Over the past 8 months, I’ve been on a quest to live a less-distracted life. Reading blogs like The Hands Free Mama and The Orange Rhino have reminded me how much being distracted, especially by technology, impacts my everyday life with my children.
When I’m distracted by my computer or phone, I become an Angry Mama. I don’t react to my kids with love and when they try to pull me away from my technology, I snap.
So, I’ve banished my computer to the basement and am only on it when my kids are sleeping. I am more aware of how much I check my phone and have turned off all notifications. I’m doing better.
But there’s this one thing I just noticed recently.
I might not always be checking and staring at my phone, but it’s always on me, and it’s usually in my hand. I feel like I’m turning into a One Handed Mama.
I hold my child’s hand on a walk, and my other hand holds my phone.
I say goodbye to my child when I drop him off at preschool with my phone in my hand.
I get my child out of the car seat one handed.
I read books at the library one handed.
I play at the playground one handed.
Almost everything I do is one handed these days.
And I’m not the only one. Everywhere I go I see parents holding onto their phones. I feel like I’m in some sort of sub-culture of one-handed parents.
It’s not like all of us have zombied out and are checking our phones all day long. Well, sometimes we do. But, even when we’re paying attention to our kids, the phone is always present.
Leaving my phone in my purse, in the car, or in the house while I’m with my kids is hard. It feels like it has to be as close to me as possible, in my hand or back pocket at all times. Do I hold my phone closer to me than my own kids? Maybe.
So, I’m ready to take the next step in my distraction-free life. I’m ready to get back to two-handed parenting.
I’m ready to pick up my children with both my hands and give full two-handed hugs.
I’m ready to not care about where my phone is, and banish it to the depths of my purse. I’ve decided that I need to let go of my phone. It’s not that important anyway.
Whew! I feel lighter already.
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ABOUT AMANDA: Amanda was a Mental Health Counselor who worked with children and mothers in both individual and group counseling environments before she became a Stay at Home Mom to two boys. She has a Bachelors Degree in Child Development and Family Studies and a Masters in Counseling where she specialized in Play Therapy.
She left her job in 2010 when she had her oldest son. Her husband is in the military and they have moved 3 times since her oldest was born. Maintaining a license while moving so often is difficult, so she decided to share her love of children and families on the internet instead.
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This post was written by Amanda Rueter exclusively for BonBon Break Media, LLC