If there's anything kids do well, it's hold up a mirror to ourselves and our behavior and force us to take good hard looks at ourselves.
I can't tell you how many times I've done or said something, only to realize that if Cole had behaved the same way I did, I wouldn't have accepted it.
Or how many times Cole said or did something inappropriate (answer a question sarcastically, slam a door, playfully hit Chris when he's teasing) and I realize exactly where - or more accurately, who - he learned that behavior from.
He copies EVERYTHING we do.
And so when he started to ask all the time to play on my phone; to ask to see what I'm looking at on my phone, "ARE YOU PLAYING A GAME ON YOUR PHONE, MOM?", to pretend EVERYTHING was a cellphone...
I realized that I needed to change something.
You see, I love me some technology. I love blogging and checking Facebook and Pinterest. I carry my Nook with me everywhere in hopes to snag a minute or two of reading. And ever since Chris bought me an iPhone last year, I have apps for everything I love about technology in one convenient spot.
Also? Life as a stay-at-home-mama, while incredible and fantastic, is a little lonely sometimes. I love to stay connected with my friends and family. Chase takes 4 naps a day, so it's nearly impossible to get out of the house. I love to have some bits of my day that are NOT about children and parenting, where I can occasionally forget that I'm covered in spit up and haven't showered in three days.
But it is starting to take over my life. It's starting to affect how I parent. It's starting to affect my kids. I'm starting to think about when I can check my phone next while I'm spending time reading to Cole, or snuggling with Chase.
I got into the habit during those hour-long, all night nursing marathons during Chase's first few months of getting on my cell so that I wouldn't fall asleep while nursing him (and drop him!!). But now (even though he's still up EVERY HOUR AT NIGHT to nurse, although he's much faster and more efficient), the habit of reaching for my phone while feeding him is carrying over.
I have to stop. I have to make a conscious effort to unplug.
Because, I already know and realize, that twenty years from now I'm not going to regret not knowing some random high school friend's Facebook status - but I might regret not being FULLY present for my children's lives.
Those everyday moments - Cole showing me his latest Lego creation or jump move, or Chase's huge gummy grin when he meets my eyes while nursing - I don't want to miss those because I'm glued to Pinterest on my cell.
So I'm putting it out there. Because nothing makes me put forth more effort and try to be my very best self than my kids. I'm going to make a conscious effort to be on my phone less: to be more present with my children. To put my phone down and connect while nursing Chase. To wait to respond to texts and messages until Cole is down for his nap or occupied. I'm not going to go cold turkey of just giving up my cell - I don't think that's practical nor necessary. But less? Less is good.