Today I was at one of those kiddie gyms and a mom was there with a little girl (4yo – she told me – In Spanish) and a little boy (2.5 – as per his older sister). This mom had her face buried in her phone the E N T I R E time her children were playing. I’m not exaggerating or being the dramatic girl saying: like she was on her phone like forever omg. No. I mean her neck is probably in serious trouble after the 1.5 hours of nonstop looking down at it with the exception of the occasional kiss-it-to-make-it-better request from one of her children. Even if she got up to be next to the scary monkey bars her little boy was trying to hang off of and jump onto the ball pit, she was still scrolling through her phone. My guess is Instagram cause her thumb kept doing the same flicking motion mine does when I stay up way past my bedtime.
I tell you all of this because I judged her. I judged her hard. I think particularly because her kids kept coming close to me, to talk to me, to play with Matteo, to touch us. It was so adorable and endearing. And it made me sad.
As they were leaving, which took a long time between her kids not wanting to leave and her having a super hard time getting their shoes on and gathering all her things, I realized what I was doing.
For all I know this woman could be a single mom trying to figure life out and do the best for her kids. Or her husband/significant other may be out of town and she’s had a hell of a day with two kids all by herself. Or she’s really sick, like major illness sick and still made it out of the house. Or one of her parents or family members is sick and her head is elsewhere worried sick for them. Or she was working on her phone on a serious email that was urgent. Or she has serious depression. Or she has a migraine. Or she worked a double shift somewhere and is exhausted. Or she’s dieting or cleansing and hasn’t eaten anything substantial or delicious in a very long time. I know I’m a selfish, ugly person when I’m hangry.
Even if she was just a self-absorbed jerk who reluctantly took her kids out for a few hours; how awesome that she’s able to take her kids to a place to roam free and play and instill independence and courage. Good for her raising her children bilingual. Good for her making family time happen no matter what. Good for her that her children are able to play and have fun with one another.
I recently told a good friend who is pregnant with her first that I had never felt bullied until I became a mother. I apologize to you, random mom at the kiddie gym. The last thing we need is judgment from fellow moms.