By: Marianne Bos, Founder Topsitters
Do you still know them? People of your age without a mobile phone? I can count them on 1 hand. Even more so on 1 finger! I am actually jealous of people who live without a mobile, because I have to admit that I am a mother who is lived by her (two) mobile phones and laptop. My biggest excuse is; ‘yes, but it’s also my job’. A weak excuse, I know!
Last week I was with my 5 year old girl at bakery ‘Out’ in Ouderkerk aan de Amstel. We live in a cozy village with a dito bakery. Next to us was an (assuming) mother with her daughter. I estimate the girl about 10 years old.
I dare to say that the mother has literally been on her phone for 45 minutes without interruption. App after app went back and forth. The girl tried to make contact from time to time, with no results, and sat quietly in front of her, eating her cake.
Even if your house has burned down, escalation at work, your cat has its period, whatever your problem is. Have a little respect for the person opposite to you! I noticed anger but also cowardice in myself. Instead of being bothered by the situation, I remained silent. I nodded kindly at the girl a few times but that was it.
I must also admit that I felt a shame for this woman and for myself too. Okay, I manage at the bakery, but at home I am a regular copy of this woman. My children have spoken to me more than once about the use of my telephone and texts such as ‘mama are you still working’ are regularly coming my way.
I have since then purchased a kitchen timer. If I want to finish something else, we determine the time together and then the phone goes aside (Also on silent!).
I now try to be more aware of my screen time and instead of looking at my screen, I make real contact. I don’t always have to be available to everyone, and certainly not when I’m with my children. The world wil keep on turning without my attention. Children prefer the attention of the people they love!
And you know? The best part is that we let the world stand still for a moment.
Marianne is mother of Valentijn (2012) and Anne-Mare (2014) and one of the Founders of Topsitters. Once in a while she gives you a glimpse into her turbulent life as a mother and entrepreneur through a blog.