From the Vault: But of Course it’s a Competition!

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I’ve got a few posts that I started and never published. I believe that some of them were not previously published because it wasn’t time.  I’m bringing them out of the “vault” and adding my reflection, my current feelings, and/or any changes/updates.  You will read them in bold at the bottom of the post. Some posts weren’t finished when I left them in the draft vault.  You can read my “completed” thoughts in bold as well.  Welcome to vault release numero uno! -Courtney (June 2019)

HEY HAPPY READER!

So my four year old has a cell phone.

Why yes, it’s fully functioning.

But of course, she needs it to watch all of the latest and greatest YouTube unboxing, LOL, and Jojo videos.

It’s completely necessary for her to have a cell phone so that she can roam unsupervised around the innanets.

Her schedule is such that I’d like for her to be able to call me in the event that she needs a ride home from a play date, or from piano, gymnastics, or dance.

Or she could just download the Uber app and schedule her own ride and roam these streets.

You know I’m one of these “new age” parents that believes in allowing a child to raise themselves.

I want my daughter to know she doesn’t have to be tethered to her parents and that she is trusted to be responsible.

Since she’s big enough to put clothes in the washer and dryer, capable of putting toothpaste on her OWN toothbrush, and to buckle her chest strap in her car seat, she’s certainly responsible enough to handle a cell phone.

Why yes, I am joking!

About everything except the fact that MY FOUR YEAR OLD HAS A CELL PHONE!!!

It was a gift from her dad.

That came home with her from her last visit.

If you know me, you know I’m a Tiger Mom in training. I am 👌🏾 close to being a “helicopter mom”.

I wear the badge with honor.

I am and will continue to be a fierce protector of my child.

I curate what she watches on her tablet. Preferring for her to watch seasons of shows I’ve purchased or downloaded from Amazon Prime. I don’t like my child being the target of marketing schemes cleverly placed in commercials for children’s shows on television or the open internet. I don’t trust YouTube for my four year old beyond super simple songs (and some of them even get the side eye😒). So imagine my inner outrage (and some outer outrage when I got to my therapy session) after finding out that my four year old HAS A WORKING CELL PHONE!

This is my year to have her for Christmas.

I was upset that there was an expectation that she could/would have permission to use the cell phone when she is at home under our usual rules.

I was upset that purchasing a cell phone was not discussed between the co-parents who “work together” in the best interest of our child.

Now, if it was going to stay at her dads house…that’s another story. I can’t dictate what her father chooses to do with his money during his time with her, but in this Tiger house, that’s a naw dawg!

Being a divorced co-parent doesn’t have to be difficult.  Sometimes, in my mind I make it unnecessarily more complicated by creating mental flowcharts of “If A, then B” situations and solutions.  I had already “flowcharted” the ruination of our child’s development based on the purchase of this cell phone.

These mental flowcharts assist me down the rabbit hole of anxiety (as if you hadn’t already noticed).

Join me, why don’t you?

Part of me was a little ticked that her dad was in the financial position to buy her a cell phone. 

“Where did he get money for a cell phone?”

“If he’s got money for a cell phone then why isn’t he (FILL IN THE BLANK)?”

“He tried me!”

*insert mocking faces, eye rolls, angry muttering, and arm crossing*

Sidenote: I was BIG MAD apparently when I originally wrote this. AND I was feeling a little petty labelle spirit too! *forehead smack emoji* Ain’t “nairy” a scripture, no encouragement, nuffin! But hey…sometimes it “beez that way”.  

What was really on display was my insecurity surrounding being able to provide the “wants” for our daughter.  I wanted to be able to purchase a cell phone and take her to Chuck E. Cheese errrrrry weekend.  To purchase new shoes and spend money all “willy nilly.”  Instead, I’m STILL WORKING MULTIPLE JOBS, saving, and living at in my parents home, etc.  I was nearly ready to blow my budget on Christmas to “outdo” him. (SMH!)  

Of course, instead of just giving it to God, I held on to my insecurities.  I even had “hater” thoughts, like:

“Oh you know they put that on a credit card!”

“They may have nice things but they are probably living in bondage to debt.”

“They don’t value what’s really important in life!”

All of these thoughts were automatic and had they been spoken out loud; they may seem like the kind of thing that would boost someone’s ego when they are fighting what they think is “financial insecurity.” 

The TRUTH for me was that I was/am NOT FINANCIALLY INSECURE. *Praise Dance* I was just plain ol’ insecure. 

The TRUTH for me is that IT DOESN’T MATTER how the phone was paid for.  IT DOESN’T HAVE TO change a single thing I do.  It’s not a competition for who’s the best parent.  I’m her mom.  He’s her dad.  Feeding insecurities can lead to comparing yourself to others.  If comparison goes unchecked, it could result in depression and “shame spiraling” *praise God for Dr. Brene’ Brown* and ain’t nobody got time for a shame spiral!

I am grateful for time to reflect on where my attitude was when I wrote this in early December 2018. 

I think that’s it for this “vault” post.  I’ll post it for “December 2018” for anyone who’s creating a progress timeline, LOL!

Thanks for reading:)

-Courtney

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