Think before you judge a sMOMbie

I was quick to judge mothers who constantly looked at their smartphones. But I was taught better.

Kristina God, MBA
Modern Parent
Published in
2 min readDec 20, 2020

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Photo by Humphrey Muleba from Pexels

When I used to pass a mother in the park who was looking at her smartphone while pushing the stroller, I often thought: “Aha! Her smartphone is more important than her child.”

As a new mom, however, I soon joined the ranks of those pushing their baby around the park in a stroller. As a newbie parent, I often encountered other moms who seemed like zombies, just staring at their smartphones or talking on the phone — pushing the stroller as if it were secondary.

So in the first few weeks as a new mother, I decided: “I don’t want to be that kind of sMOMbie (It’s (my) portmanteau of ‘smartphone’, ‘mom’ and ‘zombie’). I will turn my smartphone down and not respond to messages.”

And yet, just weeks later, I found that I had become exactly one of those sMOMbies, walking around the park, smartphone in hand. What had happened?

Life as a mom had happened: I had turned my phone off, but very soon my husband asked me to turn it on again so he could reach me. I also found that it was convenient to talk to the grandparents on the phone, for example when my baby fell asleep in the stroller. The sound of my familiar voice let him sleep and I could enjoy nature while still talking — in peace. When babies are awake you literally can’t do anything else. It’s the only moment you get to do those things. As a mom I’m not doing it because I find it more interesting than the baby, it’s because I barely don’t have any other moment to do it.

At first, I also didn’t respond to WhatsApp messages. But as time went by, it occurred to me that I could also answer one or two messages from a befriended mommy that had been in my inbox for weeks. In my opinion, it’s important to connect with other parents and share war stories.

On top of that, after a few months, I was also selling stuff, that our baby had outgrown, online. It’s a matter of being available to close a deal.

So, now I’m also one of those sMOMbies running around looking at their smartphones or talking on the phone now and then. And I am pleased about these moments. Because if someone sees me with my smartphone, it means I’ve done everything I can to make sure my baby falls asleep gently in the stroller.

Wrapping Up

So here is what I’ve learned: Do not judge a mother in public and call her a sMOMbie, as I did. Have a new sympathy for her. Maybe she’s just taking a moment for herself before her baby wakes up again.

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Kristina God, MBA
Modern Parent

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