Having written this post a full year ago, and never having posted it, I find it encouraging. I still have a long way to go, but I’ve reached a place where I no longer consider most of this post to even apply to me anymore. If I can do that, anyone can.
Like most good parents, I spend a considerable amount of time beating myself up over my parenting or feeling inadequate and trying to be a better parent. Unlike most good parents, I actually am kind of a shitty parent. I wasn’t made for this. I love my kids, but I probably shouldn’t have become a parent.
Not great when my daughter is breastfeeding (missed bonding opportunity), my son is asking for a snack (parenting fail), or my husband asks me a question (talk about making a person feel unimportant). I also feel the need to constantly check my phone for emails or texts or Facebook. If I don’t have my phone with me, I actually start to feel an almost physical itch, a need to look at my phone. I get very uncomfortable. If my hubby and I are watching a movie and he pauses it for any reason (to go to the bathroom or grab a snack etc.) I instantly pick up my phone and start checking for updates. If my phone isn’t in the room, I’ll actually get up to go find it. And as soon as I pick it up… ZONED OUT!
Why is this ok?
Well, it’s ok because I’ve noticed the same addiction in my son and I’m tackling it head on. At 5 years old, he will pee in his pants if he is watching a TV show, playing video games, or even watching my husband check his email! He is so absorbed by the screens that he can’t even hear the signals his own body is sending him. So we’ve made some changes.
I’m also consciously changing the way I use my phone. I’ve committed to not using my phone around the kids which of course I fail at every single day. I’m trying. I’m not perfect, in fact we’ve established already that I’m shitty -and that’s ok! I also try not to check my phone every time I get the urge. I resist it, if only for a few minutes at a time. Then, I try to stay ‘present’ and do only what I had set out to do on my mobile device (whether that be check Facebook, my email or write my blog), I try to stick with only one task.
There are a couple blogs that I’m following to help on my journey like Zen Habits, and Hands Free Mama. But in the end, it’s up to me. I’ve got to fight it, because my relationships with my children and my husband have to be more important.