Checking your phone too often? Swiping anytime you have a minute to spare?
Yep, I’ve been guilty of the same thing.
I am a HUGE believer in keeping my phone silenced – pretty much at all times (unless my kids are away from me for some reason). My notifications are turned off in an effort to keep me from constantly being distracted by my phone, but as much as I try to maintain boundaries with technology, I still find myself pretty conditioned to using my free moments to check text messages…scroll through Instagram…pin a few things here and there…or respond to e-mails.
I’m especially prone to doing this type of thing when I’m waiting at the doctor’s office…or sitting out in the van with the [screaming] kids while my hubby is in Lowe’s…or while escaping to the laundry room to be alone for three minutes while dinner is finishing in the oven (as my kids are screaming and my hubby is stuck in traffic). You’ve been there, too? I’m glad I’m not alone.
While there’s not necessarily anything wrong with giving my phone a workout – especially when it comes to all of the GREAT ways I’m able to use it to benefit my family – there are also times when I need to resist the urge to pick up my phone and do something different with my time.
This post includes Three Things to Do Instead of Checking Your Phone. Not only am I trying to be intentional about consistently doing these things, but I thought you might also like to join me!
Here we go!
ONE: I used to read a lot of books…the good ol’ fashioned kind, but after getting in the habit of scrolling through Pinterest before bed, I’m finding myself reading fewer books, and that makes me kind of sad. So lately, I’ve been plugging my phone in somewhere besides right there on my nightstand, and I’ve been reading again…and sleeping more!
The other day, I tried out this same concept while waiting at the doctor’s office, and when I pulled a real book out of my bag, everyone looked at me like I had three eyes. I know some people really enjoy reading on their device, but I’m a little old school when it comes to this. I love holding a book in my hand – the feel…the smell…I don’t know, maybe I’m just weird.
TWO: You know that whole sitting outside of Lowe’s thing I mentioned a second ago? Well, as our family has grown, my hubby and I have found that it’s far easier for us to take turns running in places rather than our whole crew. getting in and out of the van. While one of us is in Target…or the post office…or Lowe’s, the other one of us will sometimes use that time to either read a book to the kiddos (I keep a few in the car all the time – rotating them out as the kids get bored with them.), play a silly game with flashcards (I keep these in the car, too! – letters/numbers, sight words, math equations, states and capitals – The sky is the limit here!), recite the Bible passage that we’re working to memorize, etc. It keeps the kids from getting bored which eliminates a lot of the screaming that I mentioned earlier. Do I ever throw snacks back to the kids and browse Pinterest while we wait? Uh, yes. But not always. Sometimes I do something a little more productive, and I’m always glad when I do!
THREE: In the evenings, we are in the habit of setting our devices aside for meal time/family time, but the daytime can be a little more of a challenge for me! My days at home are fairly structured. Not rigid, but structured, and we stick to fairly regular routines when it comes to snacks/meals, naps, chores, homeschooling activities, etc. When I get a free moment from all that we’re doing, I’m tempted to grab my phone and do something that will give me a few minutes to myself. Buuuuuuut, when I resist that urge and do something a little extra with my kiddos, they get so excited (and I kick myself for not doing it more often)!
Hey, guys! Go pick out your two favorite books and let’s read them together! We can even use our British accent this time!
Who wants to take a walk and we can see how many rocks we can find?
Kids, can mommy paint with you?
Simple things like this are HUGE to our kids, and they are especially helpful for providing a little redirection on days when things just aren’t going all that great! Sometimes it’s okay to let go of your usual routines (Yes, I promise!) so you can enjoy your little ones. Friends, this whole journey is supposed to be a gift…and I could just slap myself silly over the times when I have spent far too much time being serious and overly intense when maybe I just needed to throw myself down on the living room floor and read Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed…
…using my British accent, of course.
So while a break from social media may not be callin’ your name…and going back to a flip phone may be totally out of the question (I hear ya!)…I do think it’s important to keep one’s self in check and sometimes consciously choose to say no to the virtual world and yes to all that is going on right around us. Yes, folks, you just heard a blogger say those words.