While driving to run an errand with the boys this afternoon, I passed by a park where a mom was sitting at a picnic table playing on her cell phone while her children played on the slide and swings.
Then, whilst at a store, a mom and grandma were shopping with their kids and actually was reprimanded by a store employee for allowing their children to run like crazy people through the store, knocking over displays and playing with products.
Both of these incidents were very loud and clear to my heart of what I DO NOT want to do.
1. I have been guilty of paying attention to social media while my kids play before me.
2. I have also been guilty of letting them run amok in an inappropriate place. (rarely, though, I am sort of a manners nazi when it comes to public places. I will walk from a restaurant or store before I allow my child to ruin an outing/eating experience for someone else) But I have had my moment before.
I know that I make mistakes, it's what makes me human. BUT, I will do all that I can to not let the excuse of being human keep me from being a joyful, giving, disciplined mother. I refuse to sit at the park on a beautiful, hot summer's day, staring at a piece of plastic and buttons, just to keep "connected" to the rest of the world, when the best gifts I will ever receive on this earth are right here by my side. To play with and celebrate with and to figure life out with.
I desperately want to teach my little sheep how to live life well. I want to invest in their hearts. I want to show them hope and fulfillment. Not in men. Not in the world. Not in a future wife or children. But in salvation through a relationship with the Maker.
And one of the only ways they will know that life is if I take time for them. I'm a stay at home mom who owns her own business. It's a good business. It keeps me busy throughout the week and I'm fortunate enough to be able to do it from home and not be stuck in an office. But I'm a mother before a photographer. I'm a wife before a mother. I'm a woman seeking God's heart before I'm a wife. I will accomplish none of my goals in life without putting down my phone or stepping away from the blasted computer or investing in a quiet life.
So if you'd like to know how I am working at not being "connected", I'll tell you.
- I leave me phone on silent in my bedroom in the mornings. I check it only mildly. (Some of you have noticed how I don't answer as much as I used to. This is why.)
- I set goals for us everyday. (organize their closet together, plant some flowers, take a walk on the beach, etc.) I do my best to meet them and try again the next day.
- I work on the computer only during quiet time or nap time or after bedtime (unless I have a deadline, then I set a specific hour aside while they have "quiet play" in the playroom)
- I leave my phone in the car while we are at the park. If I want a picture, I can use my real camera, that way I don't feel constantly needing to check the phone. If I specifically want to do some iphonograhy, which you may have noticed is a blossoming hobby of mine, then I will only allow myself camera access, then stow it in the pocket or bag where it belongs.
- Discipline. It's a big, tough word to swallow. But it's all it takes to break a habit. So everyday I battle selfishness and old natures and find freedom more each new day.
I'm not a perfect momma. I'm not even close. But I want to be a warrior for my Maker and for my family. I want to do battle against the principalities of this world and fight. The true battle has already been won, so why allow my home to be tainted by the struggling darkness.
Maybe I should start my own Avengers Initiative for moms. Tiffany, you in? Amber? Judith?