The parenting screen battle is real. And it’s mostly a battle with myself, probably because my kids are younger than 5, haha. But, before it grows into a battle with them, I should probably figure out how to win this fight with myself.
Do I want to be a perfect parent? Nope, sure don’t. Do I want to be present? Of course I do. Do I want my kids to feel like I am 100% present at all times and they are my number only priority? Oh heck no! It’s good for them to know there is more in my life, in their lives, and in the world than just their needs, wants and interests.
However, like all things, a balance needs to be found. And I am still searching high and low. I do not want to give up my phone, but I also need some help learning how to navigate staying at home with my kids AND my phone. I justify it to myself with thoughts like, “well, I deserve a break from my kids” (I do) and “I don’t want them thinking they’re the center of the world” (they’re not) and “I love the connection with other adults, which feels crucial for survival on some days.” (it is)
But….if I were honest with myself, I would have to admit, my phone time is too much. I haven’t found the balance. I haven’t figured out a realistic way to restrict my phone usage but maintain my sanity. Some days I do, actually, do a pretty stellar job of balancing kid time with phone time, so it’s not all woes and panic. But, most days I would venture to say I am on my phone too much.
It’s not just because I want to be a more present parent, but it’s also because my kids are going to learn how to be on their phone by watching me and my partner. When we are on our phones all the time, they learn that this is normal, ok and to be expected. Yikes!
We do have some set “rules” for ourselves, and we follow them regularly, so there are some sacred non-phone spaces in our home and in our lives. We never have our phones at the table and we eat dinner at the table 85% of the time. We never have our phones at church. We never use our phones while driving.
I always talk to my kids about making safe choices, but I’m not sure I’m always following suit. Does anyone have any tips, suggestions or resources they can give me to help me navigate this world of phone time?