What you do speaks so loud

This is a post I really hope for some feedback on from all you mommas. You who are striving to balance your social media or blogging addiction (at least that is an accurate description for me) with your sheer love and addiction for your kiddos.

I share pictures and blog mostly about my boy Parker, and the lessons I learn as a mother. But lately I’ve realized that sometimes my interest in sharing through social media or blogging itself, gets in the way of the quality moments and daily experiences I have with him.

This seems painfully crazy and ironic to me.

Of course, I need an outlet for myself. For me, this is a fact. But, I also deeply desire to support my son in his emotional need of true, genuine interaction; not just merely being a body in the same room.

BathboyI want to be there. I want him to see the excitement in my eyes as we toss the ball back and forth. I want my touch to feel authentic, real, and fully meant for him. I wish for him to know he is the most important thing; not the phone I sometimes reach for every 10 minutes, or less, unfortunately.

“What you do speaks so loudly, I cannot hear what you say.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Add text(1)Honestly, many times I am there. I’m fully invested. That truck book, that basketball, and my boy’s zeal for sports are all that’s on my brain. But flip the coin, and there are also many times when I’m not. I’m engaged, but in the back of my mind I’m actually interested in something else, besides what I’m doing with my boy.

So this post is me really putting it out there and saying I’m going to work on making my actions say: “I love you, son. I love you more than the thrill of blogging; more than the comments from friends on the photos of you. The photo of you is cute, and the fact that my friends notice is great, but YOU are what I’m really crazy about.”

I hope I’m not the only one who struggles with this! How do you balance your hobbies or your “addictions” with really engaging with your kids? How do your actions show your kids that you love them like crazy?

[For a superb article on focusing on our children read How to Miss a Childhood at Hand Free Mama.]

Advertisements

40 thoughts on “What you do speaks so loud

  1. I have the same issue. I don’t have children of my own but I have a foster child. I went from being a stay at home wife where it was okay to feed my blogging addiction for as many hours as I wanted to now having to balance it with a three year old and more housework. I can’t seem to find a balance. If you get some feedback, can you do a post?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can imagine how the transition happening quickly has made it harder to find a balance. I have the tendency to be an “all or nothing” type of person and so finding a balance is rough too. I want to do blogging well, but most importantly I want to mother well. I love your idea of doing a post of all the ideas I get. I will try to do that! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experience, Elisha. You are definitely not alone in trying to find a balance.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My blogging is done late at night when most people are sleeping. It’s when my mind talks back to me the most. When my kids were the same age as your son, I did most of the house work then too so my days were left open for them. When I sat down to watch tv, I held one finger just so they knew I was there too. My hobbies like making jewelry or painting was done during their nap time. If you’re in the same room with your son while they play, watch tv, eat, etc., then you are engaging.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! Yet again, it is fun to hear your perspective and what you did when you were in my situation. 🙂 I love the visual of you holding your child’s finger so that they knew you were there. Lately now if I walk out of the room my boy calls out “Momma!” It’s endearing. Thank you so much for your thoughts! It is very smart to do our hobbies during their nap times and after they go to bed.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I read a Time magazine article a year ago that social media, particularly posting a picture on Facebook and reading the comments that follow, creates the same high, the same chemical reaction in your brain, as marijuana. I was so shook up by this and the realization that I was in some ways victim of social media addiction I stopped using Facebook for two months. I realized in those two months all that I had been missing! But I realized that, like many things, we need moderation. In moderation social media is a wonderful thing. When it takes over, it’s scary! I made a goal this summer to not use my iPad or phone for social media in front of my kids. It worked great, only using it during naps or after bed. I would write posts on paper first as they came to my mind, then typed later. I’ve not done well lately (at all!), and you’ve totally inspired me to do better! These kids, that’s what’s really important! Thank you for the reminder. You are definitely not alone, and hopefully we can all help each other balance our passion for writing and for our kids!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my, Chelsi, that is so crazy that sharing a photo on Facebook and then watching the comments can become such an addiction. I have tried going off Facebook at various times and have come to the same conclusion as you–moderation. But oh, it is so hard to find moderation! It is a small path between losing the good of social media and having so much it harms our family.

