Dear Everyone: Stop Judging Moms on Their Phones |

Dear Everyone: Stop Judging Moms on Their Phones

admin March 20, 2014

Recently, I was busy dealing with some nonsense in the online world.  It was over the recent, controversial posts I wrote about vaccines.  And hey, I know it’s a hot topic and I expected it.  I was ready for a break, though.  I packed up my kids and went to meet some friends at our local Whole Foods, for some snacks, conversation, and play time for the littles.  Being away from the computer was going to be a breath of fresh air.

And it was.  Mostly.

But this happened.

While The Kids Play….

Whole Foods has foam mats that are covering the play area.  The kids like to take it apart and stack it up, make it into a “hopscotch” mat, and so on.  We allow them to do this, as long as they keep it out of peoples’ way, and we clean it up before we leave.  While they were doing this, I quickly snapped a picture of my breakfast (an everything bagel with garlic-and-herb Kerrygold butter plus kombucha, if you’re curious) and went to upload it to the Modern Alternative Mama Facebook page.  While I was doing this, a woman walked up to me.

Her: “Are these your kids?”

Me: “Some of them.”

Her: “Was this like this when you got here?”

Me: “No, but we’ll clean it up before we go.”

Her: “It’s kind of in the way, it’s hard to step around.”

Me: “I know, I’m directing them to move it right now.” (And I was.)

Her (super annoyed voice): “Maybe you should get off your phone.”

Me: (fuming) “I got this.”  (Many other, less charitable things ran through my mind that I didn’t say.)

She walked away.

Meanwhile, my friends were right nearby, chatting, paying no more and no less attention to their children than I was.  They were just as “distracted” as I was.  The only difference?  They weren’t on their phones.

Stop Judging Moms on Their Phones

I have no doubt that if I, too, had been chatting with friends, or if I had been reading a paper book, or really doing anything but using my phone, the woman wouldn’t have said anything.  Oh, she might have said, “This is in the way, can you move it?”  Or she might have just glared.  But she would not have said “Stop talking to your friends” or “Stop reading that book.”  She would not have assumed that I was an absentee parent if I were distracted in these other ways.  It was only because I was using my phone.

People.  Stop it.

A phone is not a magical device.  It is no more and no less evil than any other form of distraction.  Sure, it can be misused.  But that’s not your problem if someone else is doing it.  It’s never okay to judge a mom for being on her phone.

For years, parents have gone to playgrounds with a book in hand.  They sit and read while their children play.  But no one’s ever written a post called “Dear Mom Reading a Book, Stop Reading and Play with Your Children.”

For decades parents have gone to playgrounds to sit and chat with their adult friends while their children play.  But no one’s ever written a post called “Dear Mom Chatting with Friends, Stop Talking and Play with Your Children.”

The implication is clear: using a cell phone is the highest and most offensive form of distraction for parents.  It’s unacceptable.  It’s in a class all its own.  It’s nothing like reading a book or talking to a friend.  It’s different.  It’s bad.  And because it’s a cell phone and not a book or a friend, you’re clearly an absentee parent who’s missing their childhood.

What is wrong with people?

You Don’t Know Anyone’s Circumstances

Beyond the fact that it is utterly ridiculous to single out phone use and not any other form of distraction, people need to remember that they don’t know others’ circumstances.

  • Maybe the mom is checking a message from work, and the phone is allowing her to be present with her kids instead of in an office
  • Maybe a family member is sick and the mom is checking in on them
  • Maybe this is the one time the mom has pulled her phone out all day
  • Maybe the mom is absolutely at the end of her rope and needs a few minutes on her phone to de-stress while her kids play in a safe place

You don’t know.  You can’t possibly know.  Don’t treat a mom like a stereotype.  Don’t treat her like she’s a bad parent.  Don’t assume you have any clue about her, her life, or her children.  Because you have no idea.  You just can’t.

If a mom’s on her phone, don’t single it out.  Don’t treat her any differently than you would a mom who is daydreaming, reading a book, or chatting with a friend.  If her kid needs something and she hasn’t noticed (and no, not your opinion of what her kid is doing, but the kid is crying or doing something actually dangerous), then feel free to say, “Hey, is that your kid?  I just noticed and didn’t want him to get hurt.”  You don’t need to add in your judgmental “And maybe if you got off your phone you would have seen it.”

