I’m Gonna Smash My Phone! – In Real Life #34

Ever feel like smashing your smartphone? Yeah, me too. See why in this week’s show. Plus, discover a cool way to make your phone work for you and actually bring you deeper into the present πŸ™‚

Bumbleride Indie stroller

This episode is sponsored by Bumbleride

We are a Bumbleride stroller family. We started with the Indie, their awesome, all-terrain jogging stroller, and recently graduated to the Indie Twin, their easy to handle double stroller. Enjoy the ride of your life with Bumbleride.

Other stuff mentioned in this episode

Wellness Family Summit. Attend this online seminar and improve the health of YOUR family and future generations. Watch FREE online from October 13-20, 2014. Learn from tons of great speakers, including yours truly! Register for the event now!

What is the IRL show?

IRL stands for In Real Life, and this is our weekly video blog where we talk about the stuff of real life. You know, food, faith, family and fun. Tune in every week to see what the Mama Natural clan is up to. Click here to see past episodes.

How about you?

Ever feel like you’re on your phone too much when you’re parenting? Do youΒ set any boundaries around how and when you use your phone? Share with us in the comments below!

About the Author

Genevieve Howland is a childbirth educator and breastfeeding advocate. She is the bestselling author of The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth and creator of the Mama Natural Birth Course. A mother of three, graduate of the University of Colorado, and YouTuber with over 75,000,000 views, she helps mothers and moms-to-be lead healthier and more natural lives.


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  1. I noticed I was on the computer and phone waaayyyy to much. Then I would go the opposite extreme and be out of contact with important things for too long. I am still struggling with that balance.

    One thing that helped was getting rid of social media apps. I also made it so I do not get notifications on my phone. I check once or twice a day now instead of all day long.
    I do keep my phone with me though because it is what I take pictures with. It is also my event reminder, which I desperately need. I have 2 written planners, a calendar by the door, and my phone reminders. 5 kids means I NEED all of that reminding! Haha!

    I am totally going to add to my event “I am here” What a fantastic idea! Thank you for that! Prayer is a vital part of my life but it does tend to get forgotten when I am running to swim meets and martial arts tournaments and dance classes and homeschool co-op and changing diapers and, and, and!

  2. My 1 year old son instantly grabs my phone when I pick it up, and whines if I don’t give it to him. That keeps me from looking at it most of the day!

  3. Thank you for the tip about the phone reminder! I immediately set my phone up as suggested and I’m really enjoying these moments to reflect, pray and express gratitude.

  4. Genevieve, I love what the priest said. Which priest is he and does he do talks regularly? I used to live in the Chicagoland area (Arlington Heights). I often just picture our Lord next to me as I go about my daily tasks and I love talking to him. Also, I always “leave my phone at home” and it makes me so present to my kids! Funny that I leave my phone at home when cell phones were orignally created in order to make us available when we leave the house!

  5. You’re right on point about remembering God in all things… I’m Muslim, and we pray five times a day… but you’ll also note Muslims use phrases that remember and give credit to God throughout the day…
    Bismillah – “In the name of God” – Used to start something (said before driving, eating, walking, reading, etc.…)
    Alhamdulillah – Praise to God – used usually to express satisfaction, or after having finished eating… or if someone asks you how you were and you want to express that you’re satisfied.
    Subhanallah – Glory to God, can be used in many places, for example if you heard something amazing and you want to express your amazement. (You’d say this when you see a beautiful sunrise, or talking about the miracle or childbirth, the benefits of breastfeeding, etc.)
    Mashaallah – What God wishes – used to express amazement or approval… For example, Mashallah, your daughter is so beautiful! Basically, it’s to say that the reason the good thing happened or exists is because God wishes it to be.

  6. Hey there. When you were speaking about there being no special time to set aside for prayer as God is always available. This reminded me of a special book….it is called “Practice of the Presence of God” It is a teeny book of a monk whom turned doing dishes and cooking and everyday things into an alter to God….it is quite beautiful……speaking of beautiful…watching Paloma watch her brother was breath taking…thank you

  7. Thank you for this great video! Definitely spoke to me πŸ™‚

  8. What a great tip for the phone reminder! Intentionality is the start of all good habits!

    Also, I can’t wait for Mad Men either!!!!! πŸ™‚

  9. I haven’t had a smart phone, yet. And recently, I started to think about getting one, but now after seeing your video, I had my answer! A lot of my friends have the smart phones, and a lot of times they look onto the screen while talking to me, that is really frustrating. That gives me a feeling that talking to me is not that interesting and important, I bet the kids feel the very same way, when parent look at the screen, and not into child’s face!