      I personally LOVE your idea of writing an idea for a post on paper and then typing it later. I did something similar with a note app on my phone, but I really love the idea of not being connected to my phone as much.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, it is comforting to know I’m not alone. Hopefully we can each find our balance, even though we might swing, like a pendulum, from one extreme to the other, until we find our sweet spot. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • It IS hard to find moderation! Did you listen to Elder Bednar’s CES broadcast (I think that’s what it was?) on social media? I think finding a balance is the key, because there’s certainly good to be done. But parenting is definitely most important! Somehow having my kids see me write on a pad of paper seemed much better than seeing me stare at a screen. When you find what works for you please let me know! I’d love some new ideas!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I heard bits and pieces of the talk. It was powerful! And you are right, I don’t want to completely not be a part of social media because I feel we both can influence for good. And I think I may do a post on all the feedback and ideas I have gotten. New ideas are great!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you so much for writing this! I’m having the same struggle. Blogging is new to me and exciting, and I’ll catch myself resenting the kids for waking up from their naps because it interrupts me writing about them! So ridiculous. I try to avoid my computer and phone while they’re awake but sometimes the draw of the notification is too much… oh, a Facebook message, I’d better check that, or a blog comment to respond to. It’s tough because these are the things that connect us with the world outside our kids and that’s important, but not as important as the kids. So… no answers for you, just some solidarity in the struggle!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia–YES to all you said! You are definitely not alone in your feelings or the struggle. Being new to blogging myself, I can so identify with the feelings you shared. It is exciting to get involved with the blogging world and also feel a need to jump in and start making a difference. It can be all too easy to get frustrated that we don’t have all the time we wish to answer to comments, comment on other blogs, or write our posts. But, I think the first step is just realizing we have an addiction with blogging or social media. Then we can start to make changes here and there throughout the day. Thank you for sharing your thoughts; I totally hear ya! 🙂

      Like

  5. I just read a blog post about how one mom “schedules in” play time into her schedule. Set aside a time where you’ll leave your phone in another room, set a timer, and play with Parker. That way you can focus on him. You could also do the reverse and schedule in time to work on blog things (i’ve learned that it helps to turn off notifications on my phone so it’s not constantly dinging). Good luck finding the balance that works for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rebecca, I love this idea you shared. I’ve been trying to do the same thing recently–putting my phone on silent, flipping it over so I don’t see it blinking with notifications, and then just playing for a while. It definitely helps! But, I also really like the idea of turning off the notifications entirely. Most of the time, our hobbies won’t run away from us. They will usually be waiting for us right where we left off. But these moments with our kids–they don’t wait; we can either grasp them or lose them. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

      Like

  6. My writing is so much better when I spend uninterrupted time with my kids! I find that being unplugged when spending time with my kids fuels my inspiration – and it also removes the guilt of ‘disconnecting’ from them when I do decide to sit down and write. Of course, easier said than done and it took me a long time to find the right balance. I try to remember that giving my kids my undivided attention is just as important to their happiness and well-being as having time to myself to enjoy a little alone time …. when Mom is happy, everyone is happy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, I love your thoughts so much. What you said: “My writing is so much better when I spend uninterrupted time with my kids!” totally inspired me. I believe you are right. If we are trying to multi-task with everything we do, it seems we won’t be as happy with either our kids or our hobbies. And you are right! When I spend time unplugged, my inspiration flows more. Really, it is so important to remember that we feel good when we spend quality time with our kids. It is a gift to play with them. 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts–you made a light bulb go off in my head!

      Like

  7. I have often thought about how grateful I am that none of this stuff was around when I raised my kids. I think I would have had a really hard time with it. Sometimes I wish it didn’t exist now. I feel your pain.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Kristi, I agree! Sometimes I think back to my childhood (so far back 😉 ) and realize it was a whole different ballgame; no selfies, no pinterest, no facebook. It seemed a lot simpler. I wish I could go back too. But, I feel like in the world we live it is hard to completely block it out. There is so much good we can get from it, and so much good we can share from our life, but oh it is hard.

