I started to look at how I was wasting time at home with my kids.
You might not think of this as “wasting time,” but here’s how I think about it. Have you heard the quote, “We all get the same 24 hours in a day?” Well, I certainly wasn’t maximizing my time as a stay at home mom. From quick glances on Facebook or scrolling through my Pinterest feed, I was getting lost in social media on and off throughout the day. It was starting to become my “fifteen minute break” so to speak. But, since I didn’t have a timer or something that was regulating that fifteen minute break, I was getting lost on my phone for longer than I should have.
Then, my daughter said something to me that made me think about how I was actually wasting time with my kids instead of maximizing that precious time together during the day….
“Will you please put your phone down, Mama?”
My daughter said it calmly, but also with a sense of urgency.
Have your kids said that to you before too?
Or maybe it’s, “Can you turn off the Football game now?” or “Can you stop talking with your friends so we can talk?”
I think kids are always in tune about how we are focusing our attention when they are around. While I know we can’t always be present, it really made me think.
At that point, I had convinced myself that I didn’t look at my phone all that much. Besides, I sometimes felt guilty ignoring the messages, emails and alerts that I received because people were trying to get in touch with me! How could I ignore them?
But, the harder question to answer was, how can I ignore my little ones who are right underfoot?
So, we made ONE BIG CHANGE:
I set social media office hours.
It might sound silly, but it has truly helped.
From the time my husband goes to work until lunch time, I only glance at my phone for the time. Then, I can check in after lunch while the kids nap. Followed by no social media after nap until dinner. For me, I need to check in on things when my hubby gets home (life of a blogger), but then we are done until bed time.
I’ve realized that if I don’t answer everything, if I don’t see every alert/message, it’s okay because I know that I’ve spent most of my day being present with my kids. And, that’s what matters most to me!
“Children spell love T-I-M-E” ~ Dr. A. Witham
And, that doesn’t mean time on our phone or being disconnected. It means being present as best we can for as long as we can.
I truly believe it’s the best gift that we can give to our kids.
Are you struggling with this too?
Here’s a few other strategies that may help:
- Only checking social media/emails/etc. on your computer instead of your phone.
- Having a no-phone basket where you put your phones during “off” hours.
- Set a timer so that you truly know how much time you are spending online.
I’m also thrilled to be role modeling this to my little ones now because I’d like to see their faces every once in a while when they’re teenagers! 🙂
Wouldn’t that be nice?!