I ebb and flow through social media and phone addiction. It used to be this overwhelming urge not to miss out and to stay connected that had a hold on me. Now, I want to have it on hand to stay in contact with my husband throughout his work day and to capture stills of my kids' play.

Presently and Pleasantly Unplugged

Posted on Posted in Life Lessons, Parenting
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 I ebb and flow through social media and phone addiction. It used to be this overwhelming urge not to miss out and to stay connected that had a hold on me. Now, I want to have it on hand to stay in contact with my husband throughout his work day and to capture stills of my kids' play.

 “Let’s wait outside for Papa,” I urged the kids wanting to get them outside. We bunkered down on the front porch and waited. No Papa. As the gray clouds rolled in, my daughter gulped back my oversized sports bottle of water. It was hot. Her hair was knotted from a busy day of work and play, her face dirty from helping me in the garden. My son’s nap’s impression remained on his face, his clothes wrinkled, and his hair almost standing on end from the pressure of the pillow. We waited. And waited. The impending electrical storm had us antsy with anticipation. All three of us fidgeted with excitement. “Wanna go to the park?” I asked impishly, knowing full well cascades of rain could come at any moment. My kids leapt off our porch with delight. I ran inside knowing we were playing Russian Roulet with the rain, quickly grabbed my house keys and looked for my phone. No. I would leave it. I needed to. I needed a break.

You see, I ebb and flow through social media and phone addiction. It used to be this overwhelming urge not to miss out and to stay connected that had a hold on me. Now, I want to have it on hand to stay in contact with my husband throughout his work day and to capture stills of my kids’ play. But because I also work part-time from home, I need to use my phone more. In working from home, there are less conventional moments I must capitalize on to get things done. For instance, if the kids are playing nicely on the playground, I will try and get through emails or work to increase my social media interaction. The problem is that doing so much from my phone can make me feel frantic. It can feel like nothing is ever done, like I need to check it again and again to make sure I haven’t missed or am about to miss anything. While it is a necessary evil to do what I do and is part of this day and age, sometimes I just need to forget my phone and be present.

We got to the park, the air thick with impending thunder. My kids squealed with excitement as they ran free knowing that without notice, we could have to leave, running away from the park and the rain. As it turns out, we weren’t the only ones who decided to ignore the weather’s warnings. More families showed up. A father with an oversized bubble wand commanded an orchestra of children trying to catch bubbles. All of the kids took turns turning on the sprays at the splash pad, taunting the timed bursts to get them. I assumed my regular spot on the sidelines. While I didn’t have anything to work on, I didn’t want to interfere. You see, kids can play so beautifully. And I like to give mine the autonomy they deserve to negotiate their own rules and spend time with their peers. They have lots of “Mama Time” at home. As I stood back, totally present to each fleeting moment, I had the luxury of listening to each phrase of my kids’ play and hearing each drop of water from the sprays pelt the asphalt. I could taste the storm coming and feel the thick air on my skin. Amidst the high pitched laughter and children running, I felt so calm.

Then a drop came and another drop. As the skies opened up, we and our neighbours scattered like a ball and jacks. I grabbed my kids hands and we RAN! Getting soaked, our laughter overtook us and it became nearly impossible to keep our intended pace. Breathless and beaming, we made it to our covered stoop just as my husband rolled up. I silently vowed to make sure to do this more often. It is sad that in this day and age, we need to make it a priority to be present. The silver lining is that too much social media makes those unplugged times that much more fun. Though I may need the reminder from time to time, I certainly will make a point of forgetting my phone and teasing the rain now and again.

Have you had a good reminder to forego your phone and be present lately? How do you strike up your own work-life balance? Please share below <3
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17 thoughts on “Presently and Pleasantly Unplugged

  1. I loved this from start to finish! It is so important to just leave the phone inside sometimes. The other day we went to the park and I couldn’t find my phone. I was a little annoyed because, like you, I thought I could get some work done while the kids were playing nicely. Then I thought, who cares, let’s go. I actually saw an old friend at the park and it was nice to just talk and watch the kids without my phone calling me.

    1. As you can tell, I couldn’t agree more! It frustrates me so much not to find it and then it’s such a wonderful break in the end. Thanks so much <3

  2. I am exactly where you’re at. I go through waves of phone addiction. Lately I’ve been doing a lot better. I have my phone with me at all times, but it’s so I can text my husband or take pictures. I love your story in the post. Getting caught in the rain can be so much fun!!

  3. I’m the same way, I work part-time from home too. So the phone is a necessary evil, but for the most part, unless I’m talking to my hubby or snapping an Instagram of my little guy, I try to stay off of it. I won’t even put too many games on it. It’s really great you go to enjoy special moments like the one above.

  4. I have yet to figure out the child-to-work ratio just yet. Although the other night I realized how much I am missing of my daughters days now that I am working from home as well and she is in school three days a week. So I decided that I would strive (again… for like the hundredth time probably) to be more present and just enjoy her. I love this post, I could see it all in my minds eye. Beautiful!

  5. Ahhh I had this issue big time when my blog started to take off! I was addicted to constantly staying On top of everything online, but if you do that, you miss out :-/ I’m convinced there really isn’t a balance. You can play all day, and 5 minutes on your phone feels like hours to a kiddo. I use to think it was wrong to want to send your kid to school so young etc… But it was probably the best decision ever. My daughter is happy she has constant attention & loves her friends and when I pick her up, all My important “had to be done ASAP” things are finished, so I can focus on her and not balance both at the same time 🙂

    1. My daughter is going to school in Sept and my son I think I’m going to put in part-time daycare. I think you’re so smart for doing this and I totally appreciate the affirmation, CourtneyLynne!

  6. I LOVE this… I find it very easy to get sucked in. I have been getting better and giving me set blocks of time to do my work. I have even debated making my phone a blog free zone (not sure that will ever happen) It just seems to easy to do a quick thing here or there on your phone that usually can wait until later.

    1. I’ve gone back and forth on the same. I don’t have any push notifications to my phone. I do find having it on my phone can get me through stuff faster, but it’s a double edged sword. Thanks so much for reading, Susie!

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