I’ve had this thought nagging at me for some time. It creeps in during the rare moments of calm and quiet in my day and roots around in my subconscious during the times I am occupied. It is a thought that I am very, very uncomfortable with. But, like many moms, I think it’s something that’s becoming more and more of an essential in my day to day life.
I need to disconnect from the electronic world. As in, cut ties almost completely.
I hate how accessible I am. I hate that I get those little red “badges” on my iPhone when I get a new e-mail, Facebook notification, voicemail, game request, etc. I hate that my type A personality can’t just let them sit there: I have to check the message to make the little red icon go away. I hate that I can’t leave e-mails, texts, or phone calls unanswered. It sucks so much of my time, and I hate it.
Not only for me, but for my kiddo as well.
He knows how Mommy’s phone and iPad work. He knows how to use them, how to find the games he likes to play, and how to find the videos he likes to watch. And I think some of these things are great. I think he has learned so much about machinery and construction from watching “Mighty Machines” on Netflix. I think he’s learned problem solving and spatial relations by playing Angry Birds. Really, I do.
But when we are plugged in electronically, we aren’t connecting as a family. When I’m checking Facebook or Instagram and he’s watching a video (no matter how educational), we aren’t interacting with one another. And I hate that more than anything.
I know this is not a earth shattering topic for a blog post. I’m sure this has been written about a million times over, in words much more effective and eloquent than mine. But it’s what’s on my heart right now, and it’s a deep addiction that I am determined to break.
So here’s my plan: from the hours of 5-8 PM, my phone is going to be on silent and in my purse. My iPad will be closed and put away. My laptop will be in my work bag. Obviously, this plan will have to change on weekends, school holidays, etc., but this is my goal: Three more hours devoted to family rather than to social media, emails, and texts. Three more hours of playing cars, reading books, coloring, exploring outside, and watching favorite shows together.
Once Aidan is in bed for the night, I can catch up with Facebook posts, tweets, emails, Pinterest, and texts. I honestly doubt that anyone needs to contact me that urgently anyway, and work that does not get done at work can probably wait until the next day.
I am fully aware that this is going to be ridiculously stressful for me at first. I think that’s why I’ve been letting this idea root around for so long without acting on it. I wrote it down almost six weeks ago in my calendar, when I first felt it pressing on my heart.
Life is made up of the links that I create with other people in my life, the relationships that sustain me and give me joy and contentment. Life is not made up of the connections I make behind a computer screen. I’ve made some great online friends and learned so much from them. But my little man needs me more than any other person on this Earth, and he is more important to me than any e-mail you could ever send.
So starting tomorrow, I am unplugging from you all and plugging into my relationship with him.