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:
Then I read this kinda awesome response from Alice Bradley of Finslippy:
I Googled “Hands-Free Parenting” and found this pretty cool blog by Rachel Macy Stafford:
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?