It’s just not your place.

Every parent has been “that” parent, who is checking their phone, or lost in conversation, or just frankly not watching when their kid does something.  Every parent has brought their kid to a playground so that they can just take a break.  You don’t know if that mom has had a sleepless night, if she’s spent the entire day playing with her children, or what — you have no idea.  To assume a mom is an absentee parent because of what you see in a split second — or even thirty minutes — is just wrong.

But mostly?  Get off your high horse.  You’re not magical.  Not using your phone much doesn’t make you a better parent.

In fact, I often lose my phone and rarely ever use it.  It drives my husband crazy!  But I don’t think that I’m better because I rarely use it.  I don’t think I’m more engaged, more loving, more involved, because of whether or not I (usually) use my phone.  Plenty of my friends use their phones more than I do and they are just as good as parents…maybe better.  Phone use is not equal to parenting competence.

What to Say

Next time you see a mom on her phone, cut her a break.  Assume you have no clue why she’s on it.  And even if you see her on it the whole time you’re there, assume you don’t know why, what her day was like.  Don’t make any rude comments to her.

If a mom’s having a hard time, smile at her.  Say “I’ve been there.”  Say “Let me help.”  Anything positive is good.

The world would be a better place if we all assumed the best of each other.  If we offered grace.  If we reacted in love.  Let’s start that…with one person at a time.

How do you feel about judging moms who use cell phones?


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  1. AWESOME POST!!!!! I’m not even a mom and I couldn’t agree more. In fact, this applies to many things in life – you don’t know the situation.

    Why is this person in front of me driving so slowly??? Well, maybe he’s new in town and is looking for an address. Maybe it’s a student driver.

    Why is this person taking the elevator up one floor, how lazy can you be??? Maybe she has a bum knee that you can’t see. You just don’t know!


  2. Thank you. I agree heartily. I have a Kindle app on my iPhone and iPad, so often I am reading a book. When I am checking my e-mail, Facebook or Twitter, it is because I want to do something that takes less energy than reading,


  3. We have definitely become so judgmental in this country that we forget there are circumstances every person is experiencing. Why can’t we all just live our lives and let others live theirs? It is no one’s business how much time I spend on my phone or when I am on it, as long as I am not putting anyone else in danger.


  4. I might be a lone wolf here, but think any non-essential phone use while with your kids is inappropriate. That includes posting a picture to Facebook. Would that picture expire if it wasn’t posted 10 minutes later? 30 minutes? 2 days? Nope. I also think being distracted with a book, a conversation, or anything else while your children are misbehaving(being inconsiderate of others included) is inappropriate. I don’t judge some one on their phone, though. I don’t care why you’re distracted if you’re child is misbehaving. I get being exhausted, etc- I’ve had four kids in 7 years, the second of which has special needs. As a former preschool teacher(current homeschooling mom of four), though, I know how to handle other peoples’ kids appropriately, and I’ve also been around the block enough the last 8 years of motherhood to know that most parents who are distracted for any reason and not responding to misbehavior are not going to, so I do it myself in my most teacher-y voice(and always loud enough for parents to hear lest a child freak out over being spoken to by a stranger or being confronted about the misbehavior). I address the situation appropriately, just as I would a kid in my class(For example- “Those foam mats you’re stacking are in the way of the people trying to shop. Could you please move them so I and the other shoppers can get around you?”). I don’t judge a parent’s level or mode of distraction, but I do KNOW that children need boundaries, need to learn empathy, and need to realize how their actions affect others, so if me, a stranger, letting them know how their behavior is affecting me/my children, etc, I will appropriately let them know. So if you’re posting bagel pics to FB and your kids are misbehaving, expect the people NOT judging you are still going to have an issue with misbehavior, too.


    • Hi Meg,

      I disagree. Nobody gets to tell a mom that she can’t use her phone, or tell her when/where/how it is okay to use it. She and she alone gets to decide how she balances her family and other priorities.

      As far as if a child’s behavior is affecting a stranger, then the stranger may speak up — politely. “These mats are really in the way, could you move them please?” Sure, of course, sorry about the inconvenience. “Maybe you should get off your phone and watch your kids more.” Keep your mouth shut, lady, I don’t need your judgment. That’s really the difference in reactions.


