Hello From The Mom At The Park On Her Phone

Emily Ramirez
Written by Emily Ramirez

Oh, hi! 

I see you over there, watching me. That 10-gallon sunhat and those super cool BluBlocker knock-offs aren’t hiding your judgement as you sneer at me from the other side of the sand pit. Look at your zinc-covered nose all scrunched up like you’ve just smelled an egg fart! Careful now, or you’ll get that white shit in your beady little hate-filled eyes, and that will burn even more than the fiery rage you’re internalizing.

You may not realize I’m capable of seeing you, since I have the audacity to be holding and looking at my phone, but SURPRISE! I can multitask.

I know your type, and I do appreciate your attentiveness to your child. Your pile of sand was top-notch, and there is no way your toddler would have been able to pull that off without you finally commandeering both the shovel and the bucket from him to make it happen. Bravo! It also goes without saying that your presence in the sandbox is a gift to all the other mothers perched around the outside. Listen closely and you’ll hear a collective sigh of relief from the group since you are at the ready to save the children from whatever harm they may befall in this sandy desert of doom. I too have heard of quicksand, and agree, you can never be too safe. 

But back to the issue at hand. Literally. Yes, I am holding my phone. Yes, I am looking at it, missing all of those magical fucking moments one misses when they don’t watch their kid’s every fucking move in the sandbox they go to two times a day, seven days a fucking week. So sue me.

Now that isn’t to say I’m not watching my kid. I assure you, I am. But, unlike some people (ahem), I am not up their ass, trying to impart an encyclopedia of knowledge on them when all they want to do is scoop up sand, and pour it into their shoe.

You see, we are at a children’s park. A beautiful, safe, open space, filled with toys for kids to use and room to explore. This is where we come to burn energy, and play creatively. It’s where it’s okay to make messes and yell. It’s a place we go to help build confidence, by allowing our kid to safely try new things on their own without hawking over their every goddam move. It’s how I cultivate my kid’s blossoming independence, and show that I trust her.

Now this doesn’t mean I let her run willy-nilly around the park, doing whatever the hell she wants, with zero guidance or direction, like some kind of wild playground hooligan. But at this very moment, the one where you are casting judgement upon me like God herself, we are at the sand pit. Not exactly a high-risk area, my sun-shy friend.

And what do I do while she’s practicing her independence? 

I take a fucking breather. 

Sometimes this means I catch up with a friend, or make plans. Other times I’m doing something for work, or even paying a bill. And other, other times? I’m mindlessly scrolling through social media feeds for no reason other than because it’s what I want to do.

Does this mean I miss moments? Maybe. But Jesus H. Christ, every single day is absolutely filled with moments, hardly any of which we will remember even long enough to tell our significant others about by the end of the day. Nearly three years into it, and I can say without a doubt, I have witnessed ZERO moments of anything happening in the sandbox that are worthy of lifelong memories. It’s sand

So for this moment, these precious 11 minutes where my kid is happily playing in a sandbox by herself, without needing me to do anything, I’m going to sit here, on my phone, taking a moment for just myself.

About the author

Emily Ramirez

Emily Ramirez

Emily is a Pac-NW based mom to one, and an almost mom to another who is scheduled to arrive sometime in early 2016. She thinks she is funny, but in actuality is just really good at making people feel awkward and uncomfortable. She documents her shenanigans and musing on her blog Hold Me, Don't Hold Me, which was once mentioned on the local news as being "slightly humorous." WINNING! Her work can also be found on Scary Mommy, Mamapedia, Pregnant Chicken, MockMom and of course BLUNTMoms. She can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

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44 Comments

  • I don’t find her even remotely amusing. She has a gutter mouth (Don’t bother getting on your high horse, Em. You know it’s true and I’m immune to righteous indignation.) and mothers who speak like dock workers simply put my teeth on edge. By middle school, I can predict that your child’s colorful vernacular will have removed her from most friends lists.

    I get it, everyone is entitled to breaks occasionally but don’t trash conscientious mothers because you really don’t get into mothering. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Maybe this just isn’t your strong suit.

    • You took the words right out of my mouth Andi. Her post oozes of a sort of vapid self righteousness that is just awful!

    • Is Andi Price someone you know personally, Emily? Is that why she is saying you are teaching your child to say fuck just because you say fuck in your blog?

