I want to be as honest and transparent as possible…which means you get to read about a side of me that I don’t like very much…a side I would rather ignore, but if I do ignore it my family will suffer. Let’s talk about moms and phone addiction.
I’m not going to tell you statistics or give you a list of 10 reasons not to use your phone so you can live longer. I simply want to share my story in hopes that you can get rid of shame and live the life God intended you to live.
Did you know that IPhones have a feature now that records how long you are on your phone a day.
I was sick when I first saw mine! 7 hours! And that was lower than average!
How did I get there? Here is how (in a nutshell):
- It was a lot more enjoyable to hear people on Instagram tell me I was doing a great job rather than listen to my kids scream and yell because I gave them a red spoon and not the blue one.
- On Pinterest I could plan the life I wanted rather than being present in the one I was living…I would much rather look at those updated farmhouse homes on 5 acres of land than look at my small apartment with old carpet and no dining room.
- On Pinterest I felt like a real woman not just a mom… no one is screaming for me to change their diaper, make them food, or find their lost shoe.
- If I could focus on social media then I could ignore the chaos in my home…it was an escape that I would much rather take than disciplining my 2 year old for 100th time that day.
- I measured my worth by how many likes and comments I got…if I didn’t get a lot then I over thought about reasons why someone didn’t think I brought value or thought I was important.
- I longed for connection with other people even if it was just on Twitter or Instagram because making friends in person was awkward and hard.
- I felt like I had a voice on social media when it felt like no one else was listening in real life
- Google gave me a sense of control…I needed all the answers to all my problems and Google gave me answers…and quick too
How it was affecting my family:
- I didn’t want to be with them…started to even resent them when they would interrupt me while I was on my phone.
- I couldn’t be mindfully present…even when I wasn’t on my phone I was thinking about things I needed to look up or things to look at on Pinterest.
- My kids got addicted to technology…I would put a movie on because it was easier for me to give them a movie when they were whining or screaming than it was to deal with the issue.
So what did I do? I knew something needed to change. I also reminded myself that God says He has given us the fruit of the spirit which includes “self-control” and He also came to give us freedom so we could live the life he intended for us to live. What does all that mean? My phone did not control me anymore. God gave me the power and ability to say no, I was no longer a victim but rather had the power to change.
Here is how it all changed:
- I got a camera. I use my phone a lot to take pictures of my family (which is a good thing). However after I would take the picture I would spend 10 minutes editing it, 5 minutes posting it, and then get distracted by Facebook notifications on my phone and spend 30 min on Facebook. By buying a new camera I didn’t have the distractions of looking at social media and could edit the photos later on my computer.
- I got a watch. For the same reason I bought the camera I bought a watch so I wouldn’t get distracted looking at social media every time I checked my phone for the time
- I set up “phone appointments” with a set time and time limit. I gave myself the freedom to look at my phone at 6:00am (15 min) before my girls woke up. 2:00pm (30 min) when they were napping. 4:00pm-5:00pm to FaceTime with Grandma and Grandpa. Finally once at 9:00pm (15 min).
- I kept a notepad close by. This way if there was something I needed to look up I could write it down and look it up later when my family was asleep or I had some alone time.
Let your kids know that you value and cherish them by giving them quality time while your phone is put away.
Motherhood is hard. I get it. But we did not become mothers because it would be easy. There will always be a new phone or something to look at on social media but your kids will not always be this young. Let your kids know that you value and cherish them by giving them quality time while your phone is put away.