For the past month or so, I have been using my smart phone a lot less. Like to the point where I don't just reach for it first thing in the morning anymore and it feels really, really good. For example, I have been finishing a weeks worth of laundry on Mondays for the past three weeks. Like I mean even putting it all away. Gosh, that's a huge improvement for me like seriously.
The invention of the smart phone was incredible and has made living way more convenient in so many ways. Now we can literally find our way around anywhere in the world without a struggle and have a table waiting for us before we even arrive to a restaurant. Like, it's really cool. BUT, it can also quickly turn minutes into hours and so much of our precious time every single day can be wasted staring at a screen. Looking back on my own childhood, like I can't imagine my mom standing in the corner just staring at her phone. I can't imagine how she would have ever found the time for that and I know that it would have annoyed me deeply. Like hey mom, come be with me!
Anyway, lately I have been trying like hell to be on my phone way less and have set some rules for myself that are changing my life and making me a happier person and probably a much better mother. Trust me, it hasn't been easy and I am not perfect, but I feel like I have made huge progress and feel so good about it. Here they are ...
1. Do not look at your phone until everyone has eaten a healthy breakfast and your morning chores are complete. I wake up at 7:00am and usually wrap up my morning things around 9:00am. That's when I plop down for a minute or two and check my email and respond to any missed texts or phone calls. This small change has been incredible.
2. Do not take photos and videos of your kids everyday. Can you imagine how annoying it would be if someone was like all up in your space all the time with their phone? Even though they are little, they are still people and people have boundaries that need to be respected. (I have made so many mistakes in this department and working hard to forgive myself.)
3. You do not need a phone to eat a meal. Keep it off the table. Talk to your family instead or if you're eating alone, just savor your food and think about happy things.
4. Remember, our kids watch every move we make. If they see you staring at a screen all day long, they will think that behavior is acceptable. Monkey see, monkey do.
5. Only log onto social media platforms during quiet times like when your kids are sleeping or during TV time. I promise, the internet will not miss you, but your family will and you cannot get those minutes, hours, days back. I don't wanna spend my days opening and closing instagram every five minutes. I want to miss posts and know that it's okay to not be present on the internet. It's actually like way more than okay. It's ideal, I think.
6. Try to set a goal for yourself. Like, total phone time does not exceed a total of two hours a day.
7. You do not need a smart phone to take a walk with your family or go on trip to the park. Leave it at home and just exist with your family. Look up at the sky and take big breaths of fresh air and just be free and happy.
8. If you're a blogger, try picking the best time to blog. Don't choose blogging over puzzles with your kids. I try to blog only at nighttime or naps.
9. Enjoy your phone times. Like maybe you have a time of day where you allow yourself to surf the web and post to instagram. Feel good about enjoying it and let it be like this really cool and fun toy you get to use during your downtime.
10. You are not your phone. Your brain isn't hiding in there. If we woke up tomorrow and suddenly no one owned a smartphone, life would go on and we would keep living. It doesn't own you.
Lastly, this is what is helping keep me motivated ... I try to imagine like someone randomly asking my nine year old, "would you say that your mom is on her phone a lot?" and I want to feel confident that she would say no every time and that I am completely present all the time instead.
P.S. This is obviously an opinion post and it may seem like I am pulling these tips out of my bum, but they have been working for me and maybe could work for you if you are struggling, too. I just really want to wake up everyday and be the best mom I can be. I want to be like alive and alert and right there playing with my kids and cleaning up their messes and putting clothes away and scrubbing toilets. Like, I just want to be a better mom and not let a screen run my life or steal my days. If this has been a struggle for you, maybe we could like just know that we are in this together and silently encouraging one another. That could be pretty amazing, I think. xo.