*I wrote this yesterday and completely forgot to publish it. So we'll have two blogs tonight.*
Today was about trying to unplug. It's really hard to live in the moment when my head is down, staring at my phone.
I remember back before I had kids, when I noticed that lots of stay-at-home moms were on Facebook a lot. I admit I judged them, wondering if that's what they did all day. But once I had Ellery, I realized that whether you're nursing, or rocking a baby to sleep, it's nice to have something to look at while you're just sitting there. I don't have Facebook anymore, but I spend my fair share of time looking at Instagram, blogs, Pinterest, and googling the best stroller. (Speaking of which, I have no idea what stroller to get. Do I get a double stroller? Or a nice single? Should I get one that goes with my car seat? Help, moms.)
Usually I justify my time spent on my phone. I'm looking up ideas for dinner on Pinterest so that I can plan our meals. That makes me a good stay-at-home mom, right? Or I'm researching different ways I can incorporate Montessori at home. Or I'm reading blogs about how to be a better mom. A lot of times I'm even reading devotionals or my Bible on my phone. No one can fault me there, right?
But where I feel convicted is when I'm busy on my phone when I should be spending time with my daughter. Now I want to be clear that I am in no way making a judgment about anyone else. I'm not trying to tell others to spend less time on their phones or their computers or watching television. If you are comfortable with the balance you've set with those things, fabulous. But I'm not.
I think it's fine when Ellery has occupied herself with something, and I don't want to interrupt her playtime. Or, of course, whenever she's sleeping. But it's when I'm on my phone and realize she's looking at me expectantly, waiting for me to finish so that she can have my attention again, that I feel terrible. I don't want her to remember her mother as someone who was always more interested in her phone than in her.
And how much do I miss when I'm on my phone? Ellery is pretty independent and plays well on her own, but there are times I simply watch her pretend to read to her animals, or play with her blocks, and I'm fascinated. She has such a great imagination and such a sweet nature, and I love having a front row seat to watch her grow. Lately I've been trying to memorize the way her little voice sounds, filled with inflection while she babbles to her animals. And the way her hair curls at the base of her neck. Or the way her eyes light up when she carefully stacks blocks on top of one another. It's not only a matter of Ellery missing out on a present mother; it's a matter of me missing out on special memories of my firstborn. I've only been a mother for sixteen months, but I can say without a doubt that time goes way too fast. And I'll never get these days back, when Ellery wants to play ring-around-the-rosies with me, and can fit through the cat door.
So for me, I want to make it a point to unplug more often. All the things I can look at on my phone are good things; there's nothing wrong with them. But good things in excess can be bad. And I just want to find a better balance of taking time for myself to look at things that interest me, and focusing on being a good, present mother.