With the advent of email, instant messaging, cell phones, blackberries, etc., we’ve become accustomed to always being available to anyone and everyone at all times. In many ways this is great, but when it’s time for you to spend family time with your children, or time for you to spend time relaxing by yourself, being hooked up, tuned in and turned on can be a liability.
Make sure that when it’s time to unwind with the kids, you disconnect so that your kids really do have you all to themselves. If you are a mom that works outside of the home, you may feel obligated to be at the beck and call of the office.
Don’t allow yourself to be at the mercy of your career at the expense of your children. Be sure that you arrange times when you are completely free from having to answer emails, text messages and phone calls.
And when you do have free time, plan to spend that with your kids whether it’s playing at the park, or baking cookies, or reading a book together. If you are spending time with your child, she needs you to pay attention to her, not to your cell phone.
If you are a stay at home mom, you still may have times when your cell phone rings and you are tempted to take time away from your child’s mommy and me time. Or you might feel a need to check your email often.
A better solution might be to designate certain times in which you are available to chat with friends or to plan the next PTO meeting with fellow members, and other times when you are not available.
Each day, turn the cell phone off, or at least silence it, and walk away form the computer for a couple hours. Make this time a time for you and your little ones to talk, play, read, exercise, plant flowers or do anything else together. The whole idea is togetherness without undue interruptions.
It’s also important to disconnect for your own sake once in a while. As a busy woman, you need to take time for yourself, too – maybe for going for a morning walk or jog, or a quiet few minutes when the kids are napping.
Turn of the phone’s ringer, and let the email sit. Put your blackberry down and take some time for yourself, quietly and peacefully. You must have time to rejuvenate yourself and you can’t do it if you are constantly answering calls, emails and text messages. Everyone will wait for a few minutes or an hour.
In this time of advanced technology, it’s easy to get caught up in the never-ending flow of communication. To be connected in every way can be an advantage in some ways, but it can take a serious bite out of the time you need to spend concentrating solely on your children or yourself.
Don’t cheat your family out of some special time with you. The moments you take with your kids now, while they are young, will always be remembered and appreciated. The moments you take for yourself are no less valuable, giving you a chance to catch your breath.