  11. Hi!! I really loved this one! My husband always talks about how he HATES phones. Like literally hates them. They have really ruined our society as a whole and really changed the priorities in both the younger and older generation’s minds. I am 22. People my age drive me crazy at how much they are on their phones! I used to be one of these “phone and facebook addicts” back a few years ago. Looking back, I am in shock at how bad it was. 13,000+ texts a month. Sleeping with the phone UNDER MY PILLOW! Facebook all day every day. Ugh it was horrible. I feel so much more ALIVE without using my phone so much!! It is really fantastic! I see people walking down the sidewalk or street looking at their phones, driving on their phones. One day, me and my husband literally started counting how many people were texting while driving at night on the highway… within like 10 mins I think we were up to 5… People just need to take the time and put the phone away and focus on life, kids, family, friends, whoever! I think Facebook has a lot to do with this too. Thats why I got rid of mine! I know you (Mama Natural) and a lot of people use Facebook as a positive resource to spread all your info and stuff which is great, but I think a lot of us need to know when to turn it off! Technology is addicting but you just have to be aware of that and try to change it, like you are! πŸ™‚ I totally get needing breaks. I work and teach toddlers all day and then I go home to my own toddler. I try to meditate.. not like sitting cross legged going ohm. haha! but just like to take a deep breath and chill out throughout the day. I always pray when I’m driving. I just start talking to God! Thats always been my form of prayer. It is a lot easier and less structured. It feels more genuine, you know? So when I am driving to work I ask God for patience or help with whatever problems I am having and it really helps me feel better!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Carolyn! It freaks me out so much to see people texting while driving – scary that you and your husband counted that many in such a short amount of time, on the highway no less! I think I’ll start praying more when I’m driving too πŸ™‚

  12. I was sad to see the price of the sponsor stroller, $700+…yikes! I can justify some pricey free-range organic meat, but NOT a stroller that expensive.

    I *love* the calander reminder. Even seeing it on your example gave me the chills.

    I used to judge moms who were totally disengaged at the park, but I feel like I kind of get it. As a mom I dont have to be playing with my kid 100% of the time, so if I need a break, why not take it while we are at the park so he can continue to enjoy himself!

  13. I use to be a social person, but cell phones have kind of killed that experience for me. In our area, if you don’t have a smart phone, you are not in the know. It’s very frustrating, but it’s also a reason I chose not to get one. We just use a little pay as you go virgin mobile phone–no special perks, and it’s only for emergencies. In fact, since we barely use it, I often misplace or lose it for a while! I find it rude though–no one shuts off their phones when they should. I honestly don’t like it that people would rather sit next to me and text me, than to have a one-on-one conversation.

    Growing up, I always thought praying was abnormal. It was too ritualistic and always felt like something that should be saved for special occasions. My mom always told me to just talk to God like he’s right there-because he is! He is always listening to you. Even if you are just talking to the Universe! The same principle applies. It’s funny how praying does seem like a chore at times, but I think there is something deeper that you get from talking to God in a more direct way–like a person who is right next to you. It’s also better than trying to talk to other parent’s who are more concerned with what their smart phone is doing than what you are actually saying. πŸ˜›

  14. I totally here you. Every now and then I remember to look at my habits and revamp some to balance and bring in more good priority things that are wholesome that I want to remember down the road.
    I recently was on a reorganizing and cleaning kick in many areas of my house and I really enjoy this. I also love learning new things so I’m always checking out new books, cds to listen too from the library. Especially on parenting like the “five love languages of children” and “Christlike parenting.”
    Since I’ve lessened my phone and computer time I’ve had so much more time with my family and feel a happiness that is more complete and whole to my being. Nurturing each other with quality time, kind qenuine heart felt words, and healing.

  15. My husband and I got rid of our cell phones 2 years ago (!). We now have an old-fashioned landline & do keep a little junky emergency cell with prepaid minutes for true emergencies – only used twice in two years. SO – our friends kind of thought we were nuts, except for another family that did the same thing;) – and we couldn’t be happier with the decision. It does take some getting used to, and can make things a bit more difficult at times if you don’t plan. So it’s not for everyone, but we are very happy with that decision.:-) You can free yourself if you choose!

