We've all seen those articles floating around online about being a more attentive parent, caring less about social media, and being present with our children, right? I have probably read five or six good ones, and then ended thinking "Yep, good thing I'm not addicted to Facebook," or something arrogant like that. Then a few weeks ago, my daughter served me a piece of humble pie.
It was Monday--we had just returned home from a week long vacation, so we were going to spend the entire day at home. There was so much to do! My toddler could have gotten lost in the sea of dirty laundry sorted in the laundry room! We were spending a lot of time sitting on the floor between loads, and I thought I was doing a good job of playing with her. At one point, I had my phone in my hands. She came over to me, swatted the phone away so she could have access to my lap, and then crawled up and wrapped her arms tight around my neck. She stayed there with her head on my shoulder for a good couple of minutes (which is NOT like her; she is far too busy to snuggle with anyone.) Suddenly I realized that I had been looking at my phone far more than I would care to admit. The thing about it is, I wasn't even necessarily looking at social media apps. I was "being productive." Reading instructions on how to make a planter I really liked, finding the perfect recipe to take to friends that had just had a baby, and even texting my husband about our coming busy weekend. All of those things "needed" to be done right? Sure. Did they need to be done right then? NOPE. I then realized it wasn't just social media that can be the trap. For me, it is being able to easily access information and other people. Because phones are such a huge part of today's culture, I feel this crazy obligation to immediately respond to people or find out something right that moment. So, I decided to start leaving my phone upstairs in my room. I can hear it when it rings, and I figure if someone needs me urgently, they will call right? I keep a paper and pen on my kitchen counter and just write down the things I need to look up or follow through with. Then, after bedtime, I go through them!
Out of sight, out of mind has sure been working well for me and I am so grateful for my feisty little lady. Thanks to her phone swat and looooong hug, our days together are less interrupted and more intentional! I double dog dare you to try it! Just leave the phone within hearing range and party on with your tiny human!