I was watching my girls laughing and interacting on the floor, while I was sitting on the couch with my laptop in front of me and phone in my hand, so it was very fitting when I came across an article that almost brought me to tears.
I have always said that our world is so incredibly driven by technology, that it seems like we are watching our kids lives more through a photo lens, an iPhone, or a computer, than in real life. I have definitely been guilty of allowing my phone or computer take priority over my children, and when I put those words together in a sentence, it really makes me want to throw up. That just sounds horrid.
I have said multiple times to my husband, we need to change, we need to put down the electornics and interact more as a family, and he agrees, but somehow, we both go back to our electronic world, be it the computer, phone, iPad, kindle, or television.
May I add, that we have the two most adorable girls in the world… so how can we possibly be staring at an iPhone when we are sitting on the floor playing with these girls? It just makes me so angry, that I have let myself fall into this pit of electronics.
I would like to share an excerpt from the Hands Free Mama blog; it is a recipe that you may want to take out of your cookbook.
How to Miss a Childhood
*Keep your phone turned on at all times of the day. Allow the rings, beeps, and buzzes to interrupt your child midsentence; always let the caller take priority.
*Carry your phone around so much that when you happen to leave it in one room your child will come running with it proudly in hand treating it more like a much needed breathing apparatus than a communication device.
*Decide the app you’re playing is more important than throwing the ball in the yard with your kids. Even better, yell at them to leave you alone while you play your game.
*Take your children to the zoo and spend so much time on your phone that your child looks longingly at the mother who is engaged with her children and wishes she was with her instead.
*While you wait for the server to bring your food or the movie to start, get out your phone and stare at it despite the fact your child sits inches away longing for you talk to him.
*Go to your child’s sporting event and look up periodically from your phone thinking she wont notice that you are not fully focused on her game.
*Check your phone first thing in the morning … even before you kiss, hug, or greet the people in your family.
*Neglect daily rituals like tucking your child into bed or nightly dinner conversation because you are too busy with your online activity.
*Dont look up from your phone when your child speaks to you or just reply with an uh huh so she thinks you were listening.
*Lose your temper with your child when he “bothers” you while you are interacting with your hand-held electronic device.
*Give an exasperated sigh when your child asks you to push her on the swing. Can’t she see you’re busy?
*Use drive time to call other people regardless of the fact you could be talking to your kids about their day or about their worries, their fears, or their dreams.
*Read email and text messages at stoplights. Then tell yourself that when your kids are old enough to drive they won’t remember you did this all the time.
*Have the phone to your ear when she gets in or out of the car. Convince yourself a loving hello or goodbye is highly overrated.
Follow this recipe and you will have:
*Missed opportunities for human connection
*Fewer chances to create beautiful memories
*Lack of connection to the people most precious to you
*Inability to really know your children and them unable to know you
All I can say is, it is time for a change and I have taken the first step by creating a basket by the door called, “Don’t Miss Your Life.” In the basket, you can drop your iPhone, TV Remote, iPad, Kindles, Computers or any electronics that may take you away from the one thing that we all say is more important then anything, our family!
Sure, we all have to work, and we have to respond to important emails as soon as possible, but when you have to get up to take the phone out of the basket, you are making a conscious decision to do what you have to do with your electronics versus sitting there with the phone in your hand waiting for the beep. Once you’ve done what you needed, return the item to the basket and enjoy your family… not just your kids, these apply to your spouse too!!
My girls are growing so incredibly fast, and there is nothing more important then being together. as a family All I want to say is, Don’t miss your life because your phone beeped, you have a new word to play or drawing to draw, you need to check everyone’s facebook status, respond to an email, or get lost on Pinterest. All of these choices are up to you.
I know I do not want to live with regrets and I definitely do not want to miss out on any more of my life then I already have.