      Because I happen to find this shit hilarious. And I also talk like a “dock worker” (hahaha!) and also like all the neurosurgeons and other professionals I spend my days with, because this is how most grown ass adults talk. That in no way means I’m teaching my child to use words inappropriate for their age.

      Also, if you don’t think the whole ‘being judged for being on your phone’ happens, you’re fucking naive. And this is a highly amusing take on the phenomenon.

      Good thing you’re immune to righteous indignation, because you’re certainly not immune to being a judgemental bitch. And starting conflict like this instead of just not reading the goddamn blog if you don’t like it is one of the things wrong with fucking moms these days. Get the fuck over yourself. I’d rather have Emily as a mother over you any day, and I bet if your kids had a vote on who did their “mothering”, you’d be startled to find that you’re the only one around that thinks it’s YOUR strong suit.

      *drops the mic*

    • Wow. I personally related to the article entirely. As mothers we are pressured and judged in ways that no other generation had had to deal with. It is ok to let your kid play alone. It’s how they learn to self entertain.

      As for “gutter mouth”, maybe pull the fucking stick out of your ass. The site is called BluntMoms…but maybe language comprehension isn’t your strong suit.

    • I totally agree. She sounds overly defensive. For good reason I’m sure (lol).

      Sure mom’s deserve a break, why can’t people sit in quiet. Without a damn screen in their face 24/7. Yes I’m one of those “judgey” mom’s if you are sitting there the entire time you are at the park staring at your phone screen when your kids want to share their outside time with you… doesn’t mean you need to hover over them but ffs get out of social networking and socialize your kids ladies (and dad’s! !!)

      • What’s wrong with staring at a phone screen? My “phone screen” contains books that I’ve checked out of the library, as well as classics I’ve downloaded from various apps. It has my work email, as well as links to my Website so I can check inventory and make adjustments, all while taking my kids to see friends. I think it’s cool that I can work while they hang out at the pool or go rollerskating or whatever activity they’re up to that day. That damn phone screen lets me do my banking, pay bills, work, keep in contact with friends and even make doctor’s appointments.

        But then again, my kids really don’t want me sharing the outside time with them. They want to hang out with their friends and would think it was weird if I joined them on the jungle gym or in the pool.

        Why should I sit quietly with my hands neatly folded in my lap? Am I in time out? Am I not allowed to have shit to do, or do I have to wait until the kids are safely tucked into bed before I get a chance to read a damn news site or check the weather report?

    • See – I thought it was pretty clear she wasn’t dissing a conscientious mom for being a conscientious mom. She was dissing a judgy mom for being judgmental about her perfectly legitimate parenting style. You can’t necessarily infer that someone “really doesn’t get into mothering” simply because their style is different than yours. You also have no idea what the rest of their day involves outside of the ~10 minutes you saw them.

      Finally, she’s not saying “fuck” around her kids. Or maybe she is – I don’t know. But you don’t know that either. All you know is that she typed “fuck” while writing to other moms (i.e. not children).

      You make a lot of interesting assumptions that are pretty devoid of reasoning and critical thought, but that’s okay. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Maybe this just isn’t your strong suit.
      AthenaC recently posted…Confessions of a terrible person: The Facebook editionMy Profile

  • Next time your kid is playing, instead of looking at your super important phone, count how many times your kid looks at you. Every time she looks, she sees how to be a mom and how to deal with situations as an adult. She also sees how much you care about the little things. You get one chance and when you die, all that’s left are the decisions you made around your kids.

    • Stop trying to guilt tired overwhelmed moms into feeling bad about themselves for taking their kids to the park to have some kiddie play time while they have a break. That’s the purpose of the park. Some days that break is the difference between getting through the day or having a mental breakdown later.

      • I know, right? When my kid goes to the park he’s going to play with the other kids that are there, not me who he plays with all of the time at home. So, I guess if I’m on my phone taking his picture or making a video to send to my mom who lives across the country, that means I’m a shitty mom, and my son will turn out terrible and resent me. GTFO

    • Exactly!

      If doing nothing wrong, why the need for an entire blog defending one’s self? I could care less about the other mothers judging me but it is the way my daughter looks at, and judges me, that I care about. I don’t want my child growing up remembering her mom cared so much she couldn’t bother to enjoy watching her enjoy time in the sandbox. I see a child left understanding that whatever is in mom’s phone, it must be more important than me.
      Her writing style and defensive tone turn many readers off but I don’t expect her to care. In fact, I think she does it on purpose, you know – for the attention.

