We were playing on the floor in my daughter’s room. I was sitting next to her as she worked on a puzzle. My son was playing in the pretend kitchen and my infant was on a blanket with some toys, while I clicked away on my phone checking blog stats, social media updates, and responded to emails. My daughter would put a piece of the puzzle in the correct location, I would glance up and give her a quick ‘nice work!’ and go back to my phone. My son would bring me a plate of plastic waffles, a sandwich and a bottle of water. I quickly pretended to nibble on each piece of food, quipped that my belly was so full, handed the plate back to him, and returned to my phone. I was playing with them…giving them attention..right? The eye contact, the words, the inflection of my voice while I played were all signs that I was present right? Wrong. It wasn’t until my 2 year old looked at me, grabbed my phone, and said the words “Mommy, put the phone down” that I had a complete revelation. I mean seriously, the fact that she had internalized what I was doing and then put the words together to express her disapproval was quite shocking. The guilt set in. It set in hard. I made a promise to myself and to my kids in that moment. I vowed to spend one hour of each day completely unplugged. I know, it doesn’t sound like much but it is manageable. Don’t get me wrong, I spend a lot of time each day playing with them, cooking meals, doing laundry, stepping on toys and picking them up a thousand times; but I also check my phone when I hear a buzz or feel a vibration, respond to emails or social media, and obsessively check blog statistics for the day. When I wake up in the morning, I wriggle out from under whichever child is laying on top of me and grab my phone. I check 5 things. Facebook, Instagram, my email, my Etsy shop, and my blog statistics. It’s almost an obsession, something I need to do before I start the day. I think as a stay at home mom, I thrive on those connections to the outside world. Don’t get me wrong, I adore the time I have at home with my kids…but we have all read an article or two on what it is like to be a stay at home mom… Communication with the outside world keeps me sane. I felt like I had a good balance, but clearly I didn’t. My 2 year old noticed that I had my face buried in my phone instead of on her puzzle accomplishment. It was time to make a change. So, from 3-4pm every day I am going to charge my phone, turn the ringer on so that I can answer if my husband calls, and ignore everything else, unplugging completely. I am going to spend that time focusing on my kids. Everything else can wait. To all of you on Periscope at that time, I’ll catch you on the replay 😉
Pamela R. says
Bravo momma! Remember to spend another hour with your hubby alone every so often too!
YES!!! We are finally back to a good bedtime routine and getting some time together!!
Rebekah @ Surviving Toddlerhood says
<3 This is an area I need to work on for sure! These next few weeks are going to be the perfect time to practice being unplugged as we're working with the older boys and helping them adjust to life with baby.
Yes it is the perfect time! Congratulations on your newest addition, so excited for you!!! And thanks for sharing 🙂
Melissa (Wading Through Motherhood) says
I am guilty of this too! I didn’t even have a phone until a year and a half ago. There is so much to do on social media it is hard to unplug. I try to leave my phone in the other room for an hour at a time so I’m not tempted.
Yes social media just sucks you in!!
I need to start doing this. It’s easy to forget that they won’t this age forever and we need to take the time to make memories with them 🙂
It’s so true. And it’s always the little things they remember.
Lindi Mogale says
The idea to set aside a specific time to switch off is a great one , I also sometimes struggle with switching off from the blog and social media so from now on I will set aside time when I will not be online and can concentrate fully on my children thank you for sharing
Setting an actual time has actually helped me so much over the last couple of days!
I love this and totally need to unplug too. I spend a lot of time on social media and it’s not a great example for the kids. My 4yo is now getting more interested in phone apps than playing with her toys. 🙁
I have been trying to get better at this! My hubby and I are glued to technology and now my daughter wants to live in her iPad! A lot of parents would probably be happy about an iPad babysitter, but I took this as a sign that we all need to cut back on the screen time! I refuse to have a 3 years old technology obsessed kiddo lol.
Ugh my two year old is the same way! I have so much guilt about it- at the same time I do think it’s important that they know how to use technology. It’s all about balance I guess! Now my son is periscope obsessed- he’s always asking when we can scope lol
Cassidy Cruise says
I caught myself doing the same thing this morning. It’s all about finding the right balance and making sure we give the attention our children deserve! Great post.