Stop Judging And Start Empowering

Have you seen the article by Tonya Ferguson titled, “Dear mom on the iPhone: Let me tell you what you don’t see?”

It’s a letter to “those moms.” Yes, moms like me. Moms who attend sporting events and practices and sit on the sidelines talking on or using their smartphones. It warns them that they are missing important moments and events – that they are ignoring their children as they grow.

I want to tell you why I am one of those moms – and why I won’t judge you if you are.

Strong Moms Empower Quote

I can understand how someone would assume I am missing out on my boys’ lives behind the screen of my smartphone. I work from home in a business that requires me to be online during my waking hours.

Businesses trust me to manage their social media accounts – their comments, posts, and updates – at all times. I am paid to do this.

If I am sitting by the pool with my boys and they ask me to watch them jump in, I’ll watch. I might check in with my clients after they show me something cool, and I might miss something cool every once in a while.

But… I can attend their award ceremonies and field trips during the day while most other parents are working. I can take care of them while they are home sick from school without taking a day off. I can run their lunch to them if they forget it on the kitchen counter in the morning.

I can bring my boys to wrestling practice, soccer practice, games, and meets… though I may be checking on my clients while I’m waiting for them. Am I different than the parents who drop their kids at practice and leave or those who stay and watch every minute?

I am.

Different.

I am no better or worse than any other parent. I am different because my job is different.

My phone is my business. I wouldn’t have a business without internet access.

I am unable to open my business at 9am and close it for the day at 5pm. I chose this business, though. And I’d choose it again tomorrow.

For two years now, I have been available to attend every one of Michael’s wrestling meets for school. I’ve attended each of Jack’s soccer games throughout his September-February soccer season. I was able to easily rearrange my schedule for Career Day at Michael’s school.

I am able to take my family to special events and enjoy perks because of my business as a blogger and as a consultant. The money I make helps my boys register for sports and allows me to add to the family income.

While my kids are enjoying Disney World, I’ll be in line with them at their favorite ride tweeting or posting to facebook because the online community I have built is what got us invited there. I’ll be the one missing the first few minutes of the circus we were invited to because I’m taking photos of my child’s reaction to the opening act – so I can post it to my blog later on. I’ll be the mom tweeting throughout the Blue Man Group show next week as a thank you to the company who so generously invited us there.

My kids understand that when I have my phone in my hand, I’m usually working. They also understand that sometimes when I’m working, it doesn’t look like work. I have sat down with my boys to show them what my work looks like sometimes. I have shown Michael how my facebook account looks different than his – how the 9 pages I manage for clients notify me of comments and questions that have been posted for them. I have shown Jack how I have 5 email accounts on my phone and what they’re all for. The boys understand why I chose the career I am in and the positives and negatives of it.

When you see me on my phone, I could be checking emails about an important post that a client needs to go on facebook that night. I could be responding to a tweet about my rates, closing a giveaway that a brand has sponsored or quickly responding to a question about a media kit I am creating for someone. Or… or I could be texting a friend or browsing Amazon – taking a break from my Mom and business owner duties for a few mintes.

I have taken the Strong Moms Empower pledge so you know I am committed to the empowerment of moms everywhere – especially those who work online. I’d love to hear you take the same pledge so as a community of moms, we can stop judging and start empowering.

Strong Moms Empower Pledge

If I see you on your phone, know that I won’t judge you. Know that I respect the way you’re raising your children and how you are choosing to spend your time. Moms should empower each other and lift one another up – there are plenty of others who have taken on the job of judging us.

I am participating in a blog campaign with One2One Network. I have not received any payment. All opinions are my own.

Comments

  1. 1
    Kelly says:

    You are so awesome! I was the mom at the library today whose kid played a game/looked at books mostly solo b/c I was checking things on my phone….but its not my business….more social, but it was for a few minutes, but I felt some looks from other moms….anyways if my kid was happy playing solo, can’t that be my moment? :) You go girl!

  2. 2
    Eileen says:

    Nicely written!

  3. 3

    Yes. For the love of balancing work and home, yes! Love this, Becca!

  4. 4

    Very well said!!! There’s nothing that bothers me more than moms bashing other moms. There is no “one right way” to handle this puzzle called motherhood, we should be supporting eachother!!! And, I for one, LOVE my phone :) Never leave home without it!

    • 4.1
      Becca says:

      Thanks, Michelle! I totally agree. We all complain that parenting is so tough, then we talk down to others who are doing the same thing we are – trying to raise our kids the best we know how.

