Is it just me, or is the park boring? Call me selfish, but
the park seems to be a fabulous place for everyone except mom. The kids are having a great time digging and
climbing, but it’s not like they’re digging and climbing with me. So my job at the park is to make sure no one
takes my kids or their shoes. These are
two important jobs, but neither is terribly exciting.
Actually, much of a mom’s job is boring. I know we’re not supposed to admit that out loud,
but you know what I’m talking about. Sure, you’re happy your kid is having fun
at the park or on that playdate, but your kid’s not having fun with you. You’re just the transport and the security
guard, making sure everyone is safe and happy.
Likewise, much of a mom’s job can be lonely, even isolating. For me, being a new mom was difficult. I hadn’t expected to feel alone. Sometimes, my infant son was the only person I saw all day. I loved him without question, but it felt like I was watching the world from afar. Everything was happening and I wasn’t a part of it. I longed to feel connected to the world. I longed to be a part of everything.
I started out my time as a mom with lots of rules about lots
of things, my iPhone being one of them. I didn’t want my son to feel like he was in competition with my iPhone
every time I was on it, so I never texted, emailed or made a call while I was
with him. If I needed to use the phone
I’d sneak it in during his nap or after bedtime, as if my phone and I were
having an affair. And the few times I
needed to make a call or answer a text while I was with my son, I faced the
raised eyebrows of every mom in sight. It seems I wasn’t the only one who had
rules about my iPhone use. We were all on the same page.
Instead of sitting stone-faced at the park, I have a good laugh with a friend.
But over time I’ve lightened up on myself. Sometimes I need to make a call when I’m
around my children, and occasionally I need to check my emails. And sometimes I don’t need to; I just want
to. Instead of sitting stone-faced at
the park, I have a good laugh with a friend via a quick text or say a short
hello to someone who lives far away. Sometimes, I just want to connect with a friend or family member so I
can feel like I’m a part of things, and that life isn’t passing me by.
So next time your thought bubble is filled with judge-y
thoughts about the mom at the park who is gabbing on her cell phone, don’t
assume she’s the world’s worst mom. In
fact, maybe she’s smart enough to know that five-minute chat with a grown-up is
all she needs to get through a whole day with her tired toddler and teething
infant. And instead of judging other moms, go say hello. Maybe all she needs is a grown-up to speak to. I know I do.