It may be chalked up to the fog of spring break with four kids home, but I had a REVELATION. Today, while three children fought for my lap on the couch (the fourth was, of course, stirring up mischief), I found myself checking Facebook for the 30th time that day.
What am I doing on my phone? I thought to myself. I’m supposed to be present with my kids. Enjoying every moment. (Or at least one moment per day.) I don’t even CARE what’s happening on Facebook. Yet, I’m on it. Or Instagram. Or my email.
You wouldn’t think it’s a lonely thing being a mom. You are literally surrounded by people. But there is an inherent loneliness in motherhood. We long for someone to understand us, to SEE us. We need adult conversation. We need another person to validate the minutiae of our days.
The phone is the connector to an outside world. A world with people who don’t pull on our pants legs saying MOMMY-MOMMY-MOMMY. A world where you can complete a sentence or eat a whole piece of anything without someone else taking a bite.
I talked with a grandma this week at church who is caring full-time for her first granddaughter. “I love it,” she said, “but I forgot how lonely it is when you are home with a little one.”
YES. With littles, you are tethered by naps and meals and schedules. You live a strange sort of secret life behind the walls of your house that few people see.
Moms need understanding. We need someone to say that they get it when we feel like we might run out into the yard screaming. We need someone who will help us laugh at the fact that our daughter took off her underwear and pooped on the back patio.
We need adult empathy.
We need true connections.
And while the phone may be a poor companion, in those sometimes long and lonely days, it is SOMETHING.
Maybe, too, it is an escape while you read a blog post or play a silly game. Maybe it’s a side-hustle, working while you play on the rug. But I am going to make this bold statement: I think the reason why moms are on their phones because we are lonely. Somewhere deep down, we long for the village.
My goal is to put down my phone. A LOT. To really live these days, long as they seem, for I know the years are short.
Today it may have been a quick few moments, but we held family races up and down our long hall. The last leg of which I spent lying on the floor like a worm, Quin perched on my back and the other three trying to help drag and push us to the finish line. I did some real living. The drag marks across the hallway are evidence.
But at least once an hour I got itchy for some companions. The kind with all their adult teeth and the self-control to not smack me when they don’t like something I do. The kind who understand that I still really REALLY love my kids even if I say that I’m ready to put everyone to bed at 4pm.
I find connections through a few really great friends that I can be real with and through our local MOPS group. It can still be hard and feel isolating through the day. When Rob comes home, the whole vibe changes. Not just because it’s another set of hands to help, but because I have a partner. I have an adult nearby. There is something SO immediately comforting about that to me.
Again, maybe this is just the delirium of a really long day with the kids on spring break. I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you’re a mom, do you struggle with being on your phone a lot? Are you really reaching out for adult connection?