A Love/Hate Relationship…With My Phone

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The phone rings. I glance over to see who it is. If it is my parents, I always assume someone has died because when your parents get to a certain age often someone has, so I answer. If it is a relative, they are likely calling because they want to FaceTime with my kids or ask a question about gifts. If it is the doctor’s office or school I always pick up because that’s the responsibility that comes with the title of “mother.” All great reasons to have a phone close by whether I want to talk on it or not.

This tiny computer I carry around all day is both a lifeline and a major distraction.

I need it with me to keep all my lists, update the family calendar, and all too often to google something I do not know the answer to. I rely on this little device to keep my life in order.

Phones were meant to keep us connected. Now, more than ever, it is a way to stay in touch and to see those we can’t be around. Today’s technology has given my kids access to friends and family who we don’t or can’t visit often. From driving directions to alarms to dinner recipes I need on hand, most of us always have a phone within arm’s length. For this, I am very thankful to have it close by.

The flip side

On the flip side, the moment the phone rings, the battle for my attention starts. The rapid-fire questions from my kids are “Who are you talking to?” followed by another annoyed child asking, “Well, how long are you going to be?” I mean, come on! Go back to whatever you were doing moments before I answered this call and don’t assume the phone ringing is the ultimate signal for you to climb into my lap to hear what I’m talking about.

Then my most favorite question happens, “Can I talk to them?” My kids don’t know who is on the other end of the phone, but immediately want to talk to the mystery person. My first response is kindly asking them to give me a few minutes followed by the thought of handing the phone over and saying, “Here’s the phone, you talk to the gynecologist!”

The other struggle I have with my phone is I’m connected to the outside world more than I want to be. Yes, I could put my phone in another room and ignore it, but I don’t. Mostly I’m fearful of emergencies happening. But that fear seems to be unwarranted. Maybe I have a fear of missing out, but that is not too likely either. What I end up doing is spacing out while scrolling through other people’s lives. This distraction is something I hate but still come back to it day after day.

They aren’t lying when they say phones are addicting…

I don’t want to be tethered to a piece of technology but do appreciate that this little gadget helps keep my family’s life in order. Talking to family and friends is a top priority, but without a phone, I can’t make that happen. Having life at my fingertips is what I am used to, but it also takes away from many other more meaningful moments. So, it comes down to this, my cell phone and I have a complicated, love/hate relationship. My guess is many other mothers feel the same. The question I wrestle with is “How do I have the best of both worlds?” Please give me all your tips, tricks, and advice so I can stop stressing and find a solution that works!

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A South Carolina native, Erica is originally from the Upstate and has moved back to Charleston with her family after a 10 year, traffic-filled hiatus in Atlanta, GA. Having lived in only two states she likes to explore different cultures through travel and food.  Of all the hats Erica wears her most important roles are as a wife, mother, daughter and fundraiser for her alma mater, College of Charleston. She has been married to her college sweetheart for 13 years and together they have to kiddos that keep them on their toes.  She prides herself on being honest about motherhood and enjoys learning from other moms who tell it like it is. When life offers a little down time Erica enjoys wave jumping at the beach, unapologetically watching bad TV and organizing and re-organizing everything from the dishwasher to the sock drawers to help calm her inner OCD.