Monday, January 18, 2016

Living Life a Little More Unplugged

I'm happy to report that we survived our first infestation of baby germs and week 2 of our work/school routine (I didn't think we were going to make it)! I know, I know... sometimes I exaggerate the situation a bit. But come on, day care should come with some kind of disclaimer:

Dear New Parent,
Welcome to our school. Please be advised that your child WILL get sick during their first week with us. Please be prepared for all hell to break loose.

Your Child's Learning Facility

No one actually told me what would happen. They just said, "oh yeah, that's to be expected". Expected by who? A baby professional? Maybe they don't tell first-time-parents so that they don't scare them off. Okay, that's a better reason. Anyways, we survived. We are all alive with all of our limbs intact. Maybe our noses are a little rough and peely around the edges but that's the most damage those baby germs left behind.

So, lately I feel like I've been complaining a lot about how little time I get to spend with Jo and Brad during the week. I know that most of you are thinking that the easy solution to that problem is to stay home full time. But that suggestion is just an extreme on the other side of the spectrum (and I don't know if I'm built to do that either). Anyways, I really started thinking about WHAT I CAN DO to improve the quality of time we spend together and that answer was so EASY....

Spend less time distracted by technology (i.e. spend more time "unplugged").

Brad and I are trying our hardest as parents to keep Joanna from watching TV for her first two years. I know what all you other parents are thinking, "GOOD LUCK!". Or, "Yeah right, that will never happen". And I know this is going to be a difficult challenge. Let me repeat that, yes - this will be a very difficult challenge. Because how do you entertain a complaining kid in a restaurant or what do you tell them to do when you are trying to get dinner ready and you've lost all patience in your day? Most people would say, let them sit in front of the TV.

I will be honest with you, I don't know the answer right now. I don't know how I'll try to entertain her when we are on a long car ride and she keeps asking, "are we there yet?" and probably gets on my last nerve. I don't know what we'll do when we need her to sit still for 10 minutes. Right now she is not mobile enough to need that type of entertainment and she doesn't speak so I don't have to think twice about giving her my iPhone and putting on a Netflix show. 

What I do know is how much I loved my childhood and how much it didn't involve the constant sound of television in the background or an iPad in my hands. I remember playing with the water hose with my brother and sister in the backyard. I remember playing some "war" game we made up where we threw toys across the room and then were yelled at and had to pick them all up. I remember building forts in our bedroom. I remember learning how to ride bike from my sister. I remember flying kites with my dad and brother in the field nearby. I remember playing basketball and always losing (and then crying to my parents, every time). And I know that I want Joanna (and and any other future children we have) to make memories together the way that I did when I was little. I don't want them to get caught up in this technology craziness that now exists.

This past weekend I basically spent Saturday "unplugged". I left my phone in my purse as we visited with some Dallas friends and it felt great. I wasn't constantly checking Facebook or Instagram or buying something on Amazon. I keep thinking to myself, how in the world am I supposed to teach Jo that there is more to life than the phone attached to your hand if I'm constantly consumed with that said device myself? Brad doesn't have the same problem that I do. If you ask him where his phone is, he usually doesn't have it attached to his hip like I do. He doesn't spend a lot of time on the computer either - but he does like to watch TV and movies. So I know that the challenge of living life a little more unplugged is still going to be hard for the both of us.

How much time do you spend online? Or watching television? Or with your eyes glued to a screen? I know I spend more time than I should and that's the last thing I want to teach my children.

Life is happening right before our eyes! My baby is growing up right under my nose and the last thing I want is to be distracted during those little 3 hours I get with her a day. So, we are going to be spending a little more quality time together and a lot less time with our eyes glued to a screen.

Mama Stephanie

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