  5. I think we really should learn to mind our own business when it comes to mothering. Somehow along the line it became ok to judge another mother on how she feeds..diapers..and cares for the health of her baby. Rather then just being supportive we have decided we know best and we tend to turn our noses up at moms we see doing it “wrong”. That does need to stop. However we also need to show some grace when thigns like this happen there are moms who are constantly on the phone or distracted while their kids are straight acting a fool..hitting other kids..making huge messes…running a muck basically and I can understand if you have encountered this situation many times how it would be easy to lump all distracted moms together with the ones that obviously just aren’t interested in keeping up with what their littles are doing. In any case there is no need to be rude and if it doesn’t effect you its best to keep your nose where it your own business!


  6. Yes! We should just say “stop judging moms, period.” Seriously, every kid and every family is different. And each parent (with an extremely small minority of exceptions) is doing their best to love their kids and raise them well while still maintaining their own sanity. 🙂 Some days, that’s harder than others, lol. Maybe it’s just my own experience but I have a tough time judging other mamas bc man this motherhood thing is much tougher than I ever dreamed! But I have been on the receiving end of comments in public from other people about how I’m dealing with my child. Once, a woman yelled across a crowded airport in Hartford, CT in December to let us know that it was cold outside bc she saw us pushing our daughter in her stroller. We had just gotten off a plane from Puerto Rico, never having had any idea we would end up in CT in December and were ill prepared. DD was in a rear facing car seat in a snap and go stroller so the woman could not see that she was bundled up in every single blanket and piece of extra clothing we had and was more than adequately prepared for the 5 minute wait outside for the hotel shuttle. She saw my husband and me, who were not dressed for the weather but certainly did live through that 5 minute wait, and I guess assumed that we didn’t realize that Hartford, CT is cold in the winter and had not appropriately dressed our infant. >< The nerve that some people have is truly unbelievable these days.


  7. I have had this said to me before! I broke my heart because it was the first time I had pulled my phone out all day. After having been with kids from time to get up till just then. And the 5 mins I took for just me I was criticized. At the time I was widowed with a 2 yr old and a 1 yr old. And we all know there not much time to be on a phone with kids that age!


    • I’m so sorry that happened to you. And that it was heartbreaking. I know I have been (miss)judged in circumstances that also broke my heart. ❤️❤️❤️


  8. I am a stay-at-home mom of two young boys, ages 4 & 2. I also read this blog post on my cell phone. May I be a devil’s advocate for just a moment? Although I agree with almost everything you said – most of all, that we have NO ROOM TO JUDGE each other – I am constantly convicted of the amount of time I am ‘checking out’ by being on my phone. We are in a new age … we have snippets of information available to us at any given moment; we have been lulled into this false sense of urgency that we need to be kept up to date continually; we have given in to the idea that we should be available to all people at all times by the very virtue of the fact that we have a cell phone. Please don’t hear that I think all moms need to be engaged with their children at all times, or that there aren’t moments in our lives when true emergencies strike. But I do think we need to personally examine our motives, gauge the immediate needs of our children and put the phone down more often than we care to admit.


    • Hi Karin,

      I agree, sometimes, people struggle with their phone use. But I do believe that’s up to them (or possibly very close friends/family) to change. It’s not up to strangers to make rude comments. That doesn’t beget change anyway and it makes people feel unhappy.


  9. For decades parents have gone to playgrounds to sit and chat with their adult friends while their children play. But no one’s ever written a post called “Dear Mom Chatting with Friends, Stop Talking and Play with Your Children.”

    Thank you so much for including this particular line. I’ve actually had more problems with this than cell phones or book reading. I help with VBS at my church every summer and also volunteer with MOPS at another church. In both scenarios, I’ve found myself wrestling with little children fighting with each other or trying to handle a classroom of preschoolers while the other moms engaged in conversation and completely ignored me and the situation I was in, even though I sorely needed their help. Conversations are just as distracting as technology – maybe even more so.

