I can’t believe I am even writing this article. From someone who works her business completely online, to think about “unplugging” makes my heart palpitate.
Okay, okay, that sounds dramatic….
However, we are in a world and time where we are completely connected to WIFI. It is easier than ever before to connect to a WIFI source, to watch a movie on your phone, to turn on social media and to get completely immersed in the lives of others.
Let’s be real moms, sometimes we NEED it. Sometimes we need to pretend we have to go to the bathroom just so we can scroll TikTok, so we can check in on Facebook or maybe we want to Pinterest the new house we pretend we will one day have. (I can’t be the only one, right?)
First, let me start off by saying….. do NOT feel guilty about staying “plugged in.” If you have been plugged in this whole pandemic, do you momma. I am right there with you.
But, this is where I changed….
I started to hear my kids make little comments about my phone usage. I started to pick up on my kids wanting to be on a device if I was. I was explaining myself more than I was just doing my business and moving on. Kids are funny when you let them play games or use electronics. Instead of them being grateful for the time that you let them have, they always find a way to ask for MORE. The 30 minutes and extra five minutes here and there is NEVER enough.
So this when I said “Okay, that’s it. We are out of here.”
We booked a one-night camping trip at the Woodlands Nature Reserve. We packed the car and we left the electronics at home. Let me also mention that this was slightly glamping. The reserve had netted tent/cabins. They already had sheets on them so all you had to bring was a pillow and a blanket. They also had bathrooms and showers, so this momma felt super comfortable!
I worked on my phone on the car ride and when we got there, I left my phone in the car. I made a point to not let my kids see me on my phone. I took a couple of pictures and then it was on airplane mode.
So this trip started out to benefit my kids. And it did. They were so involved in making a fire, having smores, listening to live music, kayaking, paddleboarding, walking, and listening for animals that they didn’t even ask for an electronic. Actually, a few times they told me to take a picture of them and I didn’t even have my phone to do so. They looked at me like I was crazy.
So to unplug, you do not have to go camping. You can make a whole day of exploring your home, your neighborhood, and challenging the family to think of fun things to do. The camping part was for me. I knew the kids would love camping but also I knew it would be easier to “unplug” without the distractions and WIFI hookups. I knew it would be easier for me to not reach for my phone, check an email, scroll Facebook, or make a TIK TOK if I was in the wilderness with limited reception.
Moms, we can’t expect to always be unplugged or have these specific unplugged times. We are just doing our best. However, we can put the phone down occasionally, do our best to set the example for our kids, step away from the noise, and be super present.
For me, I know that it will mean much more to me that I was playing with my kids and telling stories by the fire than it will to post a daily update on social media.
Sometimes, we just have to remind ourselves what really matters.