The Battle for a Mother’s Attention in the 21st Century

The stars perched in their position, dotting light onto the dark backdrop of night. The glow of soft light illuminated the room. I sat on the bed, with my little girl on my lap—holding her with one hand and browsing on my phone with the other. I looked around the room, moved by the warm ambiance, by the moment. I placed my phone down and slid my feet up, bending my knees to create a seat for my little girl. I turned her to face me.

I placed my hand on her little heart and looked directly into her eyes, “Areli, you are so loved. Do you know that?” I said. “Mommy loves you, daddy loves you, and your Heavenly Father loves you.”

I continued to speak to her, telling her she is smart, capable, and beautiful. She’s only 10 months old, but I watched her search deep within my eyes, knowing. Her cheeks cinched as her heart lit up in a smile across her face. She held my gaze.

I spoke life to my little one. Then I thought about all of the moments that I hadn’t used as an opportunity to speak life and love over her. I thought about those lost moments, those quiet moments that have slipped away.

The mothers of old raised their children in different eras—eras of war, famine, or economic instability. They fought different battles. My daughter doesn’t yet know what she’s warring against for my attention.

She doesn’t understand that there are pings that, too, cry aloud; that there are dings that attract my gaze. She doesn’t understand the chirps that steal words. She can’t yet grasp that words for her are often silenced by my own thumbs swiping across a screen.

It’s the notifications that light up my phone, but it’s the sound of my voice – my words – that light up my little girl.

By Holly M.
BabyChatter Contributor