    And no, I am NOT trying to judge moms who converse while watching their children play. I’m not even trying to judge these mothers I worked with. But they had all volunteered to help with either MOPS or VBS, and they knew they were supposed to help, not talk. They weren’t just talking when there was a moment of quiet, either – they repeatedly left me to do all the work with several young children. I was constantly asking them to help me when I should not have had to. My point is this – technology is not the only distraction. It’s not even the worst kind of distraction. No, I will not judge a mom who talks/reads/texts/whatever while her children are playing and there’s nothing else going on, But when volunteering o working, we need to pay attention, which not just means no phones, but ALSO means no books and, yes, no conversations.


  10. Smartphones aren’t magical, but they are so addictive!

    I’m left wondering about the following lines in your post: “Whole Foods has foam mats that are covering the play area. The kids like to take it apart and stack it up, make it into a ‘hopscotch’ mat, and so on. We allow them to do this, as long as they keep it out of peoples’ way, and we clean it up before we leave.”

    Who are the “we” that allow kids to move mats? Does Whole Foods care if the mats are moved (i.e. Is there a sign that says it’s okay to move the mats as long as the mats are put back in place before a customer leaves)? Could a customer trip over the mats if they are moved thus exposing Whole Foods to litigation? Were the mats in the way as the other customer claimed? Were the displaced mats a tripping hazard?

    Everyone is busy. Whether we are entertaining ourselves with posting to Facebook, texting our husbands, talking with a friend, or dealing with legitimate work issues or sick family members, when we are in public, we are expected and need to be aware of the safety and needs of others. By extension, we, as moms, need to be aware of how our children’s behavior affects others. What may be okay at home or at a friend’s house is not okay in public where we expose others to hazards and companies to litigation. Our individual wishes do not trump the safety of others or businesses to legal consequences.

    I know some moms think it’s okay for their kids to do things in public that adults can’t do because “they are kids” ( throw rocks, walk around on airplanes), but many public rules are safety rules. If kids are behaving inappropriately, it’s up to parents to gently guide them in a timely manner – being timely is tough to do if parents are distracted by phones, friends, etc. Phones weren’t an issue when my kids were young (thank goodness because parents were distracted enough by their conversations – phones have just added another, very impersonable, layer to the problem). The public has always called out distracted parents whose kids were either being mean to others or causing safety issues. And they should. None of us are perfect, and we all need wake-up calls sometimes. From what you wrote of your situation, I think would have reacted by apologizing to the other customer and reflecting about needing to focus on my kids not my breakfast and Facebook. If I was one of the moms conversing and not watching my kids, I would have apologized for that as well. Being not only oblivious, but also indignant, to the rights of others would have never crossed my mind. Kids learn to behave appropriately in public by watching their parents and listening to their guidance. We need to teach them – psyc 101.


    • Hi Virginia,

      The issue with the situation is, we were working to make sure the kids weren’t in the way of other shoppers or causing a problem, and the woman was downright rude. Saying, “This is really in the way, could you please move it?” would be met with an apology and increased effort to do so. Saying “Maybe you should get off your phone” in a snippy voice will not get a positive reaction. It simply won’t! There’s an appropriate and inappropriate way to get your concern across; this woman used the inappropriate way.


  11. This post could be written about anything that people tend to judge others on. We need to “remove the plank from our own eye before trying to remove the speck from someone else’s eye.” Good points. =)


  12. I agree with you that strangers have no business judging re cell phone usage; however, i do believe that all our devices in this day and age can be overused and even addictive for some people. Honest Self-evaluation (or honest feedback from spouse, close friends, etc.) Totally agree that walking up to a complete stranger and making a judgement like that is totally inappropriate


  13. I think you are right about how she shouldn’t have judged you or told you to get off your phone. Had your kids been doing something dangerous and you weren’t glancing at your kids, hadn’t glanced at your kids over the past 5 minutes, and she saw they were about to do something that could hurt themselves or someone else it would have been different to point out that the distraction of your phone was possibly a problem. But that would be true whether you were talking to friends, reading a book, or staring blankly into the sunset. My husband is deployed so we communicate through an online texting service any time I’m away from home and can’t get on the computer. So yeah totally get that not everyone is on their phone and not paying attention to anything else.

