June 06, 2014

Note to Self: Time Well Spent

Well, here I am again. My belly is bulging and cramping, my back aches, and my eyes are heavy. But it's been a productive, albeit tiring, day. J is potty training again since yesterday, and this time I don't want to back out no matter how long it takes us. It will just get harder from here on out if I keep postponing it. I am getting bigger and more uncomfortable, and if I don't do it now I won't be able to do it until after the baby comes. All in all, he is doing good. Still no #2 (our day today started with a missed opportunity for  #2 and it landed on the bathroom floor as I was lifting him up to the toilet seat), but his #1's have been great.

I know I just said I'm exhausted. I am. Going back and forth to the bathrooms potty training a toddler is taxing for a pregnant mom of two sons, especially when the man of the house is not around. But why am I up? Well, for one, it's only 9:30 pm when I started typing this. Two, I just finished catching up with my journal so I have nothing to update about there. Three, I read too much today (as my way of waiting for J to go back and use the bathroom again). Four, I'm just not ready to go to bed. 

Well, here's one thought that's been roaming around my head. As you can see, I just started using Swagbucks again. And man does it feel like working from home.

I just met my daily goal after I put the kids to bed today.
 In the past days, as soon as I started trying to meet the daily "Swagbucks earned" goals, I noticed I've been sitting on the computer much longer than I used to - answering polls and surveys, scouring coupons, playing (not watching) videos, etc. in order to rack up points (which are redeemable with gift cards). Sure, I'm doing it to help financially, at least a little. But I've noticed I've taken my eyes off from the ones that mattered most to me longer than I needed to.

"Mom, look at this!" "Woah..." (unattentive response while eyes were glued to the monitor).

I found this one on Pinterest a while back, and it's been stuck in my head ever since.

In this day and age where everywhere we go and in everything we do, there is technology right up at our face, it's hard not to get distracted. It's hard to focus on people who are with us face-to-face while our minds are busy traveling somewhere else with some other people we see in our device. I am guilty to this. 

Sure there are good reasons for using technology. I am not at all against it. We can update our far-away families in real-time, for one. But sometimes we tend to overuse it and end up neglecting things/people that mattered more. Like my kids for me.

So here was a challenge I gave to myself about a week ago - to keep my time with technology at bay, and spend more time listening to and playing with my kids.

My action plans? 1) Sit down in front of the computer at nap times and bed times only, and/or when/if the man of the house lets me get a little break when he gets home; or when the boys want some "Jabbawockeez" dance routine moment. 2) Eat meals with them at the dining table, without my phone. This hasn't been a problem to me but I want to set an example to them, too. 3) If they do have to watch a movie, lie down on the couch and have them have a go with their "lambing" (cuddles) with me. 4) More reading and story times! I used to be great at this when we only had one child. I want to bring it back. More outdoor things done with them. Well maybe after potty training.. haha! 5) Moderation is key. Of course there are times I really have to be with technology and they need to know they don't always get everything and all of my attention all the time. Do all things in moderation - they need to learn some things by themselves and I need to do things I enjoy by myself sometimes, too. For example, sometimes I read a book while they play with each other and that's not bad, as long as I can pay attention to them as well.

 Recently I've limited my technology activity to posting my 100 Happy Days post for the day. And maybe a half hour of Facebooking here and there. Like I said, I am trying to do things in moderation. Besides, I can't sit in front of the computer for more than 30 minutes (yeah my back is killing me right now, actually).

Last thought for this long post, I was skimming through some blog posts earlier after I put the boys to bed (yay, Pull-Ups time!). Most of the comments on this one blog defended themselves together with the blogger how sometimes they really just need to be with technology even when they are at the park with their kids. I only scrolled through some and what I've noticed is this: they always have more than enough things to juggle. They have their own business (photography), blog to maintain, Facebook group to admin (2 or 3 of them), work emails, plus school and homeschooling, photo editing, etc. These are all good and I don't judge them at all. Sometimes it is what it is.

I am one of the lucky moms who had the chance to choose to stay home with our kids full-time. Some moms don't have that option, especially the single moms. And because of that, because of their own individual situation, they have to juggle a lot of things. And that's understandable. As for me though as a stay-home mom with a spouse, and this is just my opinion... if all those work load gets all of my time away from my kids even when I am with them physically and even when I say that I'm doing it for them, then I think it's not worth it. Maybe take away the work load that's not really that important, and lessen the load gradually so the extra time can be put with the family and loved ones. Let's try to put it in the eternal perspective - we aren't taking our Facebook-administered group in the next life, or our work emails, or our photography business, or what-not. The kids are only young for a fraction of our lifetime.

We decided I stay home for a reason and if I lose that purpose by spending too much of my time somewhere else, I think I will have just failed greatly. Everything in moderation. Other people really don't have a choice but to juggle multiple things in order to sustain their family. In my whole life's experience, though, more often than not we do have a choice where we put most of our time to. It is not so much as to the quantity of time spent with your loved ones, than is the quality as well. I will try to give both as much as I can. That is my goal for myself and my family.

Sorry if this sounded like a lecture or a "holier than thou" post. I didn't mean it to be. It's just one of those days where I have a screaming thought in my head and I have to write it down fast enough for me to remind myself someday.

1 comment:

  1. This didn't sound preachy at all, Lois! Your goals are admirable and this post is great! I feel that this message applies to all of us. Heaven knows I spend too much time on the computer! Thanks for the inspiration!


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