Boundaries are beautiful things.
I have a cleaning schedule that I (try to) follow most weeks to make sure the floors actually get mopped.
I’m counting calories to meet weight loss goals.
Our home follows a basic routine that lets my kids know what to expect and when. We don’t have naptime or bedtime meltdowns because of our routine and expectations.
Boundaries are beautiful things.
But the internet? No boundaries.
Five minutes to check email or respond to comments on my blog or Facebook page can easily turn into an hour of conversations, Googling answers, editing images, or reading articles that really seem important at the time.
I’m new to the world of smart phones, so I’ll tell you that I’m just not used to looking at the internet when I’m not at home. Yesterday, my husband told me I need to use more of my data plan. (?) But at home, the internet is in my pocket or on the kitchen counter while I’m making dinner. As I sautee vegetables, I can find out about your child’s lose tooth or potty training victory. And maybe it’s good to celebrate that with you. But sometimes, it’s just too much of a good thing.
I relate so well to Jessica Smartt’s post on too much time online many days. It’s easy to choose a few minutes of escape when you’re swamped with dirty laundry from a vomiting toddler, as I was just a few days ago.
Lately, I’m also feeling over informed when it comes to the internet. I really don’t want to know that you’re having conflict with your parents. I feel…oh, I don’t know, a little bit gossipy when this stuff is shared on social media. I’ve cut back significantly on Facebook scrolling because it’s just too much information. And it feels good to not know all of the details of people’s lives.
But as my blog grows from a hobby & ministry into a small source of income, I recognize that all of these things will continue to be a battle and if I don’t put some boundaries in place now, I could look back on the preschool years of my life with regret.
That’s why I’m taking Sarah Mae’s Unwired Mom 14 Day Challenge. You can read the details here, but know that it’s not a challenge to skip the internet for 14 Days. Instead, she has daily challenges for us to think about how we use the internet and where it belongs in our lives. You can download the PDF version of her book for only $2.50. I scored a free copy of her book about a month ago, so it’s already on my Kindle and I read the first few chapters last night.
I have to admit that in some ways, I totally relate to her book and in others, I don’t. And that’s a good thing.
I don’t like the way that 5 minutes of time online turns into an hour.
But I do feel like I’m fully present with my kids–I think their ages (4, 2, & 1) demand that. It’s my free time that I need to manage better.
As I read Sarah Mae’s book last night, I gained some incredibly practical advice on ways to set wise parameters on internet usage, especially from a blogging perspective. Reading The UnWired Mom also made me really glad I don’t have a laptop! The internet is a wonderful thing, when kept in check.
I set firm limits with screen time for my children, so the same should be true about mommy. That’s why I’m taking this challenge. This isn’t an issue that’s going away, so the sooner we learn how to handle it, the better.
What about you? Are you in?