Yesterday I was the mom I often only strive to be. After feeling rushed the day before, I really wanted to focus on the moment at hand. So I left my phone on the counter and treated it as a house phone instead of a computer. And you know what? I finally discovered how to slow down time; I quit filling up every momentary gap with technology. All this time I spent thinking I was great at multitasking, I realized I’m often just distracting myself and unnecessarily making myself feel extra busy. While it’s great to have email, the web and social media at my fingertips, I want to make sure I’m living my life in the real world, too. Here’s a peek into how the day went…
6:00 am – I’m up and at the computer.
7:00 am – Kaitlyn wakes up and I nurse her. She takes her sweet time then we stay in her room to pack away clothes she has grown out of (already?!) and unpack some of Hailey’s old ones to take their place.
8:00 am – We enjoy a breakfast picnic while watching the men work on our back deck. No phone, just conversations with Hailey and her 300 silly questions.
9:00 am – Kaitlyn goes down for her nap. Hailey and I head to the playroom to paint nails, throw birthday parties and play house. A lot of house.
About here I realized my instinct to check my phone and was grateful I didn’t bring it with me. How sad is it that while Hailey runs to grab a toy, I use that 2 seconds to quickly check email? The first step is admitting you have a problem, right?
10:00 am – The play switches to her room and I go back and forth. Play for 10 minutes, leave to wash sheets and towels for 15 minutes. Repeat.
11:00 am – With both girls up and Kaitlyn fed, my window to sneak in exercise opens and I jump on it. 2.5 miles.
My patience that seemed bottomless just hours earlier wears thin as I huff and puff up a hill and Hailey keeps asking ‘where we going now mama?’ as she draws our route onto her ‘map.’ Adorable, yes, but I seriously can barely breathe, much less chat and keep you entertained kid.
The noon hour passes photo-less with a quick shower for me and lunch all around.
1:00 pm – Once I get both girls down, I decide to continue embracing this limited technology. After replying to a few quick emails, I hammer out some thank you notes, brew a cup of tea and make a few phone calls.
2:00 pm – Kaitlyn is surprising me with a long second nap and I hardly know what to do with myself. I decide cleaning the house and dinner prep is a good choice.
3:00 pm – I feed Kaitlyn again and she hangs out with me while I dry my hair, fascinated with the noise from the hairdryer. I realize not having it in a messy ponytail on top of my head actually makes me feel a lot more put together.
4:00 pm – We make a trip to the farmers market for milk and end up with a pumpkin, honey crisp apples and honey sticks too.
5:00 pm – THIS WEATHER. I leave my phone at home (again, is it sad that this is rare?) and with Kaitlyn in the Ergo and Hailey pushing her lawnmower, we go for a neighborhood walk to soak in the sunshine and 70s.
6:00 pm – Dinner for Hailey and more dinner prep for me.
7:00 pm – I bathe the girls and get Kaitlyn down before crawling into bed to read with Hailey. She snuggles up on my shoulder and even shares some of her beloved pink blanket with me. Oh that moment is sweet.
8:00 pm – David is home! Dinner finally comes together.
The next hour is spent on the couch, chatting and watching TV and by 10, we are in bed.
Don’t let me fool you into thinking that this is what our everyday looks like. It isn’t always this idyllic. However, I’m realizing I can make more days look like this by putting down my dang phone and stepping away a little from my computer. I wasn’t able to ‘get done’ as much as I usually do, but the trade off was less anxiety, feeling like time really did slow down and having a better ability to parent with patience.
So while I know it’s unrealistic to think everyday can be like that, I want to make more of an effort to try.
Have you ever consciously stepped away from technology?
Was it hard? Freeing?