10 THINGS I WAS DOING ON MY PHONE TODAY, FYI
BY JESSICA BOSCO
This week you may or may not have heard about the outrage after Aussie cartoonist Michael Leunig published a cartoon shaming mums who are on their phones when they should be parenting. Because you know, we love our phones more than we love our kids.
In case you missed it, here it is:
There was of course outrage, and rightfully so. But to be honest we all know it’s ridiculous, so I don’t feel the need to go into that again, but you can read up on more of it here and here.
Fellow mum Paula Kuka responded with an Insta post perfectly illustrating the reality of what mums have to do on a daily basis when looking after their children, the parts behind closed doors that no one else sees.
But the cartoon was still really annoying me. I already feel guilty about being on my phone in front of my kids - I don’t need some 74-year-old man to make me feel even worse. But then I couldn’t stop thinking about it. And so whilst breastfeeding my son sans phone and alone with my thoughts (because of that aforementioned guilt) I realised something, there’s a reason I’m on my phone so bloody much - actually a bunch of reasons - and while I don’t feel like I have to justify myself to anyone, let’s break down just a few of the reasons shall we.
1. First things first, yep sometimes it’s Instagram
Yep let’s get that out of the way - no apologies because you know what, Instagram is great and parenting is hard AF and sometimes I enjoy cleaning two years worth of mushed up corn out the high chair, and some days I need to scroll Instagram to pretend I‘m in Positano sipping on Lemoncello to be a better mum, you know.
2. A little thing called work
I consider myself lucky that I can work flexibly around my kids schedule but sometimes the only chance I have all day to check and respond to emails might be while I’m pushing the pram or pushing them on the swing. When you only get their nap window to work and they decide to scream the neighbourhood down for two hours instead while you’ve got a deadline looming you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.
3. Checking the news
Some days it’s nice to try and digest the major news of the day outside what delightful adventure Bluey and Bingo are going on that day so that if I do manage some adult conversation it can consist of more than ‘my baby‘s poo is green should I be concerned?’.
4. Dr Google
Which brings me to another good portion of my phone usage which consists of googling symptoms/rashes/schedules/regressions/f*&king Wonder Weeks and so on about that child that I’m supposedly neglecting by being on my phone.
5. Daycare app
Then there’s the app that gives me all the updates from my son while he’s at daycare so even when I’m not with him, I’m with him (*naww) and then the countless other updates they send through throughout the week of everything we need to do/bring in for the week ahead.
Speaking of which, another good proportion of my screen time is spent in the calendar juggling the kids social lives/school/activities, as well as husband’s (and mine, ha!) and keeping everyone organised, bills paid on time, doctors appointments, you know, trivial millennial stuff.
7. Checking the weather
Yep I check the weather about 13 times a day because leaving the house for a simple walk to the park with a toddler and a baby is like packing for a month in Europe, you need options for every type of freak weather occurrence and times that by two in case of possible poo explosions/yoghurt spilage/vomit/dribble etc etc and that’s per child.
8. To-do lists
My notes section is my life - I have to write things as soon as I remember them (yep sometimes while pushing the pram) otherwise it’s off to the Bermuda Triangle they go.
9. Online shopping
Ah online shopping, you used to be designer handbags and shoes, nowadays you’re online groceries and fist pumping the air when you find nappies on sale. But you know, you gotta get your kicks somewhere and the kids and dog need to be fed.
10. Connecting with your village
Yeah just sitting there letting the kids play with matches while I send off a few cheeky #mumlyf gifs, which often might look a little something like:
Sure while it might seem superficial to some, on those really tough days sometimes a supportive gif from a good friend work wonders, it can help remind you that you’re not alone and it might be all it takes to bring you back from the brink of an all-out mama meltdown.
Sometimes that little phone is your only connection to the outside world, to the life you once had, the friends who cheer you up, the help/advice you need to know you’re doing the right thing, helping you manage your busy lives and maintain order amongst the chaos - or yeah the pretty pictures on Instagram and an escape from life in the trenches. Sure mums back in “the day” didn’t used to have that distraction rah rah rah, but they also used to think putting a little brandy on the end of the dummy would help kids sleep better, which thanks to Dr Google I now know is not the done thing ;).
Less judging, more kindness.