I will admit, I do have a teeny tiny addiction to my phone, the internet and Facebook. It’s been an escape for me, an escape from constant toddler questions such as: “why?” and “who is that?” An escape from my messy house. A place I can go and feel like an adult, where I’m not needed by anyone, where I can read articles and
interesting posts be nosy. But there are serious down sides. This week I reduced my phone time by about half (especially during the day) and I got to see what a difference a phone makes. Here’s what I noticed:
To begin with I missed it
For the first 2 or 3 days I found myself thinking about my phone a lot, wondering if I had any messages, if I was ‘missing’ anything. What could I possibly be missing that was more important that what was standing in front of me right now: my two beauties? I’m so glad I got to see that.
Being on my phone makes parenting HARDER work
Playing ALL day, cooking, cleaning, disciplining, planning and shopping is hard, but it’s actually harder when I’m distracted (by my phone). When I’m serving dinner, answering “why” questions and browsing the internet it’s really stressful. I’m trying to do too much. Spending time online is another thing to do, another thing to add to our busy-ness. I’m actually less stressed without my phone and I feel happier.
I have more energy
This one was surprising but I seemed to have more energy and more fun with the kids. Is it possible that the internet drains our energy? Perhaps it’s all the reading we do, perhaps the comparing, perhaps the strain on our eyes. Who knows? But I definitely had more energy when I used my phone less.
I have more time
Similarly I have more time, I actually brushed my hair everyday this week (house is still a tip but I wasn’t expecting miracles…)
I am less worried about my parenting skills
This was a huge realisation. I found that the content I read would seriously affect me. I tend to read a lot of parenting articles (even worse I sometimes just read the comments). For some unknown reason I would read articles about breastfeeding when I’m not breastfeeding. Blogs about attachment parenting when I’m not that kind of mum at all. Every time I read an article on one or more of the subjects that don’t apply to me, I find ‘evidence’ that I’m a bad mum, when this isn’t true. Whenever I’ve read an article not really aimed at me, within minutes I’m completely empty and I have nothing to give my kids. All because I’ve read something on the internet that was even written for me. When I cut down my phone usage I’m not reading any articles on how to parent my child, I just do it! Why do we concern ourselves with other methods and techniques? None of them matter. What matters is that we are doing the very best that we can for our children.
So there it is. By cutting my phone usage in half I was more connected to my children, had more energy and felt like a good mum. Plus I haven’t missed anything important from less phone time, surely that’s why we have voicemail? Don’t get me wrong I do love technology, I just know I don’t need it to be a better, more loving mum.
After all, life is for living not for browsing. It’s for seeking happiness in every moment, not trying to escape from them. Being a mum is about trusting you are doing your best, not reading ‘evidence’ that you are not.
Will you cut down your phone, internet and social media usage? Do it for a week, I would love to hear your learning’s.