I have a confession to make. I adore my iPhone and am on it way too much. I have it sitting next to me pretty much 24/7, at the dinner table, outside, and yes, even in the car. I have different ringtones for my favorite people, alerts for everything from emails to Etsy orders. When I hear a buzz or song coming from my beloved Rabito my first instinct is to pick up the phone to see what is going on or who is calling. But what I didn’t realize is that this little addiction is causing me to not fully be present with my children, and they are noticing.
Today I was outside playing with the girls when Gabby heard my phone ringing. Without missing a beat she jumped up and ran to bring me the phone, looking very proud for her quick response. It made me wonder if I put so much importance on this device that Gabby felt the need to drop everything and run for it. Do I do that often? I am thinking yes.
I will be the first one to admit that I talk and drive at the same time because for me it is one of the only times when I will not have Moira climbing all over me, grabbing the phone out of my hand. I do have a Bluetooth and it is not all the time, but if I need to call someone I usually do it while driving. And I realized today that some of our most important conversations happen in the car and when I am talking to someone else, I cannot be fully present with the girls. They notice so much, especially now that Gabby is reading, and they have tons of questions. Questions that are quickly forgotten if they are not asked right away.
I didn’t realize that I was missing so much by putting so much stock in this silly little device, playing Tiny Tower instead of paying attention to swim lessons, checking my email at the park, texting during dinner time. Paying attention, but not really fully engaged because my thoughts are elsewhere.
But let’s be real. This is a technology era where our phones are quickly becoming a vital part of our lives, they allow us to run businesses, keep a family on schedule, organize playdates, find new recipes and crafts… the list goes on and on. So can there be a happy medium? I believe so.
Until Moira gets the concept of not using me like a jungle gym as soon I go to dial someone I have to either resort to calling people after 11:30pm or using nap time to catch up. Of course there will be times when the car is my only option, but I am going to drastically cut down on that. And I am imposing a “no cell phone” rule at the table, no matter what time of day it is. But most importantly, when I am not tending to my Etsy shop or organizing family items, I am going to make it my priority to be fully engaged in my family, not on my phone…