  16. Hi I’m Karina and I am a phone addict. I find myself reaching for my phone at stoplights, white eating, or in any moment of peace instead of just being. Yes, mamas used to read or knit to take a break but that didn’t take them away from the present like technology does. I don’t let my daughter watch screens and as she gets older she is becoming more aware of the small box in my hand or pocket, what is that teaching her? (Not to mention the consequences of the ends being so close to our body 24/7) Recently I’ve been putting my phone on restricted access. I shut down the apps and Internet and try to turn it on only at nap and after bedtime. I’m due for an upgrade and torn between getting a new smartphone or downgrading to a classic t9 flip. Its so hard because let’s face it, tech compAnies know what they’re doing. They’ve made smartphones a necessity. It’s a hands grab away to take that photo, look up directions or play a lullaby. Thank you for bringing this topic to the forefront of my mind, yet again. At the end of the day no restriction is going to keep me off this bright little box. It’s not the phones fault, it’s mine. I’m accountable for my actions. It stops today…right after this comment

    • EMFS not ends. Autocorrect

  17. Amen about the phone Genevieve!!! I just got my first iPhone last week…I wasn’t wanting one but finally gave in because our service provider didn’t have really any other option! I didn’t want one because I was afraid of being “that” mom that you talked about on your blog. I didn’t want to be distracted from my present life with my 3 kiddos…nor did I want to take all these iPhone photos of my kids and daily life but not be in the now them….I also wanted to avoid all the social media that was easily at my finger tips (facebook and instagram) because I struggle with looking at photos and updates of friends and questioning how “good” of a mom am, or how my house looked or what I made for dinner or how in love with my husband I am…blah blah. Thank you so much for these wonderful tips now that I am an iPhone user. And yes, I serve and love Jesus and am excited to set my calendar with the message “I’m here”. Thank you!!

  18. I heard that some ER doctors are concluding that the significant increase in playground injuries to children is directly related to the use (over) of phones by parents. And yes I realize one can take a book to the park. Parenting is hard? you need a BREAK? Consider that may seem insulting to infertile people or a parent who has lost a child & would give anything …well you get my gist. I love this website & hope this subject gets lots of attention. I recommend this website to my daughters-in-laws & my friends who are recent moms. GET OFF your device & focus on what should be your treasure. Recently in TEXAS (take note the locale is key) a group of parents were upset that the playground equipment in their subdivision’s playground was getting HOT & a couple of children experienced the hotness of the equipment. Did these fine parents take responsibility for their children’s injuries ????? Noooo. They pointed the finger of shame on the city council,the city planner & the designer of the playground equipment…. I’m sure it’s too hard to check to see if the slide has turned into a fry pan on a sunny summer day in TEXAS!!!!! SMH SMH SMH

    • When my daughter was little, I played with her while at the park. I didn’t use it as my down-time; it was an event that was about her, so we did what she wanted to do. However, she knew that when we returned home that mommy would be tired and that she had to give me some down-time then.

      She totally gave up naps altogether when she was 3, so we had an arrangement that she had to give mommy a “time out” for an hour everyday instead. I had grown so used to having that time during the day to prep dinner, read or just sit and drool on myself. The first couple of days were tough for her to wrap her head around this concept, but I had a system. If she stayed in her room without bothering me, she could have ice cream after dinner (which was like 3 spoonfuls, but she thought it was huge!), and if she came out and bothered me for a non-emergency during my quiet time, she had something taken away. Within 4 days we never had a problem with the concept again; she got it right quick! The beautiful thing about this was that I got some alone time, and she learned to be very creative with her time. She would draw, make things with paper and tape, and have tea parties, etc. People always commented how well she entertained herself.

      It always breaks my heart to see moms out with their kids and see them on their phones. Recently, while playing with a little girl in the neighborhood, she told me she wished I was her mom. I giggled and told her that her mom loves her very much and it would make her sad if she knew she said that. And then she went on to tell me this, SO PAY ATTENTION LADIES if you’re addicted to your phone, she said, “But you always have time for me, and you play with me. My mom is always on her phone.”

      Out of the mouths of babes, I tell ya. I wonder how many other kids feel this same way.

