Every week on Friday I feature a post from a fellow mom sharing her story about motherhood. This week I have Autumn From She’s A Wreck with some helpful tips on letting go of mom guilt about screen time.
We are living in the digital age and screens are all around us. It’s inevitable to live in this millennia without it being at least a small part of your life. Naturally, all over there’s mom guilt about screen time, wondering if their children are are also spending to much time on the screen.
According to a recent study, US adults spend an average of 3 hours, 35 minutes per day on mobile devices in 2018 which has been on the rise in recent years. The AAP even has guidelines for parents to follow and monitor their kid’s screen time. But in an honest mom to mom way, we really should be relinquishing the mom guilt about our screen time for our families.
As busy as moms are we don’t need any more guilt on our shoulders from the outside world. Moms are bedridden with guilt from the moment those two lines appear on a stick. We don’t need to keep piling it on when we can’t keep up with the new rules and regulations. Ever wonder why there’s guilt and what to do about it?
Have No Shame, Mama
It’s obvious what a good parent is and what it is not, and all good parents are always only trying to do the best for their kids. Using screens in your home and allowing your children to have access to T.V, Ipads, Computers, Phones and Video Games has a varying degree of acceptance across parent boards and educators worldwide.
Some advise that the use of digital devices and video games should be very limited while others say technology can actually be good for kids. All in all, I honestly believe parents should be free to choose whatever they want for their kids and as a society who are we to judge?
I encourage moms to do what they all believe to be best for their family. The screen has helped us on road trips, waiting in doctors offices, and holding off meltdowns in restaurants. And I’m sure this is the reality of millions of mothers across the globe. But why are we made to feel guilt whether we choose to hand over the screen or keep it shelled away?
We’re made to feel this guilt because of the judgment of the world, that same judgment we felt from them when we may have chosen not to breastfeed our newborns. Moms are wondering whether they should be monitoring more closely, give their kids more freedom or not use them at all. Because of all these factors, moms are feeling more mom guilt about screen time than ever before.
But let’s face reality, screens and technology are becoming more accessible all around us and they aren’t going anywhere. I refuse to feel guilty about my children’s screen use because it’s what works for us. My daughter could download an approved math learning app, play temple run and facetime her grandma at the age of 3 and I feel no guilt.
Whatever you choose to do, I don’t have that shame and neither should you.
When my son was around two years old we started letting him use an Ipad to play coloring games and like many moms, we watched sesame street and other educational programs. I never once felt like this was a problem, I’ve been lucky enough to remember life before the internet but I am of the age where I’ve grown up with screens all around me.
I remember dial-up internet and after-school dates with my grandma watching Golden Girls. So when I began thinking of whether I would let my kid watch a T.V it wasn’t a second thought. As a millennial mom, I’m constantly seeking to strike a balance in my kid’s usage of screens at all times.
I refuse to let the judgments of the world enter my home and parenting choices in this matter because honestly, I’m not here for the opinions of others.
Moms shouldn’t be made to feel guilty about any of the choices they make so here’s how you can let it go. I’ve written up my 3 reasons why moms should let go of mom guilt about screen time.
3 Reasons Why Moms Should Let Go of Mom Guilt About Screen Time
Are you seeking validation from your mom group? The ladies at church or your extended family? As a mom, we will never get the approval of everyone that’s in our life. So the validation you’re seeking might never be there. By choosing to let your kids use a phone there will always be at least one other person passing judgment.
And living by the judgments of others is no way to live your life.
Are Your Children Happy?
Do you have happy and healthy children? If your answer is yes then let go of that guilt, we as parents are the only ones that know what’s best for our kids. It may be hard to block out judgments at first with any parenting style you choose but I like to use my own best judgments.
My children are happiest on long car rides with their Ipads, I’m happiest this way too for the whole families sake. What you choose to do to keep your kids happy as long as they are safe is your prerogative.
We Can’t Be Everywhere!
Screens are in the classrooms, on public transportation, and in our homes. Apart from living as a shut-in no screen household, it would prove difficult to control kids being around screens. We cannot physically be everywhere our children are short of homeschooling and never leaving the house.
Why not relinquish that guilt and accept that a world with this type of technology is the kind of society we’re living in. By accepting this feat you’ll save your self from the headache of hiding from screens that are all around us.
I like the peace of mind that giving my kid an iPad to play a game on in the supermarket gives me. I’m not looking for anyone’s validation, my children are happy and in this day in age, I’ll never be able to avoid them anyway because screens are everywhere.
If one day my children would prefer to sit at a computer 24/7 rather than playing, crafting or going to school, at that point I’d have concerns. But I’m doing what I knew is best for my children and it would be my luck that the robotics app my kid loves to play would propel him into a career in tech – if he so wants.
Autumn is the founder and editor at She’s A Wreck where she shares stories and tips about practical parenting, mental health and encouraging moms to pour into themselves with self-care. It’s her mission to express honesty in motherhood, bring awareness to mental health and motherhood and employ that all moms give themselves a break. She and her husband currently live in Brooklyn, NY with their son and daughter and they love exploring the city as often as possible. When she not busy wrangling two children and keeping them entertained beyond the latest technology she is working on her acting career and various entrepreneurial projects.