    However, I do have to say people should try to get off their phones and disconnect a little more often whether for dinner time, a certain night a week that is screen free, whatever. Here’s why: I work in a restaurant. I’ve seen SO many people come in, sit down, and pull out their phones. Other than speaking to me, they don’t talk. They don’t ask about each other’s day, how was school, nothing. They spend 30 minutes interacting with someone or some game on their phone rather than the living breathing person across the table from them. Most times I will have to repeat myself because they were too busy with their phones to pay attention the first time. Or they will repeat a request for a sauce, refill, napkins, etc that had JUST been made by the person sitting right next to them. I’ve watched dates where couples hardly speak…not because it’s an awkward date or they seem to be finding nothing in common, but because facebook is more important to one or both of them. I’ve watched families put their kids in front of portable DVD players or tablets and proceed to talk about how their kids have so much going on that they feel like they never have time to connect as a family anymore. Hello? You are sitting less than 2 feet away from each other. Turn off the tablet and talk about your day. Using a phone as a way to decompress, get work done, or check on that friend who may be having a bad day is fine. Using a phone as an exclusion to real, face to face, human interaction is a problem. It’s starting to become harder and harder for people to have an in person conversation.

    So, don’t judge the mom who you have just observed for the last 30 secs but also don’t let your phone/tablet/iPod/whatever keep you from interacting with real people either. I know the scene from Wall-e where the two women are sitting next to one another but talking to each other on the screen in front of them seems preposterous but for someone who’s job gives them a lot of time to just observe people…it doesn’t seem that outlandish to me. All things in moderation.


  14. Heck my mom didn’t even go with us to the park. That didn’t make her a bad mom. Back then kids dud lots of stuff alone.


  15. Yes! “You don’t know. You can’t possibly know. Don’t treat a mom like a stereotype. Don’t treat her like she’s a bad parent. Don’t assume you have any clue about her, her life, or her children. Because you have no idea. You just can’t.”

    I went on a tiny rant about this last year. That was when I was working a very demanding high stress job (to provide for my family). I would leave my office to pick up my children from school, take them for ice cream or snacks and talk to them. I could then give them some time at the park (not in front of the TV, but I don’t judge moms who do that either). My smartphone allowed me to do this…otherwise, I would have been in my office and it would have been a sitter with them. It was so frustrating and even hurtful for other moms to make these judgments and assume that, just because I wasn’t staring at my child, I wasn’t paying attention to them.

    Thank you for this. Sincerely.


  16. Thank you thank you for this! I’ve felt that the instant I became a mom, I opened a whole world of people having contests over who was the better parent. What happened to minding their own business. I agree with you that people think the phone is the most offensive distractions but what about people talking to each other & not watching their kids or reading a book instead of watching their kids? People really do need to mind their own business. I feel that technology can be misused as well but that’s a whole different animal.


  17. Great post!

    My sister has two kids and she is addicted to her phone. So from experiencing that, I have always just automatically assumed that every parent distracted on their phone is being shitty at that point in time. It just seemed as if that was the way it was because if she was so bad with it, how could every other mom not be?

    I agree with your point, but there also is the side of people like my sister and I feel like that should be talked about and stopped. Everyone gets to direct their own lives, but I feel like the moms and dads who choose to use their phones to play games and text irrelevant people more so than spend time with their children definitely deserve a bit of a beat down and build back up.

    How could anyone go about this though, that’s the question? It has become part of our culture.

    All I know is that when I have kids (which wont be for a while at this point)… I will not be on my phone when I’m supposed to be giving my attention to guiding a child. I’m not teaching my kid that its cool to sit on a cellphone almost 14 hours a day. No way in hell. My kids wont have cellphones. They just wont.


    • I would love to talk to you, AFTER you have kids.
      Sincerely, this mom of 4 who was the perfect parent, BEFORE I had my own!


