So this post has been popular in my Facebook feed today. My husband even sent it to me in an email, sharing that he had been convicted too. And rightly we should be challenged. In this day of ever-present portable media, it can be hard to unplug from our gadgets and plug into real life. But today it struck me different.
On a different day, I told my husband, I would probably feel convicted – or inspired, or challenged – too. But today, I am that mom hiding behind the iPhone. I am the mom who desperately needs a long, drawn out date filled with laughter and time to decompress (which – praise the LORD and Lord willing – I will get tomorrow). I’m the mom who has been “on” for more days than I can count and who may be just a *tad* hormonal this week. This week I’m the mom who feels isolated and alone and like there’s no point in putting on make up because I have no where to go and I’m not going to see my husband until well after the kids have gone to bed. Unless of course he sneaks home to change before evening meetings, which he did. Then I’m kicking myself for looking like I do.
Yes, these years go fast. As I see photos of my half grown daughter, I know the reality of the passage of time. But let’s not over-romanticize these years. They’re hard and they’re exhausting and they’re often very lonely. And sometimes mom needs to check out for ten minutes just to keep going.
As one of our favorite parenting books says, “What are we characterized by?” Are we characterized by an ever present screen between us and those we love, or are we characterized by being available and present, physically, mentally, and emotionally? I’m the first to admit I can easily “check out” far too often. My spirit is convicted and I have been prayerfully working through that bad habit of engaging a screen more than I engage my children. But some days it’s just a matter of making it through and much grace is needed on those days.
I’m a little raw today, if you couldn’t tell. And at this point I’m not even sure I will click “publish” on this one, but if you’re reading it, I guess I did. While I honestly don’t think the author of that post was condemning the mom on the iPhone, some of the commenters were less gracious. So I guess my spin on it all is this – when you see that mom at the park on the iPhone, or the one wrangling two toddlers and an infant and running out of patience, or the one sitting at Starbucks reading a book while her son plays his iPod, give her some grace. Say a prayer for her and for her kids. Remember that some days are hard and long and, to use the quote I’ve seen floating around the internet, we are all fighting a hard battle. She may not be a tuned-out mom. Or she might. Only God knows that. Either way what she needs is grace, not guilt, encouragement, not exasperation, love, not lectures.
That’s my two-cents…
For His Glory ~