Are You a Helicopter Mom or iPhone Mom?

When baby comes and you find yourself still struggling with your weight, here are a few things to consider.My family recently moved to the hot, bug-filled state of Arkansas for my husband’s job. It is nice to be closer to our family, but we haven’t met any new friends yet. So, my two toddlers and I have been spending a lot of time at local play lands. While at the mall a few weeks ago, I noticed there are two types of moms I see frequently–the helicopter mom and the iPhone mom.

So what exactly is a helicopter mom? Helicopter parents are overly focused on their children. This term was first used in 1969 in a book by Dr. Haim Ginott. Helicopter parents are usually thought of with older children. Know anyone whose mom or dad planned their college schedule, held their hand through everything, and took care of all of their business for them? With toddlers, helicopter moms are usually the ones who are smothering their children. They may be playing with them constantly or not allow them to explore any on their own. Some things that may cause helicopter parenting are fear, anxiety, overcompensation, and peer pressure according to parents.com.

I feel like helicopter mom does have negative stigma, but I have to be honest. I am a bit of a helicopter mom with my kids. I want them to succeed and I can’t handle watching them fail, and they’re only 2 and 4. While I know failure is a part of learning, I am hopeful I will be able to loosen up the older they get and be their cheerleader, not their coach constantly.

Okay, so the iPhone mom. The local play area we go to is full of them. They sit in the play area on their phone the whole time. I can only imagine they’re checking their Facebook or texting. Recently, my daughter Johanna was playing with another little boy around her age, which is 4. The little boy would not stop touching her. I did not like it and wanted the child to keep his hands to himself. Of course, his dad was sitting in the corner of the play land looking at his phone. Another day we were at McDonald’s and an older child would not stop picking up my 2-year-old son. I looked for mom or dad, but they were too busy playing a game on their phone to care, so I had to step in.

Now, being an iPhone mom is not always bad. Maybe some of these moms are looking up recipes for their family, taking a few minutes to unplug because of a rough morning, or just catching up with a friend. We spend every waking moment watching our kids and taking care of them, in fact, today’s parents spend more time with their kids than parents did 50 years ago—way before iPhones. But we need to remember to take care of ourselves, too.

Now let’s get back to the play land. Moms everywhere–some checking their phones and some following little ones around. Which one are you? I am the mom sitting down, mostly because I am about to have a baby, but I also am trying to find balance. I want to be the mom who is there when I need to be for my kids, but I also want to be able to check a text or send an email when they’re safe and entertained. I want to be a mom who supports other moms, and doesn’t judge what their parenting style is like.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of 2, almost 3, in Arkansas where she checks her phone and hovers like a helicopter. 

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