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Why Pphubbing My Kids Doesn’t Make Me A Bad Parent

The following was syndicated from Babble for The Fatherly Forum, a community of parents and influencers with insights about work, family, and life. If you’d like to join the Forum, drop us a line at [email protected].

Parenting is hard. I mean really. freaking. hard.

When I was younger, I wrongly assumed that motherhood is one of those things that come easily and naturally, like finding true love, breastfeeding a newborn, or buying a house.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Ahem.

Now that I’ve lived long enough to experience both the joys and the pains of being an adult, I know that anything in life that holds true value will almost always also be completely and utterly exhausting. I’ve been bone-tired for approximately 9 years now, and as my standards for cleanliness and nutrition have plummeted, my desire for modern conveniences has continued to increase.

So basically, I’m a fan of anything that will make my life easier. Frozen entrees? Yes. The Waitr app? Yes. Drive-thru pharmacies? Yes.

Before I had 3 kids, I never imagined myself to be the kind of person who would actually get excited about a drive-thru pharmacy, and yet, here we are. It takes a village, after all, and I need all the help I can get to preserve what sanity I have left.

Enter: the smartphone.

Smartphone_1000-624x520

My phone is the single most essential device to my life as a mother. It helps me save money (my favorite part of Target is the Cartwheel app), look up recipes in the middle of the grocery store, stay in touch with the outside world, and entertain myself when I feel like I’m losing my mind — which is often.

If I were to find myself stranded in an undesirable place, such as the Department of Motor Vehicles or even the hospital, as long as I have a fully-charged phone, I can rest assured that I’ll make it through the experience without coming unhinged. I can call a friend to rescue me or bring me food. I can read the comment section of my local news station. I can order more paper towels from Amazon Prime, or send inappropriate GIFs to my best friends.

I do not let my kids touch my phone — ever. Ever. This means that, should we end up sitting on the side of the road with a flat tire on a hot summer day, I always have the option to let them watch something on my phone. It’s the Jedi Mom Move that I reserve for those times when I literally cannot take another second of whatever it is that they’re doing, used only in the direst of circumstances (like when we’re at the flu shot clinic).

General public: You need to stop giving moms grief about how much time we spend staring at our phones. And all those articles that shame moms for ignoring their kids at the playground while they scroll through social media? Those people need to shut the hell up. If I bring my kids to the playground, it’s because I desperately need a break — if I didn’t have a phone with me, I’d have my nose stuck in a book or a magazine.

If you didn’t bounce a colicky infant, argue with an 8-year-old about why teeth-brushing is absolutely non-negotiable, or wrestle a 50-pound child into a car seat today, then I don’t want to hear your opinion.

In addition, if you happen to be a parent who did handle a colicky baby, engage in a hygiene argument, and endure a driveway wrestling match, yet still want to be involved in every moment of your children’s playground playtime, then I think maybe you’re a robot and therefore cannot be trusted.

My smartphone navigates me through downtown with a van full of screaming kids when I lack the brain power to navigate myself. The navigation lady never loses her cool; her voice is always calm. I find her inspiring.

I never imagined myself to be the kind of person who would actually get excited about a drive-thru pharmacy, and yet, here we are.

My smartphone helps me stay on a budget. Since motherhood seems to have melted my brain, I never know exactly how much money we have or when I might be desperate for a Venti Americano. Thankfully, technology makes this easier: banking can be done directly from my phone, and although I’ve never done this myself, I’ve seen others in the Starbucks drive-thru scanning their phones instead of handing over a debit card.

Mind. Blown.

Technology has downsides, for sure, but I bet you’re reading this article right now because you’re ignoring a small child, avoiding work that you should be doing, or simply taking a break from whatever it is that you were doing a minute ago. Welcome to the dark side, friends. It’s easier here.

Harmony Hobbs navigates the waters of motherhood without any grace or finesse whatsoever. A fan of coffee, wine, and very sturdy undergarments, her work is featured all over the internet and in two real-life books. Read more from Babble below: