This is not a New Year’s resolution

I have a confession to make.

Lately my five year-old, always the considerate one, has been bringing me my phone if he sees it laying around the house, because he knows it is usually in my hand.

Ouch.

Too often I set my kids up with a fancy shmancy craft and the minute they are all fully engaged in art work I give myself permission to check Facebook or run to the computer just for a second.

If my lap is full of little people on the couch I am usually straining my neck to the side, catching up on Words with Friends or Instagram or email.

I always start off with the best of intentions but I don’t end that way. I end paying attention to everything at once which is ultimately nothing.

You won’t find a radical vow to give up social media or hide my phone from myself in this post. Writing is how I breathe and my stay-at-home-mom sanity depends on staying connected to my friends, even if it’s through a quick text or a status update.

But I’m going to quit being everywhere at once. I don’t want my kids to remember me with my phone in my hand all day long, I want to focus on just being wherever I am.

I’m going to finish our art project until someone wastes the last of the glue and I’m really going to build a Lego tower even if I can’t help but stack the colors in a pattern and I am going to really, really look at my kids when they talk to me.

I never make New Year’s resolutions so I will not call this a resolution, just a promise to work on changing this year. (Yes I am very aware this IS the definition of a resolution.)

There are all these things I really want to do but there are also all these little people who I really want to remember and who I want to remember me. Not as the mom at the computer or the phone but as the mom sitting on the floor or at the kitchen table. I have countless years to come with hours that belong to me but I have a feeling my days of glue on the table and Legos on the floor won’t be nearly as many.

kids coloring

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  1. says

    Big Sigh

    Such a hard thing to do, huh?

    If I am only doing one thing I feel like I am not doing enough, like somehow I am wasting time. Isn’t that awful, but I think that is what we have set ourselves up for as moms.

    I am trying to cut back too. Maybe only doing a couple of things at once instead of a few. Like instead of making dinner, responding to work emails, and checking homework I am trying to just make dinner and check homework. Like you said it is a work in progress!

  2. says

    Jessica, I am so guilty of this too. I was doing wonderfully with this during our winter break. Now that I am back at work, I am falling back into that old habit. I was inspired by a bloggy friend when I asked her how she managed her time online. She puts that away to focus on the family when it’s meal time. I have been guilty of having it with me at dinner. Sigh. I am really focusing on doing better.
    Jenny recently posted..Thankful for our preK teacher

  3. says

    same goes for me. Less phone. don’t get me wrong, it will still always be within sight or reach–haha. My husband suggested that we both put our phones to the side entirely from dinner on until the kids go to bed. It’s worth a shot. Reconnect at the end of the day with real life. I can totally relate to this post. Best of luck on meeting your goal!
    sarah @sundayspill recently posted..the sunday spill–about nodding yes and being matched up

  4. says

    Brooke is a phone giver…it always makes my heart sink a little bit…and like you I keep trying to just let it be, a work in progress for sure…
    Good luck, we can totally hold each other accountable
    Not a Perfect Mom recently posted..The One Pit Wonder

  5. Kathy at kissing the frog says

    I need to do this, too. My one year old will now bring me my phone when it makes the sound indicating that I have mail. It’s too much. They will grow up thinking its okay to be attached to technology, too. It’s not for any of us.
    Kathy at kissing the frog recently posted..Our Family’s Journey Through 2013

  6. says

    Gah, if I could just tattoo this to my hand! I mean, I guess I could but, geez, I SO need to remember this too!! I have been better about it lately… Excellent resolution, er, I mean, change (;-P) to make!!
    Elaine A. recently posted..My Dream of Three

    • says

      Totally agree, I want my kids to be able to entertain themselves and play independently but I also want them to know they have my attention when they need it.

  7. says

    I do this too. It seems like with the busy, busy, busy if my mind is not constantly engaged in at least three things at once it disconnects. The trouble is I’m not giving any of those three things the attention they need. Maybe I should make that vow as well.
    Jennifer recently posted..What’s in my nightstand

  8. says

    This is something I am also trying to accomplish….I want to be more present for my kids…and for me, the big wske-up call was when I lost my temper because one of the boys interrupted my Pinterest browsing session. Good luck!
    Lisa recently posted..A little bit of awesome

  9. says

    It’s so hard not to always divide attention. I catch myself doing this, too. My boys will even say, “Watch this, no put the phone down.” uggg, guilt! That usually snaps me out of it and I’ll put it down and join their game.

    I struggle, too, though because I know that our parents’ generation weren’t concerned about “being present” with us. Maybe since they didn’t have cell phones and facebook and all those things, it wasn’t a concern. But there were soaps and phone calls to sisters and mandatory outside playtime for kids. Maybe they just knew that even good parents don’t have to be connected with their children every second and they didn’t doubt themselves at every turn the way we do… Just thinking out loud here.
    Robin Jingjit recently posted..Mystery

  10. says

    Aw, this hits home for me too! It’s such a fine line when you work from home…I want to make some money, but I CHOSE to stay home to be with my kids so I could actually be with them. I try to accomplish as much as I can before they wake (right now I am clearly procrastinating!) and then when they go to bed. Some days it works, others I’m distracted. My 2-year-old has been slamming my laptop shut lately…Never a good sign! Glad I know some socmed savvy moms who get it too ;)
    Mrs. Weber recently posted..The Detroit Zoo: A Wintertime Destination {+Giveaway!}

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  1. […] friend, Jessica, from Four Plus An Angel writes a poignant resolution to be “in the moment” with her kids this year. What she said really got to me. Too often my mind is scattered all […]