real life

Is my smart phone making me a bad parent?

Our favourite blog from last week's iBlog Friday has been chosen! Josefa Pete is the winner with her post at Always Josefa. Congrats Josefa! The CDs are in the mail.

Here, Josefa talks about a modern parenting dilemma we've all struggled with.

Saturday morning at our place: two little boys bound out of bed, super excited that is it Swimming Day! Two little boys rush to get their bathers on, eat their breakfast and cannot wait to get in the car and go.

Saturday morning at our place: two parents struggle out of bed, in denial that it is Saturday again and that they are up so early. Two parents inhale their coffee, throw on a tracksuit, grab their phones and follow their two boys into the car. On a good morning: two parents don’t forget the towels or the change of clothes.

Saturday morning at the pool: my boys are excited and sitting by the water’s edge, ready and waiting for their lesson. Children are crying, clinging onto weary parents, scared and reluctant to leave them to swim in a pool with strangers. Teachers are doing their best to keep a smile on their face and encourage all their little swimmers to have fun. Parents, relieved that the lessons have started, inhale another coffee and pull out their smart phones.

For the past weeks, my conscience has been struggling with this last part, where classes start and smart phones come out. I have had mornings by the pool, where I have tried not to use my smart phone, only to be more annoyed at my hubby sitting there killing zombies right in front of me on his.

On some mornings, I have tried to watch every single stroke, across the two different lessons my boys swim in. I have tried to catch their look as they come up for breath. But often my thumbs up and frantic waves only catches the eye of other parents, momentarily looking up from their smart phones.

Last week, I caved in. I tried so hard to pass yet another level on Candy Crush Saga that I forgot to watch every single stroke and wildly flag thumbs up. At the end of the lesson, out came two very wet and happy little boys. One had achieved a certificate in the next level and one had been bumped up into the next progressive class. That is when it dawned on me. The ability of my boys to have fun and learn at their swimming lessons has nothing to do with me watching them or not.


I need to just let go of the guilt of pulling out my smart phone as a little escape. Back in the time of no smart phones, swimming lessons still happened. Parents didn’t watch every single stroke then either. They pulled out their crosswords, the latest book they were reading, their knitting, their crochet, the newspaper – something was always taken along to distract the time until the lesson was over.

The important part is being present. And that I am, every single week. So is hubby. We encourage our boys and join in the excitement that they feel about their swimming. We snap a picture when they get a new certificate and sms it to Nanna. Just because we crush candy and kill zombies, as well, while we are there doesn’t make us bad parents.

Do you crush candy and kill zombies?


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We will be posting all the blogs we receive in a round up every Friday morning so make sure we get your blog by Thursday at 12 noon.

The winner will receive a copy of the soundtrack to Baz Luhrmann's film The Great Gatsby, out now.

Produced by Jay-Z, the soundtrack includes songs by Beyonce, Florence + The Machine, Gotye, Lana Del Rey and Bryan Ferry.