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We are two working mothers — Lauren Rose, the director of business development for Name Bubbles, and Betsy DeMars, the assistant managing editor at The Saratogian. Try as we may to be really good at both, balancing motherhood and career can get pretty messy. As professionals, work schedules and mommy schedules often collide. So, we plow through, hoping at the end of the day, our kids — Lauren's 5-year-old son and Betsy's 11-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter — know how much we love them.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sold on the cell

It took a long time to reach this decision. We went round and round about it. But, after much debate and deliberation, We've given in to letting our son get a cell phone.

Of course, he's been using the argument that "everyone else in my class had one in fifth grade except me." Dylan, his best friend, has one. His cousin, Hannah, who is the same age, just got one. He says he'll pay for it, which means I'll only have to pay his weekly allowance once a month.

I stood my ground as long as I could before coming to the conclusion that -- with a kid like him, who could use boost in the social world -- this couldn't really be a bad thing. He's almost 12, and we've been trying to foster more independence. With him heading to the middle school this year, he will be expected to handle more independently at school, and we want to enforce that at home, too.

There have been times, like when he was a baseball camp this summer and it got rained out in the afternoon, that it would have been helpful. Not only that, he seemed really excited about being able to call his grandparents and cousins, who all live far away, from his own phone.

But it feels weird already. He got a call from my husband while we were driving home and relayed the message that his dad wanted us to stop and pick up dinner at KFC instead of making something. I grumbled about it, saying we just went grocery shopping the day before and shouldn't eat out. He tells his father on the phone, "Yeah, well Mom's being a little fussy about it, but I think I can get her to go to KFC." Nice, huh?

One definite upshot: We have something very big to hold over his head. Do your chores, or we'll take the phone away. Do your homework, or we'll take the phone away. Wash my car, or we'll take the phone away. Clearly I'm drunk with power.

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