I’ve given myself a gift this year. It didn’t cost me a thing, and the return on investment has been immeasurable.
I’m a phone junkie. Putting down my phone has been a serious challenge. It’s my lifeline- I use it for email, keeping in contact with my friends and family, social media- everything! Everything has a sense of urgency. Emails and text need immediate attention, and heaven forbid I miss an Instagram update! To be honest, it was scary at first. How would I deal without my lifeline? What if I (gulp) missed something important?
I realized recently that even though it was my connection to the outside world my phone was disconnecting me from those most important to me. By being on my phone all the time I was missing out on the little things. I was hanging on to the phone instead of hanging on to the few precious moments we get to spend together. It wasn’t rare to hear a “Mom isn’t listening” in the background while I tried to quickly shift my attention to the world around me.
I learned that there was nothing more important than the boys in front of me. They’re growing so quickly, and by always staying online I was offline with them. Not only that, but I was encouraging them to be dependent on the screen too- whether it was TV or my phone, they always want to be connected to something. If they weren’t, it was epic temper tantrums and tears. Something needed to give for all our sakes, so I decided to make a change.
Now, as soon as my husband gets home from work, I step away from the phone. I leave my work for later, ignore Facebook and focus on the real faces. The three I love most and who want nothing more than a little time with me.
It’s changed our whole family. My husband and I communicate more, and we have real conversations instead of scrolling through our phones while half paying attention to the words. My sons are calmer because they’re not competing with a device. We enjoy family time more because we are fully invested. It’s special. We play games, watch movies and just enjoy being together! We treasure the hours we have as a family and our bond grows even stronger when it’s uninterrupted. And as a working mom, I feel less guilty when I can’t be there because the time we are together is quality.
I’ve given myself the present of presence. By being more present I’m happier. I’m a better wife, mom and woman because I am fully participating in my life. It’s a good feeling to let go of what’s going on outside and just focus on the inside- on the place where you are, the people you’re with. The most important parts of me are getting all of me. At the end of the day, the memories inside your heart and mind are much better than those on your phone, anyway.