      Like

  8. Hi Marla. I read this post on my phone (before work, kids weren’t with me!) but I had to come back and comment. It is something I’ve really also been struggling with. I absolutely love blogging and I think I’ve been spending too much time in this part of my world. As an introvert it’s so much easier for me to live behind a screen! SO I am being very intentional at the moment about setting myself timed sessions online (my kids are only allowed max 45min screen sessions after all) and if a child comes to me when I have a screen in hand, I make sure to put it down and focus on them in that moment. Priorities right?!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Abbie, I LOVE your thoughts! I love that you said you are giving yourself timed online sessions. My boy is still so small, but I think you are right–We should try to adhere to a lifestyle that we want to teach our kids. I want my kids to have a balanced life… So I want to be mentally strong and commit to giving myself a balanced life. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! They definitely helped me put things into perspective. ☺

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know the temptation to get lost on the interweb and I have tweens and teens who would play Minecraft on the computer all day if I let them. We all need boundaries when it comes to screen time 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • You could not be more right!! I totally hasn’t thought about that until your comment though. Light bulb just went on in my brain! ☺

        Like

  9. Marla, this is an excellent post. 🙂 I can relate to you – and as you can tell, you are not alone. I started writing because I was going through so much with my health, and I needed to do something I loved. I needed to find balance. Sort of in an opposite way, I became so consumed with motherhood that I forgot to do things to bring me a little happiness. Of course my kids bring me so much joy, but I needed to actually take time out to breathe, reflect, and draw closer to God. Writing became a way to do that. But … now that I’ve gotten into this blogging thing, you are SO right! Blogging takes a lot of work, and it’s easy to become obsessed… and when a few days lapse and I have only half written posts in my draft folder, I start to feel like I am falling behind! In other words, life gets in the way of writing about life! But then I remind myself to keep that balance. I think it’s okay to “write” around my kids, as long I’m not doing it all day or neglecting them. 🙂 But I know there are times to just be present with them. It’s good, in my opinion, for them to see that balance as some others have shared. Ok, now off to put the kids to bed! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kim, thank you so much for sharing your story and experience. I love to find out why people started blogging! I think you are absolutely right, us mothers can also get so involved with our kids and spouse that we start to feel like we are wasting away… and that isn’t good for us or our family either! So balance seems to be the key word. And it seems we must swing, like a pendulum, from one extreme to the other for a while, until we find our sweet spot!

      I also think you are right about it being okay for our kids to be patient when we write with them around at times. If they have a model of a mother who is always going, going, going, they may not grow up with a healthy idea of how mothers should take care of themselves. Thank you SO much for sharing, Kim! 🙂

      Like

  10. Ok, last comment from me, I promise. 🙂 I have to admit, here two days later I’m still thinking about this post and what has worked for me and what I need to do better with. Specifically, how to be more “in the moment,” and what are ok activities to engage in with kids around. From cleaning (I’d say definitely yes!) to hobbies (I’d say to this as well, but with some balance) to everything else. I think I might write my thoughts in a post soon too, just to get this jumbled mess cleared up! Thank you so much for making me think and reevaluate, Marla!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsi, I think you are totally right. There is no blanket rule to using social media around our kids. I definitely think it is good for kids to know that mom can’t always give them full attention when cleaning or cooking or other daily life things. I feel like the other part of this topic is when we are consumed with hobbies or on our phones, we don’t have as much time to ponder. Our mind is filled and it is hard for us to snap out of it when our kids need us. Yet cooking and cleaning are things we can even include our kids on. AH, I have so many jumbled thoughts!! And I agree, I’m still thinking about this post and the what people have shared! And seriously, I would love it if you did a post on this with your thoughts!! 🙂