    • Ugh..there has to be a middle ground people. Chill. No one is present 24/7 with their loves ones. Phone are just the new newspaper. My parents didn’t even go to the park with me . you cant do that these days. ..

  • Too much of one thing is good for nothing.
    Did anyone ever tell you it’s unbecoming to use dirty language?

  • Why did this need to be so vulgar? The article makes a fair point but does it in a way that leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

  • Honestly, I think the author is being judgemental herself. What did the other mother do that was so judging? Give her a dirty look? Did I miss something? Did she say something about the phone use? I think a party of she feels guilty for being glued to her phone. I know I do at times. But that is my issue, not the problem of those whose minds I am trying to read. It is quite possible that this hat wearing mommy was being critical. But coming online to bitch about her hat wearing and zinc use doesnt make me feel like you are any less jugemental. Dear god, what must you think of my hat? Oh yeah, I’m probably not paying much attention to you, I’m watching my kid and phone. No time to be bothered by people with a fashion sense I don’t get or really care to analyze the deeper meaning behind a resting bitch face.

    • Kelly, you are absolutely right! At least, in my opinion, you are. Maybe that woman was judging her, maybe not. When I take my daughter to a park, all of my attention is on her, so I wouldn’t even notice that some random mom was judging me unless she said something. And judging someone for wearing a hat and zinc oxide?!? Wow. I can only think of one person that I have known who did that and it was because she kept getting skin cancer.

  • All this talk about cursing in the comments reminds me of something I noticed when raising my kids. They’re 18 and 21 now and great kids so any comments about what an awful parent I am/was will be ignored.

    My husband and I discussed cursing in depth when they were young. We decided that although we wouldn’t encourage it (not at all) we wouldn’t make a slipped curse word punishable. We all as humans generally curse when stubbing a toe so we took the route of no big deal. When I was a child even saying Po’d was a major offense and I can still tell you how sick swallowing palmolive will make you. Shudders.

    We also allowed them to sing along with songs that had cursing in them as we see music as artistic expression and if you research why certain words are bad you see that it’s just a throwback to a very violent time. Conquer the people and make their language bad, mmkay. So fornification became high class and fuck was gutter talk. According to these violent conquerors, hundreds of years ago.

    So the kids hit preteen years and suddenly all their friends are sneaking to listen to music (Kid rock and Enimem come to mind along with some rappers I can’t name) and they are sneaking around to curse. But amazingly my kids weren’t? It seems that when you make it “not a big deal’ it is not a big deal to them.

    • It cracks me up when people say its “unbecoming for a lady to curse”. No it fucking isn’t. My emotions cannot be properly conveyed by the “proper” English vocabulary so I shit, gdamn it and son of a bitch my way to expressing my feelings! Side note: my parents were also of the “take the mystique out of things” school of parenting, but I was raised at a private high school so cussing happened a lot…

      • Right?! Its so fucking sexist. I’ll quit swearing when men aren’t allowed to show their nipples in public, and we are allowed to be free without the risk of being thrown in jail.

  • I have never left a comment on an online article in my life but this is the worst thing I have ever read. I am the mom in the sand box with my kid and I am never looking at my phone. I see the other mothers on their phones and I have kept their kids from running into the road or wandering off into the woods all while they were supposedly watching. I even confronted a mom who was on her phone while her son peed on mine. And I agreed, there are hundreds of moments each day that are amazing but I don’t want to miss any of them.

    • There’s a difference between being on your phone and just not watching your kid. Also, if your eyes were glued on your son the whole time, and you supposedly were in the sandbox with him, why the hell did you let him get peed on?

  • I think everyone should raise their own kids and not worry about how everyone else raises theirs. We will all make mistakes ( not paying enough attention….paying too much attention) but all in all we love our kids and do what we think is right. If your so busy watching your kids then how do you know exactly how long the other mom stays on her phone…..the other mom just became your more important distraction. JS

  • Stop being so judgemental. Both women have their own parenting styles and shouldn’t care what the other is doing. Being on phone works both way. Maybe someone can grab your child while busy on your phone. But on other hand, if someone is grabbing a child from the park if phone is already in hand pressing record to video or take pic of the person for the police will be quick.

  • I think the fact that you use this kind of language, shows that you might not know what is best for children and what they need.

