Operation: Put Down the Darn Phone

It’s funny how if you pay attention to the little events of every day life, the “coincidences”, you realize, at least in my opinion, that certain seemingly random things pop up at certain times for certain reasons. I came across this blog recently, simply from clicking on another blog on the WordPress home page. It is so applicable to my life at the current moment and it pushed me to start making some very necessary changes.

http://www.handsfreemama.com/?page_id=30

Lately I feel burned out. Life is nonstop. By the time my kids are asleep and my responsibilities are taken care of, (kitchen cleaned, laundry done, lunches made for the next day, dinner organized for the next night, maybe a quick workout if I’m lucky  – and these are things I do not because of my type A personality, but because it’s necessary for survival and to prevent complete chaos) I have maybe half an hour before I crash only to get up 6 or 7 hours later when the kids wake up. It’s busy and exhausting and never stops.

I didn’t start to feel this exhausted until my youngest was near a year old. I was tired when I had only one young child, but I didn’t feel exhausted to the core. Obviously having two children will have this effect, but more so than that, I feel overwhelmed with the responsibility that comes with raising a toddler turned preschooler; a child that is quickly turning into a whole person – not a baby anymore. Teaching my four year old the right things, being a good role model, loving her and diciplining her in the right way at this point in her life has everything to do with who she will be in 10 year, 20 years, 50 years – at least that’s what my fears are – am I doing this job well enough?!?

I love my girls so much. I love being with them, they are the most amazing little people who make me laugh and cry. I feel blessed beyond belief to be their mother. (I always feel the need to add this, for fear of being judged that I’m complaining and not seeing how much I have in this life. I think this judgement will come more from those without children than those with – those with children will understand.) But in feeling burned out, I’ve noticed that I tend to find ways to escape more often. My mind needs a rest from feeling the pressure to be a prefect mom, a good wife. I don’t want to get away from my kids, I just need a break. And as much as I don’t want to see it, I have realized that my iPhone is my way of checking out, my way of getting a break, resting my mind, escaping the reality that I have this nonstop life. This is not an uncommon past time – social media, pinterest, texting – all of the mothers I know have similar escapes – just read some other mom blogs. I know it’s not healthy and what weighs on me the most is that my daughters see it. They think these electronic devices are somehow important in life because I show them that.

It is a hard habit to break, putting down the phone. I try, but I will try harder. I don’t want my girls to have memories of their mom on the phone all of the time, which, by the way, texting is the only way to communicate when you have 2 young kids because there is something about talking on the phone that triggers extremely loud whining making it impossible to talk. Nonetheless, it’s not necessary to text friends during the day. I will catch up and respond at night when the girls are in bed. I have deleted Facebook, Pinterest and gossip website apps off of my phone so there is no temptation. I will check email at 2 or 3 specified times during the day (this is necessary for my job). I will not talk while driving, headset or not (a habit my husband has been trying to get me to break for a long time). I will not look at email or text at stop lights. I will try to be more present with my kids, even on those tiring days at home. Upon exhaustion setting in and my brain starting to wander I will take them outside for a walk or turn on reggae and have a dance party. I am not perfect, I will slip, but I will find inspiration in blogs like the one above, where I can get  support from other moms who are in the same place as I am.

So, if you plan on texting me….don’t expect a response any time soon (unless I’m at the office, then I will gladly text you back, my computer doesn’t care). 🙂

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