First of all, I want to thank all of you for your real and genuine responses to my recent post What you do speaks so loud. It was reassuring to know I am not the only one who struggles with balancing social media, blogging, or hobbies with my absolute love for my boy. And honestly, your comments and ideas have been so instrumental in helping me–THANK YOU for sharing your thoughts with me.
As per a suggestion, I decided to do a follow-up post, with feedback from other readers, YOU, on how to balance our passion for writing and media, with our passion for our youngsters.
The number one thing happens to be balance, moderation, and strategy. Many referenced setting aside a specific time each day to blog or interact through social media. Others explained they set a certain time and amount of time for them to blog. There were also certain times they simply put their phone away–silenced, no notifications, out of sight. I loved what Abbie from Abbie’s Babble said in her comment:
“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).”
That thought had honestly never occurred to me. Having been out of my parents home for quite a few years without rules and then not having kids using media, I forgot entirely that I should make limits for myself. Media isn’t bad, but too much can be. We want our life to be balanced and full of other wonderful, fulfilling things. Yes?
Another idea came from Chelsi at Catching Crawfish. She explained that she is working on only using media when her kids are napping or in bed. But, we all know we have ideas for our blog all throughout the day. Her solution was wonderful:
“I would write posts on paper first as they came to my mind, then type later.”
I loved this suggestion. I want my son to see me using a good ‘ole pen and paper. The more time he see’s me “off screen” is valuable to me. Also, the added benefit to this idea, is that we don’t even have to touch our phones to jot down an idea. If you are anything like me, if I pick up my phone to quickly jot down an idea, I get distracted and soon I’m somehow reading about my friends new pregnancy or looking at a cute picture of so and so’s child. This idea makes it easier to put the phone and computer really away.
But let’s be honest, we WILL slip up. We will have days when we spend far too much time online. What Hannah at Pocketful of Motherhood said helped me realize it is okay to make the mistake, as long as we keep trying.
“Finding the balance has been tricky. So, I guess I’m learning and trying to show myself some grace along the way.”
We should all try to show ourselves kindness, even amidst the days when we feel horrible and guilty that we didn’t give our child enough attention. After all, we really are works in progress.
But if I could send you away with one thought, it would be this from The Happiness Trick:
“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 🙂“
Sometimes I feel my son is getting in the way of my writing. But, really since I do blog about my son, what better than to spend time with him while unplugged? I’ve come to realize that giving myself limits will actually increase my happiness. I’ll be able to get rid of that gnawing guilt, when I see my son vying for my attention.
Sometimes limits really do bring happiness.
“When we have clear boundaries, we permit ourselves respect.” –Anonymous