By KARA EBERLE
Some might say I have an unhealthy attachment to my cell phone.
And, to a casual observer, that’s probably how it looks.
I carry it with me everywhere.
It sits on the table in front of me when I’m in meetings. I carry it when I walk away from my desk. I check it for missed calls or text messages constantly.
But my maroon EnV3 isn’t just a phone to me. I’m not using it to check Facebook or Twitter. It’s the way I stay connected to my kids while I’m at work.
It’s my way of being “near” Mara and Charlie when I can’t physically be with them.
With a quick text, I can find out if Charlie rolled over yet and whether Mara took a nap.
It’s also how I find out if there’s an emergency, which happens more often than I care to admit.
What if Mara, soon to be 5, gets sick at day care and needs to be picked up? What if Charlie, now 5 months old, spikes a fever and needs to go to the doctor?
These questions and more run through my head all day long.
I still remember the day a couple years ago when I didn’t grab my phone on the way to an impromptu meeting at work. Mara’s teachers at day care tried to reach me to tell me she had a fever. I didn’t know anything was wrong until I got back to my desk about a half-hour later and saw the voicemail light glowing on my desk phone and the “missed call” and “new message” notifications on my cell.
I can’t begin to explain how sick I felt as I realized that my little girl needed me, but I wasn’t there.
My husband, Mark, who couldn’t leave work, had tried to reach me, too.
Everyone wondered: Where’s Mommy?
Around the same time, Mara tripped and bit through her lip. Mark called me on the way to the emergency room. Because I had my phone with me that day, I was able to get to the hospital quickly.
Those memories pop into my mind every time I think about leaving my phone on my desk or in my purse, even for a minute.
When my kiddos are in my sight and my husband is home, my phone and I take a break.
On the weekends, I go for hours without looking at my phone. Sometimes, I put it down somewhere and forget about it while I snuggle my son and daughter.
For me, it’s not about being plugged in to social networks or chatting with girlfriends.
I’m not addicted to the technology.
I’m just a mom with a healthy attachment to her kids.
Apparently, I’m not alone…
Working moms (defined as women who have full-time jobs and at least one child at home) are among the highest spenders on cell phone services.
They spend 21 percent more than the average user each month, according to a recent report from Scarborough Research. The average bill for a working mom is $94, compared with $78 for all cell phone users.
Working moms also are 42 percent more likely than the average user to download content to their phone, the report states.