i choose my children over my phone

‘No phone, mama, no phone.’

My daughter reached over the little yellow table and guided my unoccupied hand towards the toy cash register we’ve been playing with. My other occupied hand was busy taking pictures of her playing.

I looked at her somewhat ashamed.

We were suppose to be playing cashier and spending quality time together. Instead, I got distracted taking pictures of her playing. Then I got distracted some more uploading her picture to Instagram.

Vancouver children photos

By being on my phone, I’m missing the opportunity to play and connect with her. My body was there but my mind was not present. More importantly, my actions just told my daughter my phone with a cracked screen is more important than her…and I felt still feel guilty about it.

I want my children to know that THEY matter most to me – not my phone.

Just like you, we’ve got our phones attached to our hips. I don’t know how we’ve ever kept in touch with our friends, planned our outings or remembered anything before our smartphones.

But that’s just it….the technology that was made to simplify our lives and connect us with the world is also disconnecting us from the people we love most.

And so, I’m making some phone usage rules for myself…and I’m publicly announcing this for accountability.

My Phone Usage Rules:

  • I will answer phone calls and reply to text messages when I’m not playing with my children.
  • I will check emails, play on Facebook and Instagram twice a day for 20 minutes each time.
  • When I want to take pictures of my children while we are playing, I will ask for permission first, then take pictures for 1 minute max.
  • I will put away the phone during meal times – whether we are eating out or eating at home. If something REALLY funny happens and needs to be documented (like accidentally dropping a big glob of guacamole on my defenceless baby’s head while eating dinner), I will ask for permission before taking my phone out for photos.

These are my promises….because I choose my children over my phone.

Comment below if you have the same phone distraction problem.

Prescilla Carrion -

I do notice that Brooklynn will do the cutest things and when I grab my phone to video or take a photo she stops and stares. Maybe she’s telling me something…I try to limit my phone use to when I am bf her or not with her. Never consciously thought about it. I do put off going on FB on my phone when I am not bf because I know I will need something to do when she is occupied 🙂

Amy Lee -

See, even a 5 month old baby knows something is up when the phone is around! Jay who is 3 months does the exact same thing! I too do all my stuff on the phone when i’m nuring but now that i think about it, i’m missing out on really emotionally bonding with Jay…

Wear Those Deals -

I have to say I am so happy we didn’t have cell phones when my kids were small. ( at least I didn’t have one) However I did carry my camera everwhere we went. Much better than the phone…no temptation to check eamils or FB etc. Good for you Amy for realizing how your phone can take away precise time with our kids. 🙂

Anne Bruinn -

Yes. I do this far too often! I won’t watch tv during the day but have no trouble ignoring my kids to check FB and Twitter! Gak! And if I’m playing with them, I feel guilty for not cleaning, cooking, etc. We can’t win! LOL! Ok, now I’m leaving this post to go cuddle…

The "Uh-Huh" Challenge -

Awesome post – thank you. You’re a true advocate and cheerleader of the #uhhuhchallenge. Unplug and plug in with the family is really about balance. Great phone usage rule and thanks for sharing!

Amy Lee -

Yep, I hear ya, although I’ll ignore my kids to clean…..

Amy Lee -

Sometimes I wish my husband didn’t have his phone, he’s worse than me. When I was having my first, he was texting while i was pushing!

Wear Those Deals -


Salma Dinani Dewji -

Great post. We use are phones to try and capture the images of kids so we don’t ever forget, but then we end up missing the moment. Beautiful blog by the way!

Amy Lee -

I totally understand, Salma! We get so carried away with taking pictures we forget to interact with our kids!

Amber Chong Smith -

I finally got a smartphone a few months ago and already I’m starting to notice moments where I’m paying distracted by it…thanks for a thought provoking post.

Mitzi M. -

I purposely unplugged from my smartphone once my son was born. just call and txt, no internet…sucks for capturing moments for the cyber world but it’s a small concession for the sake of my already limited attention span.

setting boundaries for a wahm (work at home mom) | Connect & Bond With The People You Love -

[…] you remember from a few months ago, I created some phone usage rules for myself because I was playing on the phone when I should be playing with my daughter. I have […]

Mariel Sunday Wangsgard -

It can be so hard to put the darn phone down, but I agree… so important! There is too much to miss out on. Great post, Amy! Pinned!