Are you constantly tempted to scroll Facebook or Pinterest when you have other things you could be doing at home? Here are some tips to help you unplug.
If you’re like me then sometimes the weight of motherhood can feel heavy. Not heavy as in, “I don’t want to do this,” but heavy as in, “I really need to zone out!” In itself that isn’t bad. In fact, it’s perfectly natural. However, if we aren’t careful we’ll end up zoning out when we don’t need to and no one wants to live with that guilt do we?
Our kids need to learn to entertain themselves, be independent, and do things for themselves, but that doesn’t mean we need to neglect our duties around the house and be a present but absent parent because we’re too busy with our electronics.
Now, some of us work from home with our computers. I firmly believe there’s a difference in the time we need to spend on our computers to provide for and serve our families and time spent “escaping” from our families. At times I need the kids to play independently so I can meet an important deadline and that’s okay. Other times I just want to ignore them and look at Instagram so I can feel a little more relaxed. On occasion that may be fine, but it’s not a good habit to get into.
Here are some tips to help you unplug and be with the kids.
Leave your phone in another room.
I use my phone’s white noise app to help soundproof my newborn’s room so that is incredibly useful for me. I’m not tempted to check my phone because it’s not there. Out of sight out of mind is very true in this case.
Turn off notifications.
One thing that used to get me was hearing my phone beep and knowing it was a message, text, or email coming through. After turning off my notifications the pull to check my phone went down drastically.
Ask your kids to hold you accountable.
Your kids will probably be quick to tell you they get annoyed when you stare at your phone all the time. Ask them to remind you when you are using it. Then try to look at your child’s face and choose Facebook over it! Trust me, most days it will be hard.
Track your time.
There are apps that will tell you exactly how much you’re looking at your phone. Install these apps and after a day of normal behavior, check them. The sheer amount of time you spend on your phone may be enough to stop cold turkey. For Android download Quality Time and for iOS try Moment.
Give yourself set times.
I like to give myself times that it’s fine to browse social media. When I’m feeding my newborn or all the kids are in independent play time, I don’t think it’s a problem. I get my quota in then and am able to re-focus on the kids later.
I don’t think social media in itself is wrong, obviously it can be a real power for good, but it does need to be kept in checked. We often complain about our housework, but we probably had more time to do it than we think. The key isn’t to “deprive” ourselves of anything, but to learn to use our time wisely and in a way that benefits both ourselves and our families.
Go forth, mamas, and unplug!