    • You’ve got to be fucking kidding right? Because someone uses “that kind of language” they don’t know what’s best for their children?? Thats the biggest crock of shit I have EVER heard. Because a doctor says fuck on the internet or to his adult friends means he doesn’t know how to be a doctor? I’m so sure you have never once in your entire life ever said a word of the “Curse” variety…but get over yourself.

  • What a strange, dark and defensive article. Being blunt and being angry aren’t the same thing. I’m working very hard in my life to neither judge or feel judged. It’s hard, REALLY hard, especially since our chosen lifestyle does not fit the normal American path. But WOW, all I got from this article was that this mom has some serious anger (and possiblly guilt) issues. VERY ODD.

  • Wow, this highly judgmental piece did nothing to garner any sympathy from me. It’s a complete turn-off, but it does explain a lot about the horrible attitudes in so many kids today.

    Sure, everyone deserves a break. We’ve all (probably; maybe you haven’t) been on both sides of the playground. I’ve sat while my kids played, but I’ve also played with them. What’s wrong with that? If you feel like someone is judging, maybe you’re hiding from your own guilty feelings. Why place blame on other moms who aren’t doing what you are? What’s the point in that?

  • I find this article disturbing. I don’t find this article funny or sarcastic – to me it sounded like she wrote it while spitting venom. While the author has the right to not want to be judged for taking time for herself, in defending herself she is in turn being judgmental. Children do need to have time without parents hovering, and parents have the right to time to themselves. But you can watch your child play in the sandbox, scroll through social media AND pay attention to them. It doesn’t always have to be completely one thing or the other. And yes, it’s only sand, but if she hasn’t seen any moments worthy of lifetime memories just because it’s sand, then maybe she simply isn’t looking at all.

  • I understand your point. I think you could have said it without the filthy language. I just hope you don’t talk like that around your daughter.

  • I’m a father and stumbled across this blog my accident and read it. It seems your doing the judging. You really don’t know what anyone is thinking and it’s really none of your business what they’re thinking. Sounds like your feeling guilty.

  • Why do people think being vulgar is funny? I hope her child doesn’t hear her talk like this. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I wouldn’t take any advice from this woman. She obviously does not have a clue.

  • Andi price r u serious most moms talk like this but it doesn’t mean we’ll teach our kids that get the stick out of ur ass. I don’t think u have many friends with the way u judge lol

  • Um, OK. It’s been a few years since my kids have played in the sandbox so perhaps that is why the harsh tone didn’t strike a cord with me. It does seem like a lot of people get really pissed off for the feelings/perceptions they project on to other people. We are turning into a society of people that judge people for….wait for it…….. judging people….it’s exhausting. Personally I think most people are just going through the day doing their own thing not really focused on what others are doing….that’s a whole other set of issues. Anyway good luck out there.
    Bryce Warden recently posted…Bomb Squad MomMy Profile

  • Idiot. Why does this generation have such trouble dealing with kids? Oh, that’s right, it’s the me me me me generation. How’s that working out for you? Everything’s an issue and you can’t use civilized language. And your kids are the ones who suffer because you cannot put down your technology for five minutes, or your glass of cabsav, need your girls nights out, your pedicure, and your “me” time. And you’re shocked that raising children involves work. Perhaps you should have realized you did sign up for making sacrifices when you decided to have a child.

  • What strikes me about the end of this article is that the author states that she has witnessed zero amazing moments, sorry ZERO! This statement negates her whole premise. As parents we miss many moments in which our children do amazing things, we can’t watch them 24/7. But if you don’t see any at all….it is time to put down your phone.

  • This would have been a really good article if all of her swearing were left out. Holy cow, the f word every other word is a bit over the top. Who wants to read that crap?

  • This is written by a woman who is so into herself, it’s pathetic.
    ‘Taking a breather’ as you call it, is a crock.
    Your child needs to feel that they are more important than whatever is on your fricken phone. And just sitting their, and being available to them and giving them your immediate attention if needed, should be the first priority in your life. Not ‘taking a breather’ to chat up some old friends or scan some social media. Appearances are oh so important to our children. What they perceive is what they believe. Most kids are incapable of ‘multi-tasking’ therefore could never recognize it in their ‘phone destracted’ parent.’
    So GET IFF YOUR PHONE and spend that time really being available to your child.
    Chat up your friends and scan social media once they are in bed or gown up, because someday, you will regret that time missed. You Weill regret any time missed.