5 Mantras to Get Over My FaceTime Fear and Connect My Kids to Family


I don’t like to FaceTime. Every time I sit there and try to have a conversation all I can see is my tired old face staring back at me from that small critical box in the corner. I try to ignore it, but I can’t. One time I realized I only move the bottom half of my mouth when I talk. I was horrified. Turns out, that’s how everyone talks. But it only looks weird when I do it and now I have to see it every time I FaceTime.

I spent the majority of the 90’s happily tethered to a wall chatting on the phone for hours on end. Provided the cord was long enough, I could do important things while I talked, like self-groom or go to the bathroom, or even stop listening for a moment without getting caught. Cell phones should have enhanced these social freedoms, but instead we’ve stopped calling and now we text. You can’t do much of anything while you are texting and my kids can’t text. You can’t hear their little voices in the background of a text or see that they’ve grown another inch.

before FaceTimeRaising a family far from where I grew up, there are people I love that I want my kids to know. As much as I don’t like FaceTime, my kids have relationships with these people because of it. My kids love FaceTime. They love seeing the faces of people they care about and really feel like they are a part of their lives.

My New Years FaceTime resolutions:

  • I resolve to FaceTime someone we love weekly, if not daily (not the same person every day, but if they’re rude and don’t answer, we’ll put them back into rotation, rather than decide they’re totally dead to us).
  • I resolve to answer FaceTime calls as long as there’s not a good reason to ignore them, and not having showered doesn’t count. 
  • I resolve to no longer lunge for my iPhone like my one year old just entered the code for a missile when he initiates his own FaceTime. From now on, let her rip.

In order to honor these resolutions, I will remember:

There’s really no good time to FaceTime.

Life is a 24-hour poop show. When I put off making a FaceTime call for a better time or don’t answer and tell myself I’ll call back later, later doesn’t usually come. Face-to-face time with my kids turns into a text from just me. I need to stop and call and/or pick up so we can share an unfiltered, unedited, possibly awkward but real moment with the people we love.

Let it go, let it go, don’t hold them back anymore.

Guys, Grandma can’t see you. Jack, can you sit down? Don’t touch the phone. Please just leave it there. Sara can you move so they can see Jack too? Sara, can you stop spinning with the phone? Guys, just talk to them. You’ve shown them enough stickers. Tell them what you did today. Please don’t touch the red button again. I stopped setting up my kids to be show ponies or even sit still for FaceTime. I TRY to just let them be kids. As a result their aunt spends most calls looking at Jack’s forehead as he wobbles down the hallway to show her his turtle puzzle piece way too close up and then Sara puts her in the toy microwave, every time.

The more you FaceTime, the easier it is.

The hardest FaceTime calls are the first ones. They feel staged. You feel like your conversation has to be meaningful and reactions have to be grand and too much is resting on your facial expressions. The more you FaceTime, the less you feel like a human emoticon and can accept whatever comes.

No one likes the way they look on FaceTime.

At least I think this is true?

1. Kids don’t care how you look, we are all old to them.

2. It’s how you look. Think of it like an apple a day: FaceTime won’t keep you younger, but it will keep others less shocked when they see you in real life and you have actually aged. 

It’s the best kind of screen time.

My favorite FaceTime is kids talking to kids. For these calls, I set expectations and then hand over the phone. Can Sara FaceTime with her cousins? Yes? Great! Because sometimes mama needs a minute and there is nothing better than listening to the adorable dialogue between the little people you love most in the world.

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Amy is a technologist by trade and a writer by nature. Wife to a dashing web designer, mother to a beautiful, thoughtful daughter, adorable, slightly less civilized son, and a Yorkshire Terrier who came first and is still waiting for the non- furry babies to leave. As a work-from-home mom, she believes work/life balance is not a concept but a daily (sometimes exhausting) goal. She is always in search of a community that fosters her belief that sameness is boring, money is only a means to see the world and there are no rules we should impose on one another in this life other than Be Kind. She loves her family, lives to travel, and firmly believes that a homemade meal, a handmade cocktail and an episode of the Bachelor (a day late because she doesn’t own a tv) can cure almost anything.


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