Yeah. I’m On The Phone, And My Kid Is Still Alive.
So. I’m trying not to swear.
Fuck it. I saw this little diddy on Facebook last night and it got my titties all hot.
You know why? Because I am so sick of these mommies who walk around and pretend like they have all the answers to everything and meanwhile their kids are just as annoying and fucked up as the next one.
So before this brood or anyone else judges me for whipping out my phone when Destroyer is happily buzzing around a playground, or playgroup or (GASP!) watching tv, here’s a few examples from a million reasons why I might be on my phone and why you should mind your own fucking business:
1. I’m texting a picture of said twirls or “watch me” antics to Daddy. Because I was watching, bitchface.
2. I answered the phone because my other child’s school was calling and my other child is sick.
3. I work from home to spend more time with my kids, but from time to time need to manage my email/messages/whatever in order to facilitate this.
4. I’m bored. Because you know what? What’s fun for kids repetitively for hours gets boring sometimes. So there.
Here’s the thing. Parenting is hard. I’ve said this a thousand times. Not so hard that it isn’t worth it, because believe me it is. The Destroyer might be able to take out a tidy room in under 60 seconds, but that is just par for the course. I’m willing and able.
And I am lucky that I get to be here to see it all.
But I am a human being. An adult human being. And that requires a certain amount of stimulation that doesn’t include pointing out pictures in the Elmo book, or deciphering the latest tantrum of a mostly non-verbal expert on animal sounds. It’s draining some days. On worse days it’s annoying. On really shitty days you wonder how parents before you survived and escaped with their sanity.
Bestie was telling me the other day about a friend of hers whose child is about 5 months old. The woman has only left the child once to go for a dentist appointment that was unavoidable. Once. And by once, I mean not even to the store for an hour, not to mail a letter, not to a movie, nothing. 5 months of constant company of an infant with no relief.
Goddamn, woman. How are you still sane? When Destroyer was twee, I used to love that hour a day I went out for a bike ride or trip to the store just to get out and have a little bit of alone time.
Now I know that when the baby is new and especially if you are breastfeeding it is hard to plan evenings out and even harder to leave your child with a babysitter. But what about with the child’s father? And never?
My point is balance, balance, balance. We have to be honest with ourselves about what we need too. And creative about how to meet everybody’s needs. And for me, that includes whipping out my phone on occasion while my child is happily playing and safe and content.
And you know what other horrifying behavior I exhibit?
1. When I say “no” it stays no.
2.When a meltdown is happening, I try to figure out the cause and solve it for her. And sometimes, when it is apparent that a fit is happening for the sake of having a fit, I walk away. And I tell her I’ll be waiting with “X” when she is done.
3. Bestie plugs in a set of earphones and an audio book when she babysits. Destroyer is none the wiser and is free to do the same game for 5 hours, or tantrum or whatever. Bestie is then calm and happy, and able to tolerate miserable amounts of bratty behavior without breaking a sweat. I endorse this tactic wholeheartedly.
4. I use the word fuck in front of my kid. It is what it is. I’m not perfect, but at least I’m real.
5. I leash my kid. Sometimes we go for a walk and I have the dogs in one hand and her on the other. My kid may be on a leash, but at least she’s not on a milk carton.
Do you all feel better about yourselves now? Good. Parent of the Year still comes this way though.