This weekend was a revelation for me in so many ways. I’ve been battling with the mommy guilt of being a blogger, being connected to my devices and missing out on precious moments with my children. Just the other day, my 6 year old has taken notice of how much time I spend online. He said to me “Mommy, I really want to go play with you, but I’m sure that you have to work again” and he said again as I was laying in bed with him to say good night “Mommy, I know you don’t have time to lay here so you can go work now”.
Of course I stopped him, made time to play with him and lay there in bed.
Talk about heart wrenching.
I love being a blogger, I really do. Why else would I be online as much if it wasn’t something that I love.
When my kids were little, blogging was easy. I could write during nap times and if I had to lay them down for some tummy time while something had to be done, it wasn’t a problem. There was no judgment.
Now that my kids are older and they are noticing more around them, it’s becoming more apparent of what I’m doing.. the time that I’m missing and how much they are missing me.
The other day I saw my 6 year old sitting at a spare computer and he was just typing away. I asked him “What are you doing sweetie?”, he tells me “I’m working just like you mommy”.
This is what my children see, they see us every time we pick up our devices, every time we glue ourselves to Facebook, and the hours that slip by of us being connected to technology.
This weekend I made a trip out to St. Louis for the Bloggy Boot Camp conference and it flipped that light switch in my head. We had long talks about finding balance between blogging, working and our family. It was so ironic for me that we had these discussions just at the same moment when I was having confusion about the right thing to do in my own world.
My evenings, after the kids go to bed, consist of me being online sometimes until 2am in the morning. This has become a normal for me. Waking up at 7:30am to help my kids off to school, most nights only ending up with 5 hours of sleep. I knew this wasn’t good for me, but didn’t know how to stop the cycle.
None of us want our children to see us like this and I surely don’t want my children growing up thinking about memories of mommy always working on the computer and missing out on time with them.
So here is what I learned about managing a life of social media and a family…
- Take care of yourself. As moms we feel like we have to do it all, and all at once. Yes, we can do it all but we need to take care of ourselves and realize that while it can ALL be done, it can’t be done at the same time. This means making time for yourself, getting the sleep that you need and being the best that you can be to your children.
- Be in the NOW with your kids. Time is slipping by so quickly and you can never get this time back. You have a baby for 1 year, you have a toddler for 2 years, a preschooler for 2 years, a kid for 7 years, a teen for 7 years and they are off to college. If you let each moment slip by you are going to miss one, two or even three of these stages.
- Set office hours and be productive during this time. This means turning off Facebook notifications, closing email and be focused on your time while writing or working. My biggest problem was hearing the PING from Facebook or email while writing, next thing I know that blog post just took 3-4 hours to write.
Do we really want those moments of us remembered behind a computer or phone?
Blogging is so important to me, it’s my outlet, it’s the only job I’ve had in my lifetime that I didn’t hate. But my family is important to me too. My kids deserve to have my full attention.
I’ve made the next step to change the outcome of my story. I’m just thankful that I wasn’t too late…