A little over a month ago, our little family took a family vacation. Now, for many of you this is a normal occurrence. For us…well, I’m embarrassed to admit that we just don’t take a lot of vacations. Ever. So…when we announced to our kids that we were “taking some time to spend with just us as a family”, our little Emma, in her 5-year old wisdom said, “Mom, Dad. No phones. No iPads. No computers.” Ouch. That hurt. But reality bites sometimes. It got me thinking about the amount of time I spend on the phone, the computer, Facebook, blogging, blog stalking, Instagram, Pinterest (damn you, Pinterest…you are my newest time waster!) It was the slap in the face I needed to to a little re-prioritizing. So, I have been trying to make a few changes to my “iHabits”, as I like to call them.
1. Be Present when I am with the kids. Sometimes I am listening with one ear to them and YouTube with my other ear. When they are talking, I am listening with both ears.
2. Quality over Quantity. My brilliant hubby has reminded me that it isn’t necessarily the QUANTITY of time I spend with my kids, but the QUALITY.
3. Actually making a plan. Imagine that….planning an event in advance. Instead of “What do you want to do? I don’t know. What do you want to do?” And then we do nothing….we actually make a plan and follow through.
4. Kid date night each week. When time allows (and when we are all actually in the same city), we split up and do a date with each child. One on one time is so valuable to us. They seem to open up more.
5. Put the computer down, and back away. Just putting all of our “iStuff” in the other room is all we need. Outta sight, outta mind.
6. No one is going to die if I don’t respond to an email on the spot. This is more wonderful advice from my husband. When I want to stay up late or am too preoccupied, he gently reminds me of this.
7. Find something that you like to do with each child and ONLY that child. (It’s easier for me because I only have TWO). Emma and I always have pedicures together. That is our thing. Gabe and I read together every night. That is our thing.
And a good slap in the face every once in awhile is sometimes just what we need. Several times. A day.