A mom of five had a wake-up call when she realized the time she had given her phone was depleting precious time with her children. In a plea for other parents to wake up and enjoy the precious moments of parenting, Regan Long penned a moving letter that has tugged at the heartstrings of netizens.
The letter, which was semi-fictional and written from the point of view of Long’s daughter “who is afraid you’re missing out on all the good stuff,” was intended to highlight examples of how often we find ourselves glued to our phones at the expense of our children.
Long, a former teacher, is now a published author, household blogger, global entrepreneur, public speaker, and founder of The Real Deal of Parenting, sharing her insights on life, parenting, and motherhood from a Christian perspective.
“Dear Mommy: Please Put Down Your Phone,” the letter, which Long shared on The Real Deal Parenting’s Facebook page in 2016, began.
“Mommy, while you were responding to your work emails, I accidentally spilled the milk everywhere as I was pouring it into my cereal. Even though you were angry,” Long wrote, “I was just trying to be helpful because I knew how busy you were.
“Mommy, while you were scrolling on Facebook I was playing my new game Santa brought me,” she continued. “I know you said we will play it soon, but I guess things got too busy. I still don’t know how to read the directions by myself.”
As the list progresses through more missed experiences—coloring neatly within the lines, an episode of stage fright, a stomach ache, a towering stack of building blocks—the growing impact of a busy mom’s screen addiction becomes only more pronounced.
“Mommy, while you were talking to a client of yours, I was crying in my room, calling for you,” Long wrote. “My feelings were hurt today when another kid was calling me names. You couldn’t hear me, but I know it was your important call you had to take.
“Mommy, while you were on Pinterest looking up ways to make my party the best yet, I needed help with my school family project,” she went on. “I so wish we could have worked on it together.”
The letter goes on to depict still further examples of what might happen when a busy mom struggles to balance her work life with motherhood—the little girl spills a mug of coffee while trying to clamber into her mother’s lap, a singing and dancing display interrupts a session of voicemail correspondence, the girl accidentally falls over while trying to step over the baby gate and hits her head because mommy was busy calling her boss back.
“Mommy, while you were shopping for matching dresses for my sisters and I online, we wanted to have girl time and paint our nails together,” she wrote. “You kept saying soon, but then it was time for bed.”
The letter also depicts an incident where the little girl is attempting to tie her shoe laces, and even got so close to tying it all by herself, then tells her mom, “but you were looking down at your phone each time I looked over.”
Signing off her heartfelt letter with the plea, “Mommy, please put down your phone because, well … I miss you,” Long’s message hit home.
To date, over 39,000 netizens have been touched by Long’s reminder that kids need their parents, and the precious moments of them growing up are fleeting.