I have had my fill of how much of life is online. Everyone, including me, always has their face in their phone, tablet or some kind of device that's connected to the rest of the world. I can't do it anymore. I used to use the excuse that I needed to be on Facebook for business. Every time I said it, I knew it wasn't true and that there would be a time when I couldn't do it anymore.
I'm fascinated by how different life is because of the internet. I love the internet. I remember when AOL was the way to connect online. I jumped right in and sucked it all up...kept up with the evolution and find it to be the most priceless tool yet the most destructive habit. It's a love hate relationship.
Maybe my moms generation had their own things that distracted them from us. In fact, I'm sure they did. But it seems like there's something different about being distracted from your kids with the internet, especially Facebook. It's always there, it gives instant satisfaction and gratification, it's easier to be online than be fully present in real life.
I just can't zone out to life anymore. My oldest is going to be 4 and I feel like he doesn't even know the real me. When I think about that I am just totally gutted. That's time we can't get back. How has that affected him? Surely it has on some level. Yep kids are resilient. But they are still kids with a deep need for their parents, and if they are told over and again "one more minute" "as soon as I'm done here" "I just can't right now" that DOES something to them.
Other moms can balance it all. I can't. I don't like how/who I am when I'm online all the time. I don't know who it is, but it's not me. I'm not sure I will ever be able to find a balance. I'd like to think after I take an undetermined amount of time away from Facebook that I can go back and not get sucked back in. I honestly don't know if it's possible. If I know myself, and I think I do, I won't be able to really come back. Maybe it depends on just how long I stay away and just how much I grow while I'm gone. I guess we'll see.
I also used to tell myself that I needed to be on Facebook to stay connected. Really? Come now. No one before Facebook kept in touch ay? Excuses excuses. It's true it's great for seeing and sharing pictures. But email will do that too. And it's great for seeing what people are up to and sharing what I'm up to. But email and that thing you can use to call people will do that too. For me, it's especially great for learning learning learning more more more and for sharing helpful life changing information. But all the unread books I have here and having a blog can give the same results.
Really though, all those great things about Facebook at the expense of my kids? I have been choosing those things over my kids? Those things are more important to me?? Surely not. Yet month after month....
After having slowly removed so many irons from the fire, I'm baffled that I had so many in there. I don't know how they even fit. It's nice to have more interests and dreams than I can count but this isn't the season for most of them, almost all of them. This is the season for being a wife and mom. That's pretty much it. It has taken awhile for me to realize that. Obviously I need something outside of those things to keep me balanced and I have things lined up. Just one thing at a time though. The mom "job" is the most important one I will ever have. These kids are growing fast. Really really fast. One day they will be out in the world on their own and my presence, or lack there of, day in and day out will have some affect on the adults they become. A large affect, if we are being honest. That's pretty huge. Yet here I've been not really doing my job. That's how it feels. I know moms always essentially bash themselves. Is that innate or something? It's like a constant battle to make sure I'm being realistic. Sometimes it's just the devil telling us complete BS. But there is our gut feeling and that is there for a reason. The Holy Spirit places things on our hearts for a reason. So I'm not saying I'm some awful mom who can't do anything right because that's crap. I do a fine job, if I do say so myself, and I do say. BUT I know without a doubt I can be doing a way better job in some areas and I've finally arrived to a point where I can be honest about it and DO something about it.
I'm sharing all of this in case it is helpful to someone else out there. I read The Unwired Mom and next week Hands Free Mama's book arrives. I know Hands Free Mama's blog and almost everything she rights hits home and is helpful so I know the book will be too. I think those books (and blogs) might end up being a great starting place for anyone needing help with being more present in their real life. Because let's face it, Facebook isn't real life. Yea it's highlights and glimpses of a real life but it's not real life. Real life is in 3D. Real life is full of things you can touch, smell and taste.
So we shall see what happens. I plan to still write blog posts here and there. I even have a new Facebook account. Sounds silly doesn't it? Feels silly to even say it. But this one is unattached to almost everything that my original account is attached to. I am only keeping 2 friends for very specific reasons revolving around my "Natural Living" group on there. And I'm in a few other groups that have proven to be priceless sources of information. However, I may very well still be too distracted by all the natural health information I can get there so I will be keeping a very close eye on myself, staying honest about what exactly I'm doing, etc. If I have to deactivate my non-distracting account, I will do it. I'm honestly a little dubious that I can have this unattached account but, again, I'm finally in a place where I can be real about it and accept my faults. It's a big fat we shall see for now then! We shall see how I do with an unattached account (no really, I'm not going to accept your friend request, I'm sorry. Please don't take offense.) and how I do back in the 3D world. I'm psyched! And a bit nervous. My entire life as a mom has existed with Facebook involved somehow. (Talk about feeling silly saying something.)
Hands Free Mama's "Hands Free Pledge":