      I know being a mom is tough; there were times I would weep in the bathtub from exhaustion, but now that my daughter is 19YO, nothing is more rewarding than having her tell me, “You were so much fun when I was little, Mom. I really had the best childhood.” I know the days of mothering are long, and we all need breaks, but please be selective with your phone time and cherish every minute you can, because believe me, one minute you’re dropping them off at kindergarten and the next, college!

  19. Girl, I love how you using your voice as a natural mama to also speak life and share your faith. Its like a little shot in the arm every time I watch your videos. Love!

  20. I got rid of my smartphone phone about 5 years ago and had a Tracfone for a while. Once that quit, I didn’t bother replacing it. I also deleted my Facebook account completely last year. All these things felt hard to do in the moment, but anything really good for you usually does, right? I might feel a bit of a pang now and then when I’m wondering how one of my friends or family members is doing that I only used to check up on with Facebook, but if I’m not willing to get on the phone and give them a call or stop by to visit them, that doesn’t say much for our relationship. I’m talking to people more and being more intentional about things I really want to do. I feel like I just plain LIVE more when I’m not on the computer, so I try to limit my time to a little bit in the morning before the kids are up and naptime if I’m not working on something else. It forces me to be efficient and not get bogged down with the information overload that’s out there. Sometimes having access to everything is useful and sometimes it’s. just. not. Yay for leaving your phone at home! πŸ™‚

    • Thank you for the reminder that our lives are not lived on a screen! And thank you for choosing my site to visit!

  21. Never had a smart phone, don’t want one. πŸ™‚

  22. Hey Mama! Just wanted to say that I am a viewer from the beginning and I actually love and applaud your personalised sponsor ads. So much better than a pop-up I might not be interested in and you might not have any control over. I am always so grateful for your generosity and all the amazing tips and tricks you share, so the fact that you can help maintain the site and talk about things you love is a double bonus. Love Team Natural! xxox

    • Aww, thank you Mrs D! Means a lot to hear that feedback from a long time viewer. I so appreciate you being here and taking the time to give me the heads up!

  23. Great post! I am sooo GUILTY of using my phone while nursing in the evening. It has become my time to chill and look around pintrest or Mama Naturals website! Our kiddos are only little & nursing for so long.
    I have been resisting joining Facebook. But I just joined your Young Living team Genevieve! I know you have a private Facebook page for us but I just can’t get myself to do it. I feel like I’m totally missing out. Any other ideas? Feel free to email me at l.lachermeier AT yahoo dot com

    Ps. Great idea about setting reminders in our phones! “I’m here” is great! I also like “Be still and know that I am God”.

    • Hmmm. The EO group on FB does see a lot of action, and I’m not sure how you could reproduce that community off of FB. Everyone who signs up with me gets a series of emails about how to use EOs, so hopefully you’re on that πŸ™‚

    • Yep make the phone work for you.

  24. Great topic! I can totally relate and have tried doing most of the things you suggested (including similar daily reminders!). It’s so great to be reminded by you of all this stuff though! It’s so easy to forget and I will be more conscious and present now that I’ve watched this. Or so I hope… ;0) no! I will! It’s actually something I tell my husband the time (to not always be on his phone or laptop) and then I know I text too much throughout the day. I need it to be more contained… Thanks again! ;0)

    P.S. Thanks for the preamble about how we do need breaks though! Very disarming… Enough for a sponsor from Mac? Maybe not quite… LOL

    • Thanks for the feedback! And yes, we do need breaks, no question. For me, it’s just about consolidating them and having a little more discipline around them.

      So cool that you’re into the daily reminders! Wish I knew about them sooner πŸ™‚

  25. Thank you SO much for bringing this up, Genevieve! This was meant for me, for sure!

  26. loved this, it is so timely. I was just resetting my phone boundaries! I am totally going to set the reminder so I can remember God is with me through all parts of my day!

    • Awesome to know that the timing was good!

  27. I am guilty of using my phone too much- especially while nursing! Tonight as I was sitting outside my daughter’s dance class, I looked down the hall at all the other parents waiting for their kids. Everyone was on a device! I felt sad that they were all too involved to start conversations with the people right next to them.

    • It’s like those jokey evolution of man charts that show people rising up from early hominids and then sinking back down over their phones.

