I have gained a lot of experience with adding each child to my family. I feel like the thing my third gave to me was an ability to not care what people think about me or their opinions about the choices I make for my family. After all most people are catching glimpses of your life and don’t know the entire story anyway. When I had my third child I came up with a slogan of “be honest but never complain and never explain.” As a mom we may feel like we need to explain to strangers why we do the things we do or why our kids are acting a certain way and the truth is we don’t. You don’t owe anyone anything. In fact, most people that are giving you that sideways glance judging your parenting owe YOU the explanation and apology.
When I adopted my first son I was very strict about screen time. I limited his TV watching and he never saw an iPad. When the arrival of number two came around I was still pretty set on limited TV and no iPad time. I was staying home at this point and my kids really never showed an interest in TV so it wasn’t that big of a deal. We were event careful to choose a preschool that had no technology in it–a decision I still stand by. Then number three came around. He was my first biological child and my first experience with breast feeding. It did not go well in the beginning. I was breastfeeding and pumping and I estimated that more than 12 hours of my day was spent feeding him. It was insanity and every single time I sat down to pump everyone lost their ever-lovin’ minds. So one day I handed them the ipad and they both sat down and were still for like at least 30 minutes. I was sold.
I started giving them the ipad when I would pump and then take it away when I was done. It was the perfect distraction and I was able to it without having to worry about one of them breaking their neck–it was amazing. We also started letting them have them when we went out to dinner. It was kind of glorious. I got to actually have a conversation with my husband and eat a hot meal. I mean, I consider that a HUGE win.
The truth is being a parent is super-hard at times. I have learned that there are times you have to do what you have to do. Some may call it lazy, but I call it survival mode. But I also want to share with you what the iPad has taught my kids and me.
I have learned that they are really good at video games and that they will work together to solve a level.
I learned that they both love to watch John Deere instructional videos on large farm equipment.
I learned that Peyton is actually a beautiful photographer and Paxton likes to film himself laughing.
They were able to take pictures while the baby learned to walk and I was supporting him. Something I would have missed normally.
They taught me more than I ever wanted to know about octopuses.
They face time my friends and family just to say hi.
They know how to take a selfie and use filters.
It has also taught them responsibility and how to follow directions on when they can have it and when they have to put it away.
I have been able to use it as a reward and a punishment and it is VERY effective.
Most of all I have seen it make them happy and excited about something and they share things with us that they see. If that isn’t interacting with your kid than I don’t know what is.
At the end of the day you do you and I’ll do me but I would appreciate if you see my kids in public with their iPad that you skip the judgmental looks. As for me, if I see a kid at a restaurant with an electronic device, I’ll think to myself “good job momma, you found a way to get through the day” rather than judging the choices of a person I don’t even know.