Is your child a computer orphan?

With technology at our fingertips, and as I drool at the mere idea of owning an iPhone, I have to wonder what harm I am doing -- not on my wrists a la carpal tunnel...but on my preschooler.

All morning long, Amara has been standing at my makeshift desk (a.k.a. the dining room table), bartering deals with me like she's Monty Hall. She's hoping I'll stop working and play Green Eggs and Ham with her.

I plead with Amara. "Later honey. Later," I promise. But then thoughts of scarring my daughter for life prance in my head.

But I. Have. To. Write. I. Must. Help. Pay. The. Mortgage.

Damn mommy guilt.

This is a scene that plays out almost daily in our household.

Dad2Amara brings projects home to work on after hours. It beats him staying late at the office.

Same with me. Cooking dinner? I turn on my laptop to check email. Have a pressing deadline? I'm doing research from the sofa.

And Amara - an only child - is left begging for anyone to play with her.

When we were a one-computer household, I was left to work late, missing many dinners and bath times. But when I was home, I was home. No computer distracted me.

And while having my laptop has been such a convenience (yes, it took me that long to join the rest of the world with owning one), Amara's been orphaned some days.

I know many households have computer regulations for the kids. But what about Mom and Dad? Have you instituted any rules about computer use at home?

[cross posted - in part - on North Coast Moms]


  1. Girl, stop feeling guilty and put that child in front of the TV! Or better yet, get her her own used laptop, install some blocking software, and merrily point her toward,, and The two of you can even work side-by-side. A win-win for all.

  2. Karmela has a good idea. My daughter often "works" on Noggin while I'm working. Do I feel guilty about it? Of course! Would I feel guilty if I stopped working at home and got a "real job?" Of course!

    Will you and I feel guilty no matter how we work it? Of course!

    Don't be so hard on yourself!

  3. Letting her play on her own computer is a cool idea. Also, strike a deal with her that if you get a certain amount of hours of uninterrupted time to work... so that you'll actually be able to get your work done faster because you won't have to keep stopping to talk... you'll send a certain number of hours paying attention just to her, maybe doing something special!
    By the way... I must tag you for this meme: Please list the five of your own posts that are your favorite or that you think are the most important for new readers to see! :D

  4. Yes I have mommy guilt. I know it. And I don't know why. Do you know I can't ever remember my mom playing house with me? Don't get me wrong. My parents were wonderful providers. But why do I feel bad that I don't hang out with a four year old yet I don't heve memories of my own mother getting down on the floor and coloring with me?

    Karmela: Makita called you a "genius"! And as I kid, you know I truly do think you are, sista!

  5. I'm starting to feel this too. I'm going to buy a special timer so that Grace feels like she has more control over waiting for me. And vice versa. :)


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