  18. We have to agree that phones are very commonly misused and this is causing all kinds of trouble… we can’t judge the person who judges either because we don’t know her situation either… Since people seem to have lost common sense on how they use their phones then unfortunately it seems that they need to be told to pay more attention to more important things in life… yes… chatting is way more important than taking a picture of a bagel with your phone… NO… chatting in many cases is not as distracting (and I take pics of food all the time) NO… chatting with a friend in many cases is not as distracting and the amazing thing is that we only know what this mom is saying about how “things went” I so wish I could hear the version of the lady who got aggravated! We don’t know how loud kids were being… I don’t get why they had to stack those mats like that instead of using them the way they were intended… it seems the lady had a point in the fact that they were in the way (as the writer says she was going to tell them to move them out of the way) and the lady first asked “are these your children”? maybe she would’ve gone to the other moms if she had said “no” … we don’t even realize how much time we spend on the computer/cell phone anymore and when the author here feels it took her “only a second” it might have been longer than that … probably as long as it is taking me to take this post that I thought would only take a second… you know what I mean? it is Infuriating that we all have to be put in harm’s way for the bad use of cell phones while people are driving for example!… invariably when someone is driving “stupid” on the road I have realized they are texting/facebooking for what it might seem “just a second” for them and they don’t realize that their eyes are barely on the road. I say “go you brave stranger” for the brave lady that spoke up and dared to say something about her being on the phone … Minding our own business is fine if our own business was not affected by others…. raising our children in the way we do it (good, bad, great, not so great) does affect others, always and yes we have to stop judging each other but not stop caring …. it’s sad that every time someone expresses a different opinion nowadays is seen as judgmental and everyone will JUDGE her/him for it… but… right now I have to go… something might be burning on the stove LOL!


    • Hi Paloma,

      I disagree that the woman was a “brave stranger.” There’s nothing brave about making a snarky, rude comment to someone you don’t know. Ever. If you want to offer genuine concern or advice, fine. Rudeness is NEVER okay.

      And as for not judging the judger…really? We can’t say that the actions were inappropriate? Maybe she WAS having a bad day. Maybe we ought to have compassion for that. But she was rude, deliberately and directly. Not her place to decide if a mom should or shouldn’t be on her phone.

      Everywhere you go, you can/will affect others. And that doesn’t change if you don’t use your phone. You could block an aisle with your shopping cart, or drop something that someone else slips on, or…. There are hundreds of ways you could affect others inadvertently or deliberately, every time you are in public. All you can do is try to be aware and apologize if you make a mistake. All involved should be gracious. If I blocked an aisle with my shopping cart and saw someone trying to get through, I’d quickly move it and apologize. I’d be very, very annoyed if that person then said to me, “How rude, pay more attention next time” instead of “Thanks for moving.” Seriously, rudeness is just.never.the.answer.


  19. Thanks so much for sharing! My husband is in Afghanistan. My phone and ipad are always with me. And if he calls or messages me, I will talk to him even if I am in public. Also, I am a homeschool mom, so I often take my boys to the park and get my phone out to de-stress. This is our life right now. Not sure what I would do without technology .


  20. I agree that this woman was out of line, but I disagree that phone usage is the same as reading a book or having a conversation. Both of the latter activities are generally productive in some way – intellectually and or socially stimulating, for example. Using a phone, however, is rarely either. It is primarily an antisocial device and the reading you would do on a phone is generally of a much lower calibre than in a book. They certainly have their place, but I don’t think I have met anyone who doesn’t find it a struggle to keep it in its place, myself included.


  21. […] all that nonsense individually.  There isn’t time.  I did already write “Dear Everyone, Stop Judging Moms on Their Phones.”  That, thankfully, seems to have struck a chord this week also.  Moms need that […]


  22. While I do agree with the post to stop judging, I think we need to get a better backbone and stop being so sensitive to things other people comment and stop judging ourselves by what others are doing or saying. It’s good to be humble and just say sometimes “yeah, I know I should have been watching them at that exact moment” and not make excuses to other people (even if we have a valid one). They don’t care, they aren’t going to get any peace out of our excuses. they are just judgemental. Maybe they are feeling bad for what they have done by not being attentive enough and don’t want another mama to lose those special moments with loved ones. Maybe they are being grumpy and judgemental because they need to feel better about themselves (as we do by judging them). just saying. I agree it’s annoying. I have 7 children ages 9yrs down to 5 months. I get judged by EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE WE GO! I get annoyed with all the comments sometimes, I get cranky and snippy with the kids when we are around other people. Being out of the house stresses me out, but I have to get groceries. The best thing I can do is just smile and wave. Hi, yeah I have 7 kids, yeah you think I’m crazy, and yes I am okay with that. I chose this as my life, I don’t chose it for you. I chose to take a break and be on my phone, or I chose to play with my kids on the playground. I have 7 kids, and use my phone. Why do people care? Maybe they see me stressed out and think some play would be helpful. Anyway, great post. I don’t mean to come across rude. So much is lost in translation on the computer. All said with good feelings and really pointing the finger at myself. <3


