The Wake-Up Calls That Made 10 Moms Get Off Their Devices

The Wake-Up Calls That Made 10 Moms Get Off Their Devices

Find out the moment these moms realized they were spending too much time online.

By Judy Koutsky

I’m certainly guilty of it – checking my phone for emails when I’m at my kids’ soccer game or shooting a quick note to a friend via social media to make dinner plans when at the playground. Yes, in this 24/7 age, it’s hard for moms to limit their screen time, but these 10 moms reveal what made them finally put down their devices -- and start living in the moment with their kids.

1. “I was always yelling at my kids to get off their [devices] or turn off the TV and play. Then one day my son said, ‘What about you, Mom?’ I realized I was the one setting a bad example.” -- Renee, mom of two kids

2. “I was at the park and saw a mom on her phone the whole time her kids were playing. She missed the sweet moment when her toddler and mine invented a game that only made sense to them. They were so into it and so happy. I thought, ‘How many things have I missed by being on my phone?’ That’s when I realized I needed to be more in the present.” -- Tanya, mom of one child

3. “As a freelancer, I’m always working (there’s no 9 to 5 for me), so I’m always checking my emails to make sure I haven’t missed any work opportunities. Then one day -- a Saturday, no less -- I was at a birthday party with my son when he asked, ‘Can you not work today, Mom?’ That’s when I realized I needed to set boundaries.” -- Julia, mom of three kids

4. “I’m addicted to social media. I post more than anyone I know and I like to comment on others’ posts. It’s a great way to stay in touch with my out-of-state family as well as friends. But then moms from my son’s school started talking about the posts – ‘So great that you went to [that theme park]. Did you have fun ice skating?’ -- and my son said it’s weird that everyone knows so much about him. That’s when I realized I was invading his privacy. That made me scale back.” -- Laurie, mom of one

5. “I have a no-screen policy at dinner and then again an hour before bed. Yet I was the one constantly sneaking out of the room and breaking the rules -- not my kids.” -- Janice, mom of three kids

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6. “I was at my son’s hockey game and I missed the winning goal -- that my son made --because I was doing a quick check of emails. Now, at sporting events and kids’ activities, I leave the phone in my purse.” -- Alyssa, mom of four kids

7. “We were on a road trip and I was catching up on some work in the front seat on my laptop. My daughter kept asking me questions about the trip and I kept saying ‘one minute, one minute.’ Then she said, ‘Mom, isn’t this our vacation?’ Point noted.” -- Marisa, mom of two kids


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8. “It’s always a struggle balancing kids and screen time. I used to catch up on emails and social while the kids were eating breakfast, but then I realized that’s a bad way to start the day. Now, I get up an hour earlier. I can check while it’s quiet and I wrap up when the kids’ alarms go off.” -- Leslie, mom of four kids

9. “My own mom is the one who told me to get off the screen and start being in the present. They are only young for a short while and she’s right.” -- Evonne, mom of two kids

10. “My phone battery dying made me realize how important it is to limit screen time. I was at the school play and I watched every moment of it -- I can’t remember the last time I sat 90 minutes screen-time free. It was wonderful.” -- Ashley, mom of two kids

What was your wake-up call?

Judy Koutsky is the former Editorial Director of KIWI magazine, a green parenting publication. She was also Executive Editor of, AOL Parent and Follow her on Twitter @JudyKoutsky.

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