You Know You’ve Done It.
I know I’ve done it.
Heck, I. AM. DOING. IT. RIGHT. NOW.
Ugh. I’m seriously the worst for doing this, and so are you.
But, maybe not?
Maybe tuning my children out, at times, is not the most unfavorable thing I could be doing.
BUT. THAT. DOESN’T. MAKE. IT. RIGHT.
Oh, yeah. I forgot that part. Thanks for the reminder.
What are we talking about here?
Phoning In Your Parenting.
Yep, just like you have been phoning in your mothering role, your marriage, your effort at work, and your self-care.
What? Was that harsh?
While I can understand why you would think that, let me assure you that I firmly hold the contention that “phoning it in,” at times, is necessary to our survival as mothers, wives, & working women.
The general public looks at you and me and thinks that our attachment to our phones and our constant email-checking is distracting us from our children.
“She’s phoning it in,” they grumble.
They see us with our head in a book while little Johnny climbs up the slide.
“There’s another mom paying no attention to her child,” I hear one whisper.
They ask us if we want to schedule a playdate after work one day and we decline, as that would take away from us spending time in our own home, on our couch, & in our pajamas.
“She’s so selfish,” is what they must be thinking.
Or Maybe She’s Not
Do you remember the image that went viral of the mom who decided to nap on the sidelines during her son’s soccer practice?
From the looks of it, you’d think she was phoning her parenting in, right?
WRONG. Dead wrong.
She showed up. Not only did she show up, but she also woke up her kid, probably fed him at least a half-healthy breakfast, and left the house with him fully clothed. I assume the boy also had all the equipment he needed, and he arrived at his destination at the time he was scheduled to and then happily engaged in an activity he enjoyed.
THIS MOMMA DID EVERYTHING BUT PHONE IT IN.
The truth — I would never be caught napping at one of my children’s events — that is except if I was as exhausted as she must have been.
Exhausted from going out with the hubby the night before and having one too many Malbecs? Maybe, but probably not.
Exhausted from tending to and caring for the boy’s newborn sister all night long? I have no idea because I don’t know a damn thing about this woman’s backstory.
My point is that it doesn’t matter why she was tired; all that matters is that she drove her tired butt to her child’s soccer practice, just as she probably does every Saturday during soccer season.
Just like she drives him to school every day.
Just like she takes him to art class or speech therapy or his pediatric medical and dental appointments.
Motherhood is exhausting, and it is depleting. Still, a mother that is showing up, whether or not she is on her phone answering work emails, preoccupied with her newspaper so she can keep up with current events, or losing herself in a fiction novel or even on social media for a while — is NEVER phoning it in.
Stop Judging Other Moms
The women who are supposedly paying more attention to their phones than their children are, more often than not, tending to work tasks. If they’re not doing that, you can bet yourself they are reading inspirational articles, offering support to friends, seeking out self-care tactics, researching how to deal with their child’s negative behaviors, seeking out relationship advice, or planning their family’s next vacation.
They are not phoning it in.
The women whose heads are in a book while their children explore their independence on the playground are women who know that motherhood does not require them to give up activities that they enjoy. They are the same women who know how critical it is to allow for children to learn and practices self-sufficiency in safe surroundings.
That doesn’t sound like phoning it in to me.
The women who refuse to schedule an early evening playdate do such because they much prefer growing and playing with their children inside of the happy and loving home they have so carefully curated together.
This is one more example of a woman not merely phoning it in.
Go Ahead And “Phone It In” Occasionally
But, guess what?
If soccer mom, or any of you, ever want to phone it in for a bit, I promise I won’t judge you at all, and no one else should either.
For 18 long years and beyond, us mothers will be SO full of emotions — anxiety, excitement, worry, fear, elation — surrounding our children. If for a few minutes, or even an hour or two each day, we need to “phone it in” to stay balanced, well then phone it the heck in honey.
This is a no-judgment zone.
Namaste to you.