It starts out innocently enough.

We’ve all done some version of that video. Some of those examples are extreme and I’ve only seen them and thankfully haven’t had the asshattedness of doing it myself (taking a selfie when you’re talking to a friend. Nope and don’t plan on ever doing it.). I’ve been in meetings where people are talking to you and doing something with their phone. The optimist in me says, “oh they’re just taking notes.” When in reality they aren’t. Who takes notes on their phone? Tablet, maybe. I’ll talk to someone who’s fooling around on their phone only to have them ask the same question again or to completely forget what I said.

The times I purposefully leave my phone on my desk, in my car, in a bag, somewhere out of sight, life still happens and everything is fine even if there are missed calls or text messages. I’m more aware of my screen time now that Jules is older and wants his own time in front of our phones or on his leapster. I don’t want him to think it’s OK to spend dinner eating and playing with a phone. And I feel guilty reading something when Marlo is looking at me. She’s trying to engage me and here I’m just wasting time on my phone checking twitter for the 5th time of the day.

In such a short amount of time I’ve gone from one extreme to another. When Jules was a baby, I had a “dumb” phone that just made calls. I wasn’t tied to it needlessly checking social sites, reading dumb articles, watching pointless videos and shopping but never buying anything. My time with him was already limited since going back to work. I wasn’t going to waste it with a phone to my face.

Once he got older and could entertain himself I upgraded and the screen time increased dramatically. But now Marlo’s here, the need to put the phone away is even more important. Jules doesn’t need to see me ignoring him and the baby. I can’t give them my full attention even if I can multitask. It’s not possible no matter how much I say it is. Plus, I know how fast they grow up. Blink and it’s four years later.

I don’t want them feeling like they aren’t important enough for my attention. They are more important than anything real or virtual.

So forgive me if I don’t answer my phone right away. Forgive me if I don’t respond to a text, email or message. I’ve got children who need my attention and I don’t want to miss this time with them.

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