This was my idea. My stinking idea. What in the world was I thinking?
So if you are new around here, I had a freak out a while back (HERE) and realized just how plugged IN our family is. Between texting and emailing and tv watching and DVRing and blogging and tweeting and UGH! It never stops. When your two year old sees you at the computer and asks if you're BOGGIN you know your family may need to slowly set down the lap tops and step away for a few minutes.
A few conversations and emails with friends later and the UNPLUG idea was born. HERE.
ONE DAY. Just one day. Walk away from all that is plugged in for ONE day. No computer. No phone. No email. No tv. Nothing. Just you and your camera. Documenting a day spent solely with family.
And again, this is why:
Here is a normal Saturday or Sunday early morning at our house. Do you see what's happening here? Chris actually working on his computer and watching tv. And our son, who is being completely ignored has chosen the remote as his toy of choice, an early sign of a tv addict?
Here's another example:
Every day after naps the kids watch tv while i figure out how to kill the hour before dinner/bath/bed. Lots of times I am in the middle of working when they wake up and it kills me to stop so I toss snacks on the floor, put a favorite movie on and continue to work.
It saddens me that this is our reality. That putting a pile of books on the floor doesn't get me the same result. Even getting them started on an art project doesn't hold their attention as long as the tv does. That I even NEED something to keep them busy while I struggle to work and balance everything else.
THIS is why I loved the idea of UNPLUGGING. For just one day. To prove to myself AND the kids that tv doesn't rule their world and the internet doesn't rule mine.
So last Tuesday was UNPLUG day here. I thought it would be perfect. Chris was at school (not participating in being UNPLUGGED) and my sister was still in town so I thought we had the perfect distractions.
We started the day out at 5:30am with the tv ON b/c Chris got up with the kids and he didn't know about my plan to UNPLUG. So first things first they watched an hour of tv before I was even awake! But how else do you keep two girls ages 2 and 3 busy while you shower and your wife is dead to the world? Excuses excuses.
Once I got up the tv went off, we all got dressed and headed up to Grandma's house.
My sweet niece, Samantha! Smiling!
Then we all headed to The Botanical Garden... LOVE this image of Parker...
And this one is for my sister who thought I got NO good ones with Sam smiling. I did Ab! :)
Great day right?
Fountains and playgrounds and family and running and the big great outdoors.
Just before lunch time we drove home and I was so happy and confident in finishing up our UNPLUGGED day. I had plans to dust and clean the house while the kids slept, something I barely ever get to during my busy season (which means my house gets dusted about once a year!). I also had started reading a book and I had visions of sitting on my porch with my lunch and my book. Peaceful. Nice.
But then we got home and I noticed the red light blinking that we had 6 messages. And I'm not a big phone person. So the idea of 6 messages made me wonder how many emails were sitting there waiting for me. And then I started to stress out about the work I'd be putting off to leisurely read a book and dust my house.
I kid you not, within minutes of putting lunch on the table I had the tv on to distract them and I was checking emails.
We were home minutes before I caved.
But in all great ideas there is definitely a lesson to learn right?
1. When you run a business that solely depends on you, and YOU alone, it is nearly impossible to take an entire day off. And that's ok. It's life for me right now and I love my life. And I love my work and the fact that my business is growing in a failing economy.
2. There will be days when I HAVE to get things done and the tv is on all the time. It's my reality as a work-at-home mom. Just as long as I remember to always pause long enough to read books with them and cuddle them and FEED them and play with them we're ok. And I always take time to do some kind of art project with them and that makes me PROUD as hell b/c it is a MESS to let your kids create each day! But I do it no matter what!
(They look naked but they did have on underwear!)
3. The TV. Oh man the tv. This is my summer goal. LESS TV. With Chris home more (starting next week!) we have no excuse to have the tv on so much. I'm considering even canceling the cable. No more dinners like this so Mommy can work:
4. IT IS OK TO FAIL. It's ok. I think an entire day away from technology when you are running your own business is crazy. I barely keep up now and to take an entire day off is just too much. But the fact that in the last month it's been near the front of my thoughts every single day to unplug more has been amazing. We've been turning the tv off earlier in the mornings, going outside more, etc. I've forced myself to step away from the computer more often and just force myself to stay up later at night. I'm learning to SAY NO to projects that sap too much time and don't make me any money (more on this later) and I've learned to work faster and more efficiently.
My goal for the month of June? MORE unplugging. Just more. Whatever that means. More intentional time with my kids. More efficient work time. Our normal life is changing drastically with Chris home so our plan is for me to have more day time ALONE time to work which will leave the late afternoon and evening open for FAMILY time.
UNPLUGGING was so good. Even though I totally failed.
Did you try it? Did you UNPLUG for a day? Did you succeed where I failed? Leave a comment and link your blog so we all can read about how YOU did! Do you want to try again in June? The BUSIEST of months? HA! Share your thoughts, ideas and complaints with us!