So, there was this powerful open letter to the "mom on the iPhone" and I totally identified. I've been that mom who has spent too much time on the computer and on my phone and I admit I've totally missed moments to cheer on my kids, to make them feel important. In fact, I'm reading Hands Free Mama along with two dear friends and it's been pretty awesome.
But now there is backlash: the open letter "dear mom telling me to get off my phone." It resonates with me too. Sometimes I need to check out of a situation to save my sanity. Or sometimes a family member is sick and I need to check my phone or I'm using my phone to check on a different child, one who isn't with me at the moment. Or, you know, texting my husband asking him to pick up milk because I forgot. Again. Someone watching me at the park could assume I've checked out and don't care about my kids and that's hurtful.
Can we stop it? Mamas, we have so many things against us already! Mommy-guilt waits for me around every corner and I can find it all by myself. I need all you other mamas to build me up, to have my back when I'm struggling so that I have the strength to do the same for you.
So here's my letter:
Dear Mamas Who Own Phones (whether you are looking at them or have them zipped up tight in your purse):
You love those kids. I can tell by the way you look at them, even when you are exasperated. You wouldn't be upset by their behavior if you didn't care. I also noticed you pushing your child for approximately 117 minutes on the swing. You are doing a great job. Keep it up. I'm with you. We need to stick together. Need to check your phone for a minute for something important? I'll keep an eye on your kiddo for you. Need to check it for a moment of sanity? No problem. I have to do that too sometimes. And thanks for doing the same for me when I check my phone. I appreciate that time you didn't let my kid eat that rock.
Moms who stay home? Awesome. It is HARD. No adult conversation, you can't go to the bathroom by yourself. No sick days. Pouring yourself into your kids all day, every day. What a sacrifice. Whew. Rock on.
Moms who work? Awesome. It is HARD. You balance so much on your plate and on top of it all are providing your kids (and mine) with an amazing example of what women can do. What a sacrifice. No wonder you are tired. Rock on.
Organic, cloth-diaper, make-everything-yourself mama? Awesome. Thanks for keeping some chemicals out of our environment - that's better for all of us. Thank you.
Buy everything from the store mama? Awesome. You are putting some money into our economy and that time you saved by not having to make everything yourself can be used in some awesome ways. Thank you. (and I bet you had more time to read to your kids on the day I was making laundry detergent.)
Room moms? Oh I'm so thankful for you. You were blessed with organizational skills and you keep the classroom afloat. Our teachers get appreciated because of you but you share the glory with all of us. You make all of us look good.
Barely get your kids to school on time mom? Yup, it's hard. Sometimes success needs to be defined by making it through the day. Rock on - you've got this. You got them to school. They had shoes and socks on. Consider that a win!
Mamas who got their bodies back? Rock that bikini, mama! You probably worked hard to get those abs back. We're all secretly jealous. Or maybe you didn't have to work that hard... now we are really jealous. Your workout regimen probably helps keep you sane, too! You go with your healthy self!
Mamas who didn't? Oh sisters, I've learned so much about what it means to be beautiful. The physical scars my body bears because I've had children are part of my story. Including that adoption-weight I gained during my late-night-adoption-blog-reading-junk-food-eating days. Nope, I will not be rocking a bikini at the pool this summer. Or ever. Maybe we could work harder and get our bodies back but we don't want to. No excuses needed if right now, just for you, your time is better spent somewhere other than the gym. It's all good.
Our lives don't need to look the same for us to be great moms. What works for my kids isn't necessarily going to work for yours. And what helps me keep my sanity might not be what works to help you keep yours. But if we stick together, we don't have to waste our precious time on Mommy Wars. We don't have time for it anyway, right?