      Like

  11. I can relate so much to this. Since I started blogging 2 years ago (which is also when I got more plugged into other social media too), it’s been on ongoing adventure to try and balance real life with the online world. I love to write, and feel called to do so, but it’s such a sneaky trap to get pulled into being in front of screen all the time and somehow finding temporary “happiness” from other people’s “likes” and positive comments. The seasons of motherhood have also changed for me over the past 3 years — times where I’ve been able to blog more, and others times where it more challenging to find time for it. I don’t want to miss the real moments I get to have with my son, my husband, and so on by getting distracted by a screen. Finding the balance has been tricky. So, I guess I’m learning and trying to show myself some grace along the way. Thanks for this, Marla! 🙂 This is clearly a topic that many of us can relate to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hannah, you articulated so many of my own thoughts!! The same thing happened to me when I started blogging–I got a facebook page for the blog, twitter, instagram, and then the blog itself. It was a lot of new things at once. So I love what you said… you are showing yourself grace along the way. We have to remember that we are trying to do wonderful things. Our goal is to bless those and our family, and if we end up slipping up and getting too involved then it is okay. We are human after all! We will slowly learn how to balance better and better. Thank you so much for sharing your story, it is wonderful to feel like there is a wonderful group of us who are trying to learn how balance together 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. This is something I’m working on too. Lately I’ve been trying to put the phone down when my daughter is talking to me. There’s nothing worse than having to say “What?” to my sweet girl after she just asked me a question.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh my, I’m sorry! Somehow I missed your comment! But, I totally hear ya. I am trying to work on that too. I feel so bad when he has to work to get my attention, just because something on my phone is interesting at that moment. Love your idea of giving our kids our full attention when they are talking!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: Facebook Free | The Yummy Mummy Train

  14. Marla,
    I am SO glad you wrote this post. It is NEEDED!!! I think about this all the time. And I’ve been working on a draft somewhat in the same vein as this. (Not quite finished yet..as usual!;) But yes, more posts need to be written about this!! I am right there with you. I don’t want to miss her childhood, because I’m too busy blogging about it!!!! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Rebekah, I’m so glad you could relate to this! It really is a big deal to me too! I feel like I’m constantly feeling pulled to my son and then back to my blog. And I don’t like it. It is so hard. But, I feel like I have learned so much from everyone’s responses. I’ll be writing a follow up post soon! And I’ll be looking for your post! I love reading what you write! 🙂 Thanks for reassuring me that I’m not the only one! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I totally understand this. I worked Friday night and then from early morning until 4 o’clock yesterday. By the time I got home and organized and fed everyone dinner I was ready to veg out, but my two little ones really needed me. It was a few hours of just sitting and letting them snuggle with me, not my plan, but it was really good, and it was what was needed- for all of us. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so inspired by you and what you chose to do–snuggle with your kids–even when you were probably exhausted! I like what you said though, sometimes we think vegging out will give us the relaxation we need, but in reality, our kids and their love is just what can soothe us. Thank you for your comment, it definitely brought some added understanding to me 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. So, so, SO good! My thoughts on this are very similar! As a SAHM with a husband who works extremely long days at two jobs, I would justify being on FB as my “break” because I needed adult interaction. But that interaction soon escalated to an all-out obsession in my case. 😦 So many moments missed out on at home. I asked my husband to change my password for me and he would log me on for a half an hour each day when he got home for work. That worked great for awhile but I still felt the pulling. I decided to deactivate long-term. It has been a week already and I’m doing better without it. It is amazing how many “more” hours their are in the day! 🙂 Your little one is lucky to have a mom that cares so much about him!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I totally hear ya on craving, really CRAVING, adult interaction and connection to the world. I have often felt similar. I think that is why blogging brings me such a great feeling–I’m having adult conversations that are more than just “poo poo”, “more”, and “ball.” So it definitely is a balance, and I think it is wise for us to all decide what is best for us with social media! I’m excited that deactivating your account is helping you! It is amazing how many hours we can find in our day when we are using them well! 🙂 Thank you for your comment and bringing added perspective!

      Like

  17. Pingback: The twisted art of distraction | A Pendulum World

  18. Pingback: Limits brings happiness | A Pendulum World

  19. Pingback: Just put the screen down | Abbie's Babble

  20. Loved this! You’ve really described the heart of the issue well, specifically the internal struggle that we all are feeling. It is a bit ironic that Facebook and other social media platforms were created to help be/connect with others, the very meaning is inherent in the word ‘social’. Yet to some extent there is tension too. Ok back to my point, this is a great post and so on topic with your blog’s theme of finding balance in a world of extremes 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your kind words. I agree, it is so ironic that Facebook is meant to bring people together, and it does! But, at some point it crosses a line. And you start being social more with the internet, than with the actual people in your everyday life and home. And thank you, I’m glad you found that it went well with my blog theme! It is really my inner quest right now to find peace and balance 🙂 Thank you for sharing and commenting!

      Like

I would love to hear your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s