In defense of the mom on her iPhone

By Krysyal Maroon

Growing in a shrinking culture

Published: Thursday, April 4 2013 9:00 a.m. MDT

Editor's note: This content by Krystal Maroon originally appeared on her blog, Growing in a Shrinking Culture. It has been posted here with the author's permission.

I recently saw something going around Facebook called something like Dear Mom on the iPhone. If you haven't seen it, I'm sure you've at least seen or read something similar at some point. It goes something like this:

"Dear Mom on the iPhone ... Your little girl is spinning round and round, making her dress twirl. She is such a little beauty queen already, the sun shining behind her long hair. She keeps glancing your way to see if you are watching her.

You aren't.

Your little boy keeps shouting, 'Mom, MOM watch this!' I see you acknowledge him, barely glancing his way.

He sees that too. His shoulders slump, but only for a moment, as he finds the next cool thing to do."

OK I get it, I really do. We live in an age that is so technology obsessed, that we are at risk of missing out on real life. We suffer with the tyranny of the urgent, which often causes us to miss out on the important. Just as iPhones make it easier to stay connected to social networks and emails, they also make it easier to miss what is happening right in front of our noses. Push notifications make us feel needed and important, and as if we never have to miss out on anything. They can sometimes demand and own all of our attention. I agree that this can be a legitimate concern for our culture. It can threaten our relationships with our friends, our spouse and, of course, our children. And at times I have felt convicted that I need to stay offline while Riley is awake, and on some days I do a really good job at it (and other days, not so great).

But here's what I don't get: Why are there always so many negative posts and chastisements toward mothers when it comes to parenting, but very little positive reinforcements and encouragement? Why are there so many articles, blog posts, open letters gone viral, etc. that fuel mom guilt? Other mothers out there know what I mean when I say "mom guilt." It seems to be something we naturally, instinctively have and wrestle with the minute our first child is born. We don't really need condemning articles and opinions on discipline, being a working mother, daycare, domesticity, creative parenting and technology use to get our guilty conscience to kick into gear. Even if they are written in the name of godly conviction.

A guilty reminder that we might miss a moment with our child is honestly not what we need. It is not going to be the grace-fueled motivation we need to pursue godly parenting.

Let's say this hypothetical iPhone mom is a SAHM (stay at home mom). Let me tell you something about her, that I know from experience:

Know what she has a lot of? Sweet moments watching her children do things like spinning around in their dresses or watching them show off or watching as they bring you something they just discovered. Moments to play with her baby on the floor, read a book over and over again with excited inflections, moments of teaching them the sounds that animals make and about the clouds that our Creator designed. Moments of laughter and tickle fights and hugs and kisses. And for this reason, she is thankful that she has the opportunity to stay at home full time with her child(ren).

But do you know what she doesn't have a lot of? Time to herself. Time to respond to an email. Time to read the news or thought provoking articles on culturally relevant and important topics.

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