The Future of Family Time

The future of family time according to a recent advertisement by Rogers Media.

Family time according to a recent advertisement by Rogers Media.

Last May I set a challenge for myself. I was participating in a 31 days of yoga challenge and, there I won’t lie, viagra order not many people thought I could do it. But I did. I did 28 out of those 31 days. I had to hire a babysitter and beg, patient borrow and steal time away from my children to do it but I did it.

I felt great.

During the same month I set a couple other challenges: I gave up sugar, ate minimal bread products, greatly reduced my caffeine intake. I even weaned the baby that month.

All of that was easy-peasy compared to the one challenge I failed at miserably: giving up my phone.

Epic fail.

That advertisement above? The one with the family each staring at their own devices? That’s kind of my biggest fear. Except, I’m the one staring at my device.

I’m the one who is modelling that for my children.

I will admit to having a love/hate relationship with my phone. I love to take photos and the camera on it is both more convenient and better than my non-phone camera. I enjoy posting those photos and reading the comments. I like to check in with friends and text the Mister to make sure he gets a couple good LOLs throughout his day. I know it makes him feel connected to his family while he is at work. I enjoy the freedom of being able to read on my phone.

But it’s too much. My face is attached to it all the time. I go to check the time and end up checking my email at the same time. Maybe I will send off a quick text to a friend that turns into a discuss about (essentially) nothing. One thing turns into a dozen – none of which were necessary or important.

I’m not even sure how to break the cycle but I know I need to – I know I owe it to my girls to be more present in their lives.

I won’t lie, last year was a long hard year. Having three children ages 5 and under was probably the biggest challenge I have had to face in life thus-far. Especially when one of those was a non-stop nursing baby and another one was an miserable tantrumy 3-year old.

Plus the winter was seemingly never-ending and I had to walk the kids to school every day up hill in a snowstorm both ways in bare feet whine whine whine. I know, we all have hard lives sometimes. However, my coping mechanism was to escape and read stories on my phone. Once the noise and the whining pick up I would reach for my phone so my brain could go to it’s happy place – which is far far away.

Life is so much better these days. That baby is now a hilarious toddler (who is now entering her tantrum phase – why do I get such tantrumy girls?) The 3-year old is now a 4-year who happily goes to preschool and is almost a different person than this time last year. The 5-year old is now a 6-year old in grade one and is out of the house all day long, I actually miss her these days. It’s great!

My coping mechanisms need to change. Even if this winter turns out to be another hard one (we’ve already had our first snow storm) I don’t need to let it beat me. Life is too precious and I have too many more interesting and important things to do than have my face glued to my phone all the time.

So I’m turning it off again. I will have to dig out my watch and get a clock in the bedroom so I’m not reaching for it in the middle of the night as both clock and flashlight when I have to go hunt for someone’s soothie under her crib. I’ll have to pull out the regular camera and re-learn how to use it.

I’m thinking of locking the phone in the car and not having it in the house at all.

It’s going to be really hard.

My kids are going to love it.

Question: How much time do you spend on your phone? Have you had to break this habit and do you have any advice for the withdrawal symptoms I’m inevitably going to face?


  9 Replies to “The Future of Family Time”

  1. Jocelyn
    September 21, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    Honestly, hardly any anymore. I use it to track my budget and check Instagram and take pictures of Edie.

    The downside is I am behind on many emails , but they can wait.

    • September 22, 2014 at 1:39 pm

      Don’t forget pictures of 3rd cat. I’m thinking of declaring e-mail bankruptcy and just starting again.

  2. Jennifer
    September 22, 2014 at 12:32 am

    I spend too much time on my phone. Now that the baby is wanting eye contact when she nurses, I feel compelled to put it down more though. Teagan now asks for my phone every morning to play his game. Every wants to use my laptop. It’s getting ridiculous. Also I want to eat less sugar and do more yoga. Great post for inspiration & solidarity.
    I feel like my phone has replaced the laptop screen. I used to keep it on the counter and spend all day checking in, looking for something more interesting than being at home with little demanding creatures. I have a series of sketches in mind on this topic, waiting for some free time to complete. I guess if I put down my phone…

    • September 22, 2014 at 1:54 pm

      I’ve been carrying around a notebook for the last week and have filled pages with blogging ideas. I think part of it is because my baby-brain is starting to die down, but part of it is reaching for the notebook instead of the phone. Right now you are in the midst of new-baby-nursing mayhem. I would cut yourself some slack on the sugar and yoga but we can team up together and cut back on our phone addictions.

  3. jac
    September 22, 2014 at 7:21 am

    I dropped my phone in the toilet earlier tonight. It’s currently hanging out in the rice container. True story. Maybe you could try that?! 😉

    • September 22, 2014 at 1:44 pm

      I’ve done something similar. Not the toilet – although I’m surprised I haven’t dropped it in the toilet since I’m always reading on my phone and carry it every where. I’ve had to do the phone-in-the-bag-of-rice before though. I’m thinking of going really old-school and putting the National Geographic magazines in the bathroom. They will give Oonagh something to read while she is learning on the potty. 😉

  4. September 22, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Great post. Love the watch and flashlight ideas. I don’t think I even think about the fact that I could be using a wrist watch or a flash light! (*Sad)

    I find putting my phone on airplane mode works well for me. Then I can still use it as a camera, but I am not tempted to text or click to see who emailed.

    It terrifies me to think of my family being the one included in the photo. We are trying many different ideas and tools to avoid that. I know it’s a struggle for a lot of people.

    That’s why I’m so glad you wrote this post!

    • September 22, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      I thought about putting my phone in airplane mode but I know how easily I can turn it off airplane mode. Maybe once the phone-withdrawal symptoms have died down I can try that so I can use the camera again. The good news is that I’ve been able to actually cross things off my to-do list today because I’m not occupying myself with my phone.

  5. December 27, 2014 at 9:26 am

    Nice to see you back! For some reasons these posts are just now showing up in my reader! Anyway, I’m sure I would be looking at the phone too much also… my solution is to not have one. Smart phones scare me. Mine is an old flip that makes calls and gets texts and that’s it. Another perk is I don’t have to worry about losing/ruining an expensive electronic!

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