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Think Twice Before You Judge That Parent Who's on Their Phone

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You see a young couple with their kids in a restaurant and they are on the phone the whole time without conversing with each other. What do you think? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Tracy Lasseter, Product Manager, Gardener, Parent, not necessarily in that order, on Quora:

My husband, daughter, and I went to a restaurant yesterday for dinner. If you would have looked over at our table you probably would have seen:

  1. My husband looking at his phone.
  2. Me keeping an eye on our 15 month old.
  3. Us not talking.

But what you would not have known is the following:

My husband's birthday was yesterday; he is also a stay-at-home parent. He spent the entire day corralling a toddler, reading her books, taking her to the library and on a walk, changing diapers, making lunch and snacks, putting her down for a nap, cleaning the house, etc. When we sat down at that table, it was the first time he had all day to read all of his happy birthday wishes and respond. He was having a moment to himself.

I work out of my home office. I spend my days communicating with developers, designers, salespeople, and founders. I also get to see my husband and daughter a lot since they are both also in the house most of the day. I was giving my husband a break from child-duty and savoring some time spent not talking and simply enjoying my beer/watching my little girl make friends with other kids.

You will never know the whole story. You can't assume anything about a family's entire life by a single snapshot.

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