“I think I need to get me an old fashioned cell phone, you know, the ones with bottons on ‘em”, I said to my husband one nice and chill evening as we relaxed on our living room couch. Was I kidding? No, I kind of actually meant it (I mean, I was pretty desperate to find a way of getting rid of my lack of discipline), but in spite of my efforts to make it sound like I was playing, my husband’s response was frustration. I had gone about how out of control I felt with my phone and how I know I am missing out on so much; that I couldn’t help it and that I felt I needed a desperate way out.
He wore that serious, here-we-go-again face for a few seconds before saying: “You don’t NEED an easy way out that won’t force you to use self control to begin with! All you have to do is make a choice. Choose to leave it alone. If you picked it up, put it back down, if you realize you’re wasting time on it again, put it back down once more! You have to repeatedly do this until you just get it”. I was not impressed, but nevertheless, I tried it.
For more than enough times, I have literally caught myself stupidly missing out on the most precious and important moments. Enough to realize it is worth every attempt to do whatever it takes to overcome what had been a problem interfering with relationships in my life. In this post I want to elaborate examples of my own distractions, in hopes to encourage you to pay attention to, and acknowledge your own circumstances more openly, so that you too, can determine where and how to make an approach for any necessary change.
The following examples are only 10 of many moments I know have possibly gone by right before me with me even realizing. (Note: My daughter is 2 and my son is 1).
1-My baby boy trying to hold a big board book and look at it (had it upside down) while trying to accommodate his chubby self in the little chair located in my children’s little reading nook. (I always go read to him when he looks for a book).
2-My smiley daughter glancing over at me to watch her proudly singing and dancing to the story time nursery rhymes she just learned the mimics to!
3-The 2 of my babies both approaching each other on their own for a cute, sweet embrace!
4-My husband pointing for me to look out the window at something particular that caught his attention. I totally missed it every time and disappointed him.😢 It’s not like i’m with him 24/7. I can’t afford to miss any moments I can with him, especially the ones he wants to share with me.
5-My baby sitting on the floor attempting like forever, to turn on a little toy he wants to play with.
6-One time, if not more, my daughter was repeatedly making her little brother laugh when they were playing on the living room floor once, and she kept telling me to look at her, how she’s making him laugh. And I only realized because my husband caused me to react.
7-When my son learned to go vroom vroom with a toy car, and one day he was sliding an apple across the table going “vvrrroooooomm, vvrrroooooomm”!!
8-Quality family time when the visits do occur. I’m a quiet introvert, so unless someone was having a conversation with me (no small talk please)😄, I would tend to take out the phone. Yeah i’ve seen how bad I look in photos doing that
9-My babies’ new accomplishments. Whether it was a few more footsteps or a new word.
10-Omg this one! I will never forget…😢…I was leaning on my kitchen counter doing something on my phone. I happened to look up, and my happy baby was playing peek-a-boo with me and smiling! How long had he been doing that before I looked away from my piece o’ crap? Ugh I felt horrible!
If I concluded every life’s moment I have missed out on because of my phone, I have no idea what I would do with it! I would be devastated, more than I have been at the realization of certain things. These were only a few examples. Ten of which I either caught myself or got scolded by my husband. Now, I have seen the opportunity to start over (as I do everyday) and have learned to discipline myself using the method my husband suggested. As angry as his annoying “just do it” response made me, I tried it and it feels great to literally force myself to what’s right without having to depend on some easy way out like an app or a new vintage phone! 😄
I have my own motivations and they are way worth more than any happy hormone activation via phone time. With technology manufacturers hiring behavioral psychologists to develop these devices in a way that makes it nearly impossible for us to let ‘em go, it is no piece o’ cake to overcome! But there will always be something way more worth it, that can help us make it happen.
A Final Word
What’s your motivation? Will it be to have the satisfaction of knowing your children will never have to compete a device for your attention? Will it be realizing how much more easily your child will develop his/her social skills and the capacity to positively interact with others? Will it be knowing you are setting a good example of what you do want your child to do?
My daughter has always been thrilled of having that phone in her hands and one of the approaches I have taken, is that now, I do whatever it takes so that my children see me on the phone the least possible! What I do now, is make sure that every day, they see me holding and reading an actual book! ☺ And believe me, it has already made an impact!
What have you missed out on? Are you driven at all to try something different? What will that be? Whatever you do, do it with this in mind: If you wake up tomorrow, the day you had today is never coming come back. The day before you is all you have. Make the best of it and embrace every moment! Be the Mom that can look back 20 years from now and say: “I was there. I did my best, and I didn’t miss out”! You will never know what your missing until you get off here and look around you! Now go 😉 Pick something from here and go do it with your child!