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In Defense of the Tech Mom

I had an argument with my husband, Rob. It happened after an afternoon at the playground and eating at a not-so-great barbecue joint. By 8 p.m., my husband, three kids and I wanted to get home to our apartment.

As we came out of the barbecue restaurant, we walked up to a huge intersection and waited at a red light. The subway station was directly across the street. In about 30 minutes, we would be home and our kids would be tucked into bed. But for now, there was still a lot of jumping, shouting and whining. They were driving Rob and me bonkers.

As we were waiting at the light, I texted my friend a message about a playdate we had planned for the next day. As I was typing, the light must have turned green (I wasn’t paying attention!), and my husband shouted over the rushing traffic and car horns, “Could you stop being one of those tech moms for one second so we can walk across this street?!” He then proceeded to act out his impression of a “tech mom”: eyes squinting, elbows bent, holding an iPhone inches from her face, mouth slightly open.

Oh, no he didn’t!! Me? One of those “tech moms”? He’s crazy!

Part of me knew he was just speaking out of frustration from a long day. Looking back, I should have just ignored it. But instead I got defensive, which always makes for a fun night.

“Could you stop being one of those tech moms for one second so we can walk across this street?!”

His comment bothered me because I think technology actually makes me a better parent—not worse. It’s given me the amazing opportunity to have a flexible part-time job through blogging, which allows me to have more time for the kids. I can check my email from anywhere on my iPhone. My digital camera was affordable and lets me create professional-looking photos, which make my work look polished.

Above all, my work has connected me to incredible moms that inspire me daily.

I love following Joanna Goddard from Cup of Jo as she chronicles all the firsts with her toddler son, Toby. It reminds me of when my kids where younger and the funny things they used to do.

Marinka from Motherhood in NYC gives me a glimpse into my future. I particularly love reading about her teenage daughter! Yikes. Marinka is experiencing a completely different set of firsts as a mother. Her post about her daughter calling her a bitch for the first time cracked me up.

Technology has done great things to enrich my life. Surely, being called a “tech mom” is a compliment, right? But I knew the point Rob was making at the intersection. It wasn’t a compliment.

After I finished writing and sending my text to my friend and rushed across the street with my family, I was still fuming. By the next day, everyone was rested and happy, and had moved on to other things. It’s not until now I’m realizing that maybe I was so defensive because I knew he was kind of right. Maybe I am one of those tech moms, elbows bent, constantly squinting into my iPhone. Maybe it's not always so good after all.

Maybe I was so defensive because I knew he was kind of right. Maybe I am one of those tech moms ...

I’m guilty of running out of iPhone batteries at the park more than I'd like to admit, mostly doing very important things like researching a topic I’m interested in—but also aimlessly browsing J.Crew sale items. Certainly having access to my cell phone on my way home is more important than looking at the clearance rack, but I can’t resist sometimes. Sometimes I know I check my email at the absolute wrong time, like while my kids are using a public bathroom and I’m waiting at the sinks for them to finish. Completely unnecessary.

It’s hard to set limits because I do get so much joy from the Internet. But I’m ready to start setting a few. First limit: No texting at crazy intersections.

Got to start somewhere!

This post is part of our blogging carnival, where we explore how the online world has helped us as moms. Read more about it here: Welcome to mom.me

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