“You’ve really been spending a lot of time on your phone lately,” Beckett mentioned as he mixed up Wolfie’s antibiotics and cleaned up the dishes after breakfast. I was taking a little “mommy break” because I had been up since 6AM with our boy and I let Beckett sleep in. I felt like he had no right to say anything about it because he got to sleep 3 more hours than I. But I held my tongue just long enough to realize he was right. I didn’t tell Beckett this, but at that moment I felt shame, not because he tried to guilt me, but because I feel really strongly about this topic.
When I first became a mom I was so adamant that whenever Wolfie was awake I would not spent time on social media. But lately it seems like all of my quick phone checks turn into 20 minutes of browsing Instagram, watching YouTube hair tutorials, or writing copy for an upcoming post. As I sit here and think about this, it seems crazy to me that we go to work and can ignore our phones because we take our jobs seriously. We so readily realize that our adult jobs are more important than what’s happening on Snapchat or in our latest game, but then we go home and sit on the couch or in bed and think that is a good time to disconnect from reality and focus on virtual reality.
I realized early on in my son’s life that if I wanted to raise my son to be a smart, secure, well-loved boy I needed to cut way back on the time I spent on social media. Even in the womb I tried to hold my phone away from my belly and to limit my time spent using technology. I made it my rule that I could only work on my blog or Instagram while W. slept. I never wanted my son to be able to say that I care more about what’s on my phone than about him.
However, as Beckett pointed out, lately I slipped back into the rut of checking my phone all day, stopping everything to answer comments or emails. I know it sounds cliche when pastors say marriage is there to refine you and make you a better person, but it is totally true for me. Beckett is such a great leader for our family in that he’s not afraid to (usually) sweetly help me in an area in which I struggle. And as upset as I felt at first when he made the comment about how much time I was spending on my phone, I knew he was just trying to help me to be fully present with him and Wolfie for their sakes– and for mine.
You don’t have to be married or be a parent to benefit from being intentional about your screen time exposure. Being a parent or spouse amplifies issues of the heart and mind, but those things are still important no matter what season of life you live in. Things that you never thought twice about as a single person suddenly become huge areas of concern for you. It’s crazy how having a family puts everything into perspective. So if you’re single or not a parent yet you may not need to limit your screen time because of a little one, but maybe you want to start limiting it so that you can better engage with those around you. Then you can start making steps toward a more productive, meaningful future with the family you will have some day.
I don’t to miss the precious moments with my tribe. Beckett, Wolfie, and I will never be 28, 27, and 1.5 years old again. We will never have the exact same joys and struggles as we do right now. Wolfie will never learn to say his first 100 words again. Beckett will never be as helpful in the kitchen as he was the other day again. haha, jk I hope I’m wrong about that! 😉
If we’re not present in life’s seemingly mundane moments, we will miss the true beauty in life. We will become discontented and disillusioned.
So I want to come to you readers today and say, I’m not perfect, but this is an area in which I struggle and I bet I’m not alone. So let’s work on it together. Let’s grow and improve our friendships, relationships, marriages, and families together.
I think I’ll start by limiting my social media time to during my lunch break and after my son goes to sleep at night. What guidelines do you need to put in place to give you a stronger, more intentional future?