I am throwing it out there, to the judgy interwebs and all the trolls that may be perusing mom blogs like this one.
I am admitting it because I know that I am not the only mom who feels as though she is floundering without direction. Surrounded in loads of unfolded laundry (at least it’s washed), kitchen looking like you’ve just cooked a Thanksgiving Dinner for the army, when – in reality – you haven’t mustered the energy to empty the dishwasher in three days and the resulting has you feeding the kids off paper towels because there is scarcely a clean dish. Wondering why she can’t find the TIME to get it all done, and WHY she is so easily annoyed by her little people.
And don’t hate me …
We are stuck on our phone.
Glued to social media, the updates, the likes, comments, the random scroll … wondering anything exciting has happened, trying desperately to connect with another adult, and feeling like there is just not enough time in the day to find rest, let alone do all the things.
We are drawn in by the illusion that we are connecting with friends and family and we are trapped by the unknown, will we come across something funny, something compelling, something worth while … and we waste so much time scrolling, never settling, and never feeling rested. When a tiny human dares to enter our scroll zone the alarms go off and we *I* am quick to snap at them.
Because they interrupted the swipe up of my finger, because I lost my place in reading some nonsense update or because I got caught up in some drama online and am now so anxious from reading ignorant comments that the wrath spills out on their little hearts.
If I told you that LAST YEAR I detoxed from my phone, I went from spending 4 hours a day scrolling and giving my attention and energy to that device to 14 minutes a day.
I was happy, I was productive and I was engaged with my boys. We played games, I wasn’t annoyed by their desire to craft or to pull out more stuff because I didn’t feel “busy” being distracted, I was present and aware of their needs and desires.
Then the new year hit, I started a new online business, I was trying to chase customers or leads, creating content all the time and perusing the latest in business tips and updates. All of a sudden the phone crept back into my hand and like it’s insidious nature, the addiction returned.
I ignored it for a while. A LONG while, like so long that I am writing this article on the heels of feeling absolutely drained at the end of the year and looking at the new information compliments of the Apple update and realizing that I am back up to an average daily usage of 4 hours and 23 minutes!
4 hours and 23 minutes A DAY!
Now, before you judge me, I beg you to consider your own usage, your own addiction. That need to know when’re your phone is, to open the Facebook app or Instagram to see if there are any notifications or likes, any follow-up comments, or just t o check on on your best gal pal.
Maybe you are like I was and you are “growing” your business from your phone but – as my husband *so gently* put it, if you’re spending 4 hours a day growing your business from your phone … where is the growth?!
Dude, I am serious when I say that I feel like, even as I write this and my phone is upstairs charging, I am wondering if there MIGHT be a message I missed or a notification that would be of interest.
Honestly, I don’t think there ever has been an emergency on my phone, one in which someone wouldn’t CALL.
It hurts me every time I feel overwhelmed and “busy” and yet I compulsively grab for my phone as I sit in my mom-chair, as I “relax”. Like, I grab for it and tell myself that there will be nothing on there of interest, and STILL I scroll, I open the same three apps – Facebook, Instagram and then my e-mail. I never come up with anything that leaves me feeling fulfilled, not randomly throughout the day… and I continue to go back.
So, it has to change … AGAIN … and again I will be doing my own three day detox, reminding myself that being present is FUN, it is IMPORTANT and it provides MEANINGFUL interaction. The interaction that I am desperately searching for on the internet, the affirmation I scroll endlessly for. Those things come from the smiles of my boys, the giggles and their pride in new skills learned, crafts completed and a mother who invests in them.
I have to do the hard thing and put the phone, the distractions, and that selfish NEED to feel “connected” aside and remind myself that there is connection here, it takes more humility, they don’t like everything I do or say, and it begs for structure, but MY GOODNESS, it is worth it.
Are you with me?
Are you in need of that change?! I am, I am DESPERATELY yearning for that change before my life becomes overwhelming with a new baby, before things get harder and I am searching *again* for a distraction. I have to remind myself that my children, my marriage, my home is not a distraction from the important stuff, they are the important stuff.
THE MOST IMPORTANT STUFF.