Mom Defends Millennial Parents Judged For Always Being On Their Phone

One of the less wonderful moments in my motherhood journey came when my four-year-old walked up to me as I sat on the couch and said, “Mommy, can you PLEASE get off your phone? You’re alwaaaaays on your phone!”

She wasn’t wrong. I may be slightly addicted to my phone. I check it often. Scroll mindlessly. Open up TikTok or Instagram literally right after closing it. You might be the same way. And while yeah, I am on my phone a lot, I’m not always just reading Bravo Reddit threads and watching Taylor Swift easter egg TikToks.

One mom on TikTok came to the defense of parents like me who might be on their phone while their kid is running around the playground or taking a ballet lesson. We’re not bad parents. We’re just working parents and family managers doing the very best we can.

“I was just at my son’s Taekwondo practice, and I’d say 75% of the parents are on their phones, right?” TikTok mom and content creator, Paige, begins.

“And I have seen a lot of commentary about how parents are always on their phones, right? Parents are always texting. They’re not watching their kids. They’re not seeing how great their kids doing during Taekwondo or baseball or gymnastics, whatever it is. They’re just too busy on their phone and why can’t they just take a break and look up?”

Well, she has a different perspective on this discourse that she wanted to share, and she is so freaking spot on.

“I think the average parent is being asked to do a lot, right? They are working full-time. There’s a lack of childcare, so oftentimes these parents are not only on their phone. I sit next to parents who are on their laptops at Taekwondo practice because we are technically still working, right?”

She points out that most parents are working parents and when activities and practices start around 3 p.m. most of us are still “on the clock.”

“If they’re lucky enough to have a remote job, they’re still working while they’re there. They’re slacking on their phone. They’re answering emails. Sometimes, they’re even listening to a call,” she said.

I have totally and completely been this mom before more times than I can count. Of course, I want to watch my daughter thrive in her classes and kick a goal during soccer practice, but I also need to work so that I can sign her up for these kinds of classes.

Paige also points out that the rules have changed for parents. Back when we were kids, do you remember your parents staying for every single class or practice? Nope. Me either. And neither does Paige.

“I don’t remember my parents staying at every practice or every game. They would drop me off and they would leave. So, here’s the thing, we are being asked not only to do more like physically: be at every practice, be at every game, volunteer, work full-time, pick up your kids from the bus stop, all these things. We’re also being asked to be fully present for all of it which is impossible,” she said.

“So, I just want to share this perspective because oftentimes there’s this really ugly narrative that we as parents are just always on our phones and not paying attention to our kids when in reality we’re splitting our time across so many different things and it can be really difficult to protect any of it, to protect our time with our kids or our time at work because we are being pulled in all different directions.”

Several parents agreed with this notion, sharing their perspective on this in Paige’s comment section.

“The idea that we have to be present every single second of our child’s life is just INSANE. Especially coming from the ‘go outside and don’t come back until dark’ generation,” one user wrote.

“My parents didn’t even drive me to practice, I rode my bike or walked!” another said.

Another pointed out, “Also, my phone is where I schedule appointments, order groceries, order prescriptions, fill out forms for all the things, research therapists and camps and doctors and adhd, & I’m a grad student”

One mom pointed out that even if she is on her phone and not working, that is okay too!

“And even if I’m not working, I am not apologizing for that. I have the ability to discern the difference between things I need to be fully present for and the 1000th gymnastics lesson,” she said.

Of course, as parents, being mindful of our screen time and being present with our children is imperative. No one is arguing that point.

However, there is so much judgment when we see a mom pushing a stroller while on her phone even though she might be multitasking, googling “Why is my kid’s poop blue?” (BEEN THERE) or hell, just disassociating for a quick minute after being totally touched out.

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