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Unplugged

Some of you will start reading this post and think 'yeah, yeah, I've heard it all before.'  but I encourage you to really read through what I have to say. Maybe I am just another person telling you about the perils of technology, but I learned a lot today, and even had a couple "ah-ha!" moments, and I really think a lot of people could benefit from this too. 

As much as I hate to admit it, I am on my phone way too much. To the point that if I leave a room without my phone, I nearly feel like I am missing an appendage. I know I am not alone, in fact, I am willing to bet that the majority of the population under 30 feels the same way. I truly believe that our cell phones have become an addiction to some of us. So often I find myself in the middle of doing something, and then because I get a message notification on my phone, I open it up and then get sucked in to checking all of my other apps and social media accounts while I'm at it. I even bring my phone with me when I do a load of laundry. I certainly don't need my phone to do laundry, in fact it's probably more likely that I would drop my phone in the washing machine by accident than I would actually get a call during that time. 

Last night I was talking to my husband about this, and said that I want to be present for my girls, and I don't want to lose minutes out of my day hiding behind a phone. I am generally pretty aware of my cellphone use when I am around the girls, but all those times that I am doing a 'quick' load of laundry or washing the dishes that takes me twice as long because I have to stop and respond to a message... All those extra minutes add up. Not only do they take away from my time with family, but they take away from my time to get things done.

I have often wondered how women in older generations (I'm thinking 1950's housewives here), managed to raise their kids, keep their homes clean, cook meals from scratch, and still get dressed and put on their lipstick everyday. (Yes, I'm sure I am making a huge 1950's housewife stereotype here, but it helps paint the picture of what I'm trying to say). Well, let me tell you one thing: they didn't have 500 friends knocking on their door all day saying "Look at this picture I took last night!" - they would get nothing done if they were constantly at the front door responding to all of these people. Well, just replace the door with a phone nowadays, and you'll see what I'm getting at... Don't get me wrong, I love seeing my friends photos and reading their statuses on social media, but it takes time to be social, it's no different than getting on the phone and talking. If a friend wants to stop by for a coffee or a chat, my door is always open, but I don't ever think I'll worry about 500 friends knocking on my door the same day.

If I am too busy to pick up the phone to have a conversation, then I should be too busy to be on my phone, period. 

Today I unplugged.

I put my phone away for the day, except for a couple quick photo opportunities (which I didn't post on social media until my girls were in bed and my chores were done), and a couple phone calls I made during my girls' naptimes. Do you want to know what happened? I got things done. I spent quality time with my girls, we played games, we coloured, we built a puzzle twice, had a musical instrument dance party, and we all enjoyed ourselves (with a couple of the usual toddler-sharing mishaps). Between all of our fun, I did several loads of laundry, swept, mopped, dusted, washed dishes, tidied and cleaned up as we went. I made food... Lots of food. While the girls napped, I started dinner which didn't take long at all, so I went to get some inspiration for something else to cook - I even used a good ole cook book instead of Pinterest! - I decided to prep a vegan Shepherds Pie with lentils, which ended up being nearly enough food for the girls and I for a week. 



What I learned from today:


I can't sit still and do nothing. I have always thought of myself as somebody who enjoyed being lazy, but unless I am keeping my mind busy, it turns out that I am not very good at doing nothing. During times when I otherwise may have been on my phone, I kept myself occupied by doing more things of value around the house. Don't get me wrong, I still got all of these things done before, but today I didn't feel as busy or like I was running out of time to get things done. It really got me thinking, when I was working fulltime, I always put my phone away when I was at my desk. I would never have pulled out my phone while waiting for a client to finish their paperwork, just to scroll through Facebook, so why would I ever think it would be okay to do that in front of my kids while they color? 

I think the key to successfully managing time as a stay at home mom, is to acknowledge the fact that it isn't all fairy dust and butterflies. Being a homemaker is work - I don't care if anybody says otherwise - and if you want to be good at what you do, then treat your work with the respect it deserves.

Alright, all my fellow stay at home moms, say it with me now: I am a homemaker and I'm a damn good one. It is work, it may not be a job, but it is work. There is a lot to do in one day, so spending any portion of it mindlessly scrolling through a phone, just means there is less time to get what needs to be done, done. Which effectively leaves less time at the end of the day to relax. And to be honest, given the way most of the social media sites work, we're not missing out on  much if we wait a few hours to check our timeline, but it sure is more efficient, and I bet you'll be less exhausted by the end of the day too.

It was hard to give up the phone for the day, but it's not like it's gone for good. I am going to make an effort to unplug every day, all day until the girls are in bed. My phone is still easily accessible in case of emergencies, and today for the first time (after turning off all of my app notifications) I actually turned my ringer ON so I could hear the phone if it rang, and not just feel for the buzz in my pocket. I have my phone close enough to grab if a photo opportunity presents itself, but as soon as the photos are taken, the phone will go back on the shelf. If I need to look something up, and I don't have a book for it, I can use my laptop - it will be less likely to suck me in to all of my apps anyways.

Here is my challenge to you: UNPLUG. Try it just for a day, or if you're feeling brave, commit to a week. Give yourself 'offline' hours, when you won't be on your phone, and stick to them. 

Do you already 'unplug'? Will you be committing to my challenge? Comment below - I would love to hear your 'unplugged' stories!


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Comments

  1. Your work as a stay at home mom is a job! You are entrusted with raising the most precious gems to be productive members of society, maintaining a household and I think you are fabulous at it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I learned from the best <3 I'm doing the best I can and just hoping it all works out for the best for everyone!

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