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So, I just read an article that says an experiment was done with rats, and they placed some mama rats and their babies in cages that did not have sufficient material for nesting or bedding. This apparently led to the mama rats running around looking for better surroundings ( like any mama would do!) and ended up giving their babies interrupted and unreliable attention. And SOMEHOW, this was turned into “Science shows how distracting things like cell phones can make you poor parents.” Of course, right, it’s so obvious. But seriously, can we please stop judging moms on cell phones?
Can We Please Stop Judging Moms On Cell Phones?
The Study Was Done With Rats.
That’s right, rats people. The rats raised in the cages with the mama rats running around looking for better surroundings ended up spending less of their time playing and chasing their peers than the rats raised in the normal setting. This is ground breaking! Anybody can see that a rat raised by a mama looking to build a better nest resulting in a less than playful rat has A DIRECT CORRELATION to parents being distracted by cell phones are bad parents. I mean, don’t you see it? Don’t you?
When You Are a Parent EVERYTHING is Distracting
Children are demanding. They need attention, love, protection and all that other good stuff. It can be challenging for sure, and draining. When you as a parent are constantly ‘on’ the doorbell is distracting. The microwave, coffee pot, television, radio and EVERYTHING ELSE UNDER THE SUN is distracting. Cell phones? You bet. It is all distracting. Other children? Heck ya! If you happen to have more than one child in and about the toddler / baby stage, you are always going to be distracted somehow. Does this mean you lock yourself in a room with only your littlest baby? Of course not. You learn to multitask, you learn to adjust, and you learn to allow yourself tiny distractions throughout your day, otherwise you will go completely In. Sane.
The Cell Phone Allows Parents More Freedoms
Most parents are using their cell phones to tackle ordinary chores and tasks that they would otherwise do with their landlines, or their computer. EXCEPT that they can accomplish these tasks, like making doctors’ appointments, paying bills, and writing the occasional smart blog post, while say, playing outside, or watching their children do something without the parents BREATHING DOWN THE LITTLE ONES’ NECKS. Having and using a cell phone allows parents to do everything they are trying to do for their family.
The Cell Phone Is the New Village
In the case where parents don’t necessarily have that ‘village’ nearby , the cell phone gives them that community, and that connection with the world outside of their kids. So what we need to do now, is get some rats, and put half of the mama rats in the cage with their babies, and give the mama rat absolutely nothing to do but feed her babies, look at her babies, and keep them warm. Put the other half of the mama rats in the cages with their babies, and add a couple mama rat friends in there. Throw in a couple of little rat toys, for the mamas, because I don’t think rats know how to use cell phones? At a predetermined interval check on the rats to see which babies and which mamas are happiest rats, and best citizens of the rat world.
Oh but wait, THEY’RE STILL FREAKING RATS AND DON’T KNOW HOW TO USE CELL PHONES
What It Comes Down To
Basically from time to time we are all going to need a break from our little bundles of joy. There is only so much mama to go around before she snaps and starts throwing cheese at everyone. Er, sorry, let me step away from the rat metaphor. If you see a mom on her cell phone, instead of judging her maybe go talk to her. See if she needs a mom friend. See if she needs that village. Because chances are what she really needs is you…not your judgment.