Do you hide your phone from your kids?

Last week, I featured an interview with Jenny Mollen on In Pursuit, and I can’t stop thinking about this passage:

Like, if I’m so busy cataloging my life online for other people, how present am I in my real life for the real people I'm actually supposed to be taking care of? I knew early on that my phone was an issue and that it was a problem because it was pulling me away from my family. I literally hid the phone from my children. Like it was a cigarette! And you know when you're hiding something? You kind of know, like, this is a problem. I didn't understand why. Now I do. Now I get what it was. But at the time, I just knew that this is not good. I don't want them to see it. I don't want them to see me with it or see my need for it.

I 100% relate to this. Back when I was a new mom of babies, I was terrified their innocent little sponge brains would be irremediably warped by seeing their beloved mother (who is supposed to be perfect) looking at a plastic/metal block instead of at their beautiful faces. And still today, as a mom of elementary school kids (plus a toddler), I’ll prop my phone on a barstool near the kitchen counter while I’m chopping broccoli to throw into the mac n’cheese or whatever, and covertly steal looks at my phone. Because I don’t want my kids to interpret my phone addiction as something about THEM and because I want to model “healthy” social media/phone habits (DO SUCH THINGS EXIST?!) And maybe because I’m ashamed that childcare bores me sometimes and I crave virtual distractions? I don’t know!

A photo of me looking at my phone as if it’s something I have complicated feelings about instead of a photo of me hiding my phone from my kids because I don’t have a photo like that!

Hence my first Let’s Discuss Thread.

Honestly, I’m pretty nervous about launching threads because I’m nervous about trying new things in general and because Motherhood with a capital M can be so polarizing for so many reasons. But I love the community we’ve built at In Pursuit of Clean Countertops, and you guys so frequently DM and email me brilliant, thought-provoking, helpful ideas, so maybe this could be great?

Let’s think of it an experiment for now, and if it’s fun and provides value, Let’s Discussion Threads will become another regular perk for paid subscribers.

For the next month, I’ll send Threads out to the whole list (free and paid), so we can figure out what works and what doesn’t together.

Guidelines for keeping this non-judgmental and fun (TWO THINGS HARD TO COME BY IN TERMS OF MOTHERHOOD)

  • Moms are burnt the fuck out from being told that we’re doing x, y, and z wrong. So no “shoulds” or mentions of the “best” way to be or do things.

  • Similarly, please avoid “right” versus “wrong” binaries.

  • I will delete any sort of troll-y nonsense.

Ok so tell me! Do you hide your phone from your kids (or anyone else for that matter)? Why? Why not? I’d love to know your thoughts.

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