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#SorryNotSorry, I Won't Get Off My Phone

Photograph by Twenty20

“You missed it.”

My husband smiles ruefully after he snaps an adorable shot of my 1-year-old hugging our tolerant dog. In the picture, you can clearly see me sitting on the couch in the background, baby and pup at my feet. And I’m on my phone.

If you look closely, you might notice a few other details. I’m in a grubby pair of sweatpants and a sweatshirt, my third-trimester-of-pregnancy outfit of choice. My feet are in desperate need of a pedicure.

What you can’t see, but I’ll freely admit, is that I’m plumb exhausted. I’m worn down from simultaneously trying to parent a busy, active toddler and grow another human being.

I’m worn down from spending all day caring for my child, catering to his whims, cleaning up his messes, wiping his nose, kissing his boo-boos and generally following him around like FEMA after a Class 4 hurricane. I’m completely drained from trying to manage a busy household, pay the bills, schedule doctor’s appointments and put out the inevitable fires.

So, yes, I missed it. Yes, I’m on my phone, instead of being part of a heartfelt moment.

Because this is my chance to check out for a hot minute. My chance to take a quick breather and recharge my drained batteries before I reenter the fray. My chance to cede the reins for just a few brief moments so that I can turn “off.”

It’s so unfair to expect anyone, including a mom, to be “on” all the time. To be constantly engaged and devote her undivided attention to something, endlessly, without reprieve.

My phone is how I get away when getting away physically is just not an option.

As long as my son is OK, as long as he's safe and happy and playing quietly by himself, as long as his needs are being met, I’m OK with checking out on occasion to meet some of mine. So, #sorrynotsorry, but I won’t get off my phone.

My phone is my connection to the outside world. It’s how I communicate with my other mom friends, on whom I rely for so much. We talk daily through Facebook about everything from our babies to our periods to our husbands to what we’re currently working on in our respective careers.

My phone is how I keep my family members updated as to what my son is doing, what milestones he’s achieved lately, how much he’s grown.

My phone is how I track the news and stay current on what’s going on in the world.

My phone is how I reach out to old friends who are separated from me by hundreds of miles.

My phone is how I let my husband know that he's missed when he’s away for his job with the Marine Corps.

My phone is how I get away when getting away physically is just not an option.

Should my phone be the last thing I look at every night before closing my eyes? Probably not (although I’m guilty of this far too often).

Is my phone a replacement for the physical, interpersonal, face-to-face connections I form with the people in my life? Absolutely, indisputably not.

But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be on it. It doesn’t make me a bad mom. It doesn’t mean I don’t know how to socialize or communicate without the shield of a screen. It doesn’t mean I don’t care about those precious moments in my son’s life.

You see, I’m there for so many moments, and hopefully, I’ll be there for so many more. But I will take the occasional one for myself.

So, despite what all you judgy people may think, I won’t get off my phone.

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