of others I have to stop and ask myself why am I am thinking/feeling/saying this? Then I have to ask myself the question, how can I help them? In my opinion both women are in the wrong in this situation. Yeah it's kind of a slacker thing to sit in your phone all the time, but as other comments have pointed out there are times when it's the only way to get things done. Is it ideal no, does it happen, yes, should we all get over it and mind our own business? yeah probably. But then again she could have had some kind of family emergency she was dealing with...We don't know that she was just updating her facebook status, maybe she was. If the author was really that concerned about the safety and well-being of these "poor neglected" children, then perhaps she should have called child protected services rather than sitting down at a computer to share her thoughts on someone else's life with all her readers.