It all started by accident. Halfway to work one day, I realized I had forgotten my cell phone.

It was too late to turn back — I had gone too far. I was forced to spend a good nine hours with no cell phone. No way to text my friends. No way to write an email while filling up my coffee. No way to check Facebook while in the bathroom.

After the initial emails to daycare and my husband to let them know how to reach me, the panic began to wear off a bit.

I turned the day into an opportunity to be more present. Yes, I still had access to email, Facebook, Amazon, and other daily distractions. But I was forced to engage with people. Real people. Not the people of the internet. Not my friends in electronic format. Actual, real people who would get my full, undivided attention.

As the day moved on, I noticed a lightness to my step and a more genuineness to my smile. When I went to get coffee, I was much more aware of the other people around me. Conversations had real voices. I was less frazzled and did not feel pulled in as many directions as when I had my phone, with thousands clamoring for my attention.

It felt liberating. I realized I wanted to bring more of that feeling into my life, and especially into my parenting.

Later that week, I had the day at home alone with my two girls. I became so aware of the first time I grabbed my phone that morning. I was texting a friend to see what time we were meeting up. Before I knew it, I had completely checked out of breakfast time and had fallen down the cell phone rabbit hole.

This time, I noticed. And I didn’t like what I noticed. I didn’t like what my kids noticed. They saw a mom who really didn’t care much about what they were doing. They saw a mom who thought many other people and many other things were more important than them.

I took my phone and put it far away from me, face down. Then I explained to them what I was doing and why.

I am trying to get out of my cell.

I now have hours of time where I am cell phone free or almost cell phone free.

Family dinner has long been a sacred, cell-free time. My husband, my kids, and I all feel a stronger sense of togetherness. We each feel more heard and more valued when the phones are away.

It’s so hard. Especially on those days when breakfast takes an hour, and you don’t care much about what they’re doing. Or when you’re at a playgroup, and you really do need to send that email that may quite possibly be more important than them in that moment. And there’s just never enough time to do it all. Sometimes the phone is going to win.

But sometimes you do put the phone down. And you learn that by disconnecting, you find greater connections with others.

Lindsay Goldberg
Lindsay Goldberg is a working mom who then comes home and works there, too. She loves finding quick, healthy recipes to make for her family and lives for her Sunday morning escape to the gym. She has given up on trying to find balance, and is, instead focused on surviving and being Good Enough. Likes- books, family dance parties, morning snuggles, and drinking coffee when it's still hot. Dislikes- recipes with more than 10 ingredients or 10 steps, winter, and deadlines


  1. The cell phone makes it easier to keep in touch with one another. Ironically, it can also get in the way from making real connections with people. It’s worth it to disconnect once in a while!

  2. Right?!? Technology is great for FaceTime with the grandparents… but not when it’s a barrier when the grandparents are right beside you! 🙂

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