      Ditto on the phone ;)

  5. 5
  6. 6
    Courtney says:

    I love this Becca!! Well said. I don’t like bringing others down when you don’t necessary understand that someone else. Great point of view :)

  7. 7
    Rachel says:

    Love this post. So true. I’m at home with my 18mth old because my part-time social media job allows me to be. It allows me to cuddle him while he falls asleep for nap, while my elder child fell asleep in the arms of strangers while I worked out of the home. Am I always fully present, no, of course not. Yes, I’m rocking him and posting to my work’s Facebook page at the same time, but I’m okay with that. I also know the reality for most people is that they aren’t as lucky.

    Thank you for the reminder that I should treat others as I would like to be treated. Yesterday, I played with my son outside my daughter’s dance class, while all but one parent was on their phone and their accompanying younger children were also engaged with a phone or tablet. That, I admit, did kind of shock me. But you’re right I shouldn’t judge others use of time, unless I’m willing to open up my own use of time up to such scrutiny.

    • 7.1
      Becca says:

      Exactly, Rachel. It’s tough to keep our opinions inside sometimes, but in the long run it’s best to not assume anything.

  8. 8
    Gramma Teetsie says:

    Well said. And this is what I love about you. Your honesty, determination and I am proud of the mother you are. Don’t let anyone tell you any different.

  9. 9

    I love this post Becca. I’m so tired of others judging when they don’t know the full story. Not everything is as it appears. You are a wonderful mom and it reflects in your boys.

  10. 10

    This is a great post. I try my best to not be on my phone all the time around my children but there are times when it does call for it. I agree with you and make sure there is a balance. There are many things we get to do and many opportunities that we get to be with our kids that we normally wouldn’t and having a portable office allows us these.

  11. 11

    I love this so much Becca! When I read the “other” article, I thought she was being unfair to mothers like us who always put our kids first, yet try to get a little work done when they are busy having fun etc. I do not miss anything my son does-I work hard everyday to balance things and keep him first, so your words mean so much to me. Thank you so much!

    • 11.1
      Becca says:

      I agree, Jules – it was unfair in my opinion! Though, I guess that’s judging as well, huh? :-/

      I hope the online world can soon be more supportive than critical!

  12. 12

    GREAT post! So crazy how smart phones have become just another one of the mom judgement things. Thank you for sharing this!! :)

  13. 13

    Amen to this post! I read the “Dear Mom on the iPhone” one and was thoroughly irritated. I’ve chosen to be a SAHM, but I don’t judge those who can’t or choose not to. I’ve long just avoided the subject with many of my other SAHM friends, because they ARE judging moms who work outside the home. As you say, why can’t we just empower and support one another? My first thought on the “Dear Mom” article was, “How does the photographer know what that woman on the phone is even doing?” Maybe she’s texting the dad, telling him where and when to meet at the park. Maybe she’s looking up a recipe for dinner so she can pick up ingredients on the way home. Maybe she’s been engaged with her children ALL DAY LONG at home and now they’re having some play time and she deserves a little down time, too. Whatever the reason, it’s her choice to make, not ours. Thanks for the post!

    • 13.1
      Becca says:

      I was thinking the same thing, Megan! She could have been texting with a loved one, checking her bank balance, tweeting, or making arrangements for a loved on in the hospital. We should never assume.

  14. 14
    Amy Turner says:

    Beautifully said. Best tribute ever to moms working online. I think the bottom line is, let us do our work the best way we can and refrain from lifting an eyebrow against others who don’t work the regular office jobs. I salute you for this post!

  15. 15

    […] is where folks like me come into the picture. As a friend of mine, Becca Ludlam, reminds me, for some of us, this whole social media thing is what we are called to do and it is simply a […]

  16. 16

    […] is where folks like me come into the picture. As a friend of mine, Becca Ludlam, reminds me, for some of us, this whole social media thing is what we are called to do and it is simply a […]

  17. 17

    […] immediately hit it off. Focusing on social media and parenting, I am always returning to her post, Stop Judging, Start Empowering, whenever people give me guff for what I […]

  18. 18
    Corie Clark says:

    This is wonderful Becca! I 100% agree with you and can completely relate since our “work” is very similar. I’m so tired of all the judging. If we are all trying our best, and even if we are just on our phones for fun, we shouldn’t be judged. No one knows what the other 23 hours and 45 minutes of our day looks like. Keep up the good work mama :)

Leave a Reply