Mommy, Put Your Phone Away

It’s a gorgeous August evening. The peepers are peeping, the moon has just popped out, and my 3-and-half-year-old son and I are enjoying one of our favorite summer traditions: porch popsicles. A pretty perfect night for us. Suddenly I hear  it: “Mommy, put your phone away.”


He caught me checking my Twitter feed when we were supposed to be having fun. This isn’t the first time either. I think I’m addicted to my phone.

I fully admit my phone has gotten in the way of quality time with the kiddo. It started because of my job. Like so many people, my job requires me to be available a lot of the time. When you work in media and public relations, that’s just the way it goes. I will answer an email, a text, or a phone call even on my “off” hours. But lately, it’s not about work. I find myself scrolling through social media and news sites while he’s playing with his toys. It’s sending three bad message that my phone is more interesting than my son.

1) He sees that I’m disconnected and distracted from him. There will be so many parenting moments where I’m distracted by something actually happening in real life, so why am I investing in this virtual distraction in my hand and not investing in the small, wonderful, loud, messy, goofy, brilliant human in front of me?

2) I’m being a hypocrite. We teach our kids, especially the little ones, to be patient. If they scream for something we want them to learn to wait and not have everything be instantaneous. Every time I check my phone, I’m teaching him it’s OK not to wait. It’s passing on the “do everything right now right when you think about it and don’t wait for it” behavior.

3) He needs me present. At this age, he looks at me to for reassurance and guidance. Literally. During any sort of activity he’s always looking over to make sure I’m watching him climb, jump, draw, build, be a kid. Quite frankly, I need me present too. This is the stuff I don’t want to miss. The stuff that goes too quickly that I want to remember. The stuff HE will want to have memories of when he’s older. Not “Sorry, James, I didn’t see you ride with your training wheels off because I was ‘liking’ this dog gif.”

These are just three reasons why I need to break my phone habit. There are so many more out there, but these are three that I focus on.

In a few weeks, we are going on vacation to stay with my family in Connecticut. It’s a good opportunity to put the phone down and just enjoy our last bit of summer fun, and some distraction-free porch popsicles.

Here’s to breaking up with my phone addiction.

East Coast snob finds happiness in Midwest. That would be my headline if I was a news story. Here's the real story though: I'm Courtney, mother to 6 year old James. I'm a New England native who moved to KC in 2004 for a TV news job and had no idea what I was in for. Fast forward to now and my son is a Kindergartner, we live in the urban core, and I'm a recovering TV news producer who loves working in the KC civic and non-profit community, currently for the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. I'm passionate about public education, supporting small businesses, the Chiefs, the Red Sox (sorry not sorry), and living in the city. My son is passionate about LEGOs, books, hot wheels, and jokes about poop and butts.


  1. I feel you. My addiction started when I was a nursing mom, seven years ago now. A few years in, I knew I had a problem and I bought a book called Hands-Free Mama to try to work on it. Yeah…. it made me feel so bad about myself. So I tried to keep myself in check, deleted social media for a summer… But now I’m a contributor here too and it’s just rough. Someday I’ll figure this one out. If you come up with anything monumental, please post an update!

    • yes! when I would nurse at 2am I would also watch Kimmy Schmidt. It grew from there. There has to be a happy medium. Blerg

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