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Are You a Hands-Free Parent?

Have any of you read the article in the WSJ’s weekend edition, The Perils of Texting While Parenting?  When I read it, I immediately thought about a recent incident in which I was complimented for not being “one of those moms pushing a stroller and talking on the phone at the same time.”  Right away, I corrected said person and confessed that I am, indeed, such a mother.  It’s one of the only times during the day I am able to carry on a mostly uninterrupted conversation with someone while I’m with Avery.  Ironically, 9 times out of 10, I am talking to my mother.  She doesn’t mind if I respond back to Avery or stop and tell Patch to “leeeave it…leave IT…LEAVE IT!” when we are out on our walks.  (Wait, that sounds really annoying.  Maybe she does mind that part!).  Then I started thinking about when I stop to post a photo to Instagram and end up scrolling through everyone else’s photos.  And when I text a friend.  And when I check Facebook.  You get the idea.

While researching for a paper I wrote in grad school about the rhetoric of the 21st-Century mother, I came across this article by Jane E. Brody:

From Birth, Engage Your Child With Talk

Then I read this kinda awesome response from Alice Bradley of Finslippy:

Thank You, Jane Brody

I Googled “Hands-Free Parenting” and found this pretty cool blog by Rachel Macy Stafford:

Hands-Free Mama

She even mentions the WSJ article about parents fooling around on their cell phones while they should be focusing on their kids.

I feel like there’s a balance here and something being said about parenting, mothers, technology, and communication.  However, besides being annoyed that the photo in the WSJ is of a mother texting while her daughter reaches up for a presumably hot pan on the stove, I haven’t wrapped my mind around all these messages about parenting and, specifically, mothering.

What do you think?  Do you think you spend too much time on your cell phone while you are out and about with your kids?  Is there a balance or are we just dropping the metaphorical parenting ball and picking up our smartphones?

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October 9, 2012

deb cole - no problem here, but I have a dumb phone (a basic cell phone), so maybe that’s the ONLY reason why I’m not a texting parent.
With everything moderation is key. I think you can be a tech parent and still be a good parent, you just have to learn 5 W’s of what is appropriate. You have to set guidelines and boundaries, just like we do for our kiddos. I don’t think we ever outgrow that.

October 11, 2012

Alex - I love listening to Avery’s sweet little voice. I wish I could be with both of you on those morning walks. I’m impressed she’s reading the WSJ with her daddy already. Is that newsprint in her hand? Love that beautiful little face! :)

October 22, 2012

5 Ways to Be a Hands-Free Parent | Aimee Desiree Press - [...] still thinking through that article in the WSJ.  However, I’ve started being more of a Hands-Free Parents by following 5 Golden Rules [...]

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