  28. Genevieve, and all the fans of mama natural, I think you will find me unusual. I decided that husband and I do not buy smart phone. I have officially ADD and if I had that device it would further distract me. And you guys know that having adult ADD is overwhelming at times plus one of the main symptoms is distraction. I have plenty of distraction without smart phone. πŸ™‚

  29. Its amazing how the Lord can put things together.
    I have really been struggling with this issue, not just phones but laptops and ipads as well. I`m so easily distracted and I`m just so fed up with internet ruling my life.
    This week it has been very heavy on my mind, and I`ve been praying about it. This video was just what I needed.
    Its just wonderful to see how God gets to our hearts πŸ™‚ Thank you!

    • I got chills reading that. Thank you for the feedback and bless you!

  30. Loved this post! I’m currently reading the book “Hands Free Mama” and it’s completely changed the way I use my phone. I don’t want my kids to think back on their childhoods and picture mommy on her phone all the time! Anyway thanks again!! XOXO

    • Big fan of Hands Free Mama!

    • Yes! Hands Free Mama is must-read for mamas {and papas} wanting to minimize and limit the distractions in our lives. There are so many opportunities and sweet memories we miss b.c we are all so distracted by trying to do 2348327 things during the day. I constantly have to remind myself that my children will “do what I do, not what I say”. It would break my heart if I set an example to my children and they start ignoring me one day b.c they are so distracted by a phone/screen. I must set a better example of cherishing the present moment. Actions really do speak louder than words. πŸ™‚

    • Okay, now I gotta check out this book. Thank you for bringing it up!

    • Wow! That’s a really good way to look at it.

  31. You are spot on, and yes, the previous generation would have been reading or chatting on the phone! With 8 kids, my mom spent a lot of time reading Agatha Christie mysteries while nursing!

  32. Wow your timing is great. Just last weekend I deleted Facebook and my favorite game off my phone in a huff because they were starting to consume too much of my time. Still having a bit of withdrawal but I feel way more free. Now Facebook is computer only which has been great for me.

  33. Great Episode! πŸ™‚

  34. Once again, so blessed by all you shared!! Thank you!!! πŸ˜€

  35. Any recommendations for a double stroller that isn’t $700? Not knocking those that can spend it, but I can’t! I’ve been researching a good umbrella version. Any tips?

    • We just found a nice double stroller for $20 on Craigslist! Good luck!

  36. I am a dinosaur. I got rid of my smartphone. But, there were several reasons. The main one, though, was because I am already distracted by the computer. I work online, and it’s a blessing and a curse. I get to stay home with my babies, but it also feels like work is always here…beckoning.

    The smartphone just made it feel like my office had grown legs and started following me around. If a client sent an email, I knew about right away and was tempted to answer immediately. Or then there is the ever present temptation to snap a picture of absolutely everything to put on Facebook. Does anybody really care that my kids ate a muffin? No. But I sure as heck wanted to shove that fact in their faces anyway! lol

    It was all just TOO MUCH. It takes a lot more effort to go all the way to my desk, sit down, wake the computer, type the password, etc… than it does to grab a phone from my pocket. Now when I am away from the online world, I am away. If a client can’t wait a couple of hours for a response, they are probably too high-maintenance for my schedule anyway. I now have a very simple phone that I use mainly for (gasp) making phone calls. πŸ˜‰

  37. I love all your videos! I definitely find myself on my phone way too much. Have tried to hide it when I’m home and not think about it, however we don’t have a home phone so when my older son is at school, I have to have it close. It’s a vicious cycle πŸ™‚

  38. Loved the video, but just wondering because I know you’re conscious of EMF how do you manage nursing whilst holding a smartphone in terms of that affecting your little one’s brain? Do you have a special shield for your phone. Would love to know. Thanks.

    • I definitely try not to use the smartphone near the baby. I have had EMF blocking shields for my phones, but none of them seemed to work that well. I keep waiting for Defender Pad to make cases for phones.

      • Thanks for your reply! Love your blog, it’s helpful and encouraging. Many blessings!

  39. Also, I appreciate what you do here! Thank you.

  40. Thank you so much for this post! It was encouraging, challenging and edifying! We are spiritual beings and it helps to be reminded of this truth. God bless you guys!

    • Thank you so much for the message, Lauren! It does indeed help to be reminded of that from time to time, otherwise the busy days just sweep us away!

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