  23. […] Dear Everyone: Stop Judging Moms on Their Phones | Modern Alternative Mama […]


  24. I actually do get angered by any form of distraction(if it carrys on too long). When kids are playing in a common area, things can happen. It is a very good time to teach your children how to behave around others. I get very angered when I am the only one watching the 20 kids on the playground. It is not my job to discipline your kid if he hits another kid in the face or pushes someone off the slide. And I don’t say anything, I just make sure my kid stays away and the other kids are free to behave as badly as they please because no one is watching. The only time I step in is when a kid gets hurt and no one is around. It’s absolutely ridiculous. Most people I see are distracted for a long time and that is NOT ok.


  25. I am glad you wrote this post. Like you said, there are many ways to be “distracted”. And honestly, I think a lot of parents NEED those few precious moments of distraction (whether it is phone, book or friends) to reconnect to the grown up world. 🙂


  26. I agree to the extent that we shouldn’t judge anyone. You distracted and so were the moms who were talking. No I don’t know how you day has been. For me, when I pick up my phone I start to realize that I’m using it to check out. No not everyone is doing this but it is so easy to excuse away a reason to be on the phone. Can work really wait until later? If it was so urgent wouldn’t they just call you. How long will your little ones be little? I can tell you it doesn’t last long. 🙁 If you have a sick one, would the time spent playing with them hurt? Maybe instead of unwinding with the phone, even if it’s just to post your breakfast and it’s the first time you’ve pulled it out, you unwind with playing with the kids. Yes, you may be stressed out but sometime you need to take a step back and see the big picture. This time is so fleeting. Yes it was just a post. And yes that woman and her attitude was out if line. But how important was the post. How much more important, even as a stay-at-home mom, is it to connect in a different way with your kids? I’ve been there. I was a stay-at-home mom. I wish I could rewind time and go back and play more. And I didn’t have a cell phone then. I seriously implore you without judgement to put the phone down and just relish this time. You’re not going to wish you posted more but that you played more.


  27. Any time you bring your children into a public place, they are the priority, not your phone or your friends or your book. If your children are misbehaving or causing a problem to others, I am going to be upset regardless of if you are distracted or not. Personally, I believe you should not have let your kids move the pieces to a point where they were in the way to begin with. Yes this woman was wrong to single you out for phone usage but I have no problem with her commenting on a lack of attention to your children. There are plenty of times when you can have some “me” time that are much safer and more responsible than at a public grocery store or public park.


  28. The only time I have judged a caregiver on her cell phone was at the park. Her charge was standing on top bar of the highest jungle gym. My grandma/mommy radar was going off like gangbusters as I ran toward the child. Yes, he fell and hit his head. Ninny Nanny was still yakking away on her cell phone. I picked him up and checked him all over, brushed him off, felt his head, which was developing quite a goose egg. The woman only noticed when I walked the child up to her holding him by the hand.

    Most real moms pay better attention than that. Folks, be aware of how your nannies watch your children. Some are truly good with kids but many are not. You would not believe the lack of attention I see at the various parks I take my granddaughter to.


  29. Communicating on a phone is much more distracting than reading a book. Reading requires much less brain power than communication.


  30. […] respond to all that nonsense individually.  There isn’t time.  I did already write “Dear Everyone, Stop Judging Moms on Their Phones.”  That, thankfully, seems to have struck a chord this week also.  Moms need that message, […]


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Hi, I’m Kate.  I love medical freedom, sharing natural remedies, developing real food recipes, and gentle parenting. My goal is to teach you how to live your life free from Big Pharma, Big Food, and Big Government by learning about herbs, cooking, and sustainable practices.

I’m the author of Natural Remedies for Kids and the owner and lead herbalist at EarthleyI hope you’ll join me on the journey to a free and healthy life!

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