Switching Off…

switch off one

 

Does anyone else have a love/hate relationship with their smartphone??  I love that I can be contacted in an emergency regarding my kids; love the fact I can fill boring waiting times by checking emails; love capturing magical spontaneous moments with my babies; they are brilliant networking tools; and it’s amazing that you can now be connected with friends and family far and wide.  Plus, I love a good Insta selfie.  However.  I also hate the control these little screens have over our lives and the message we are sending our kids; really hate it!  But probably not as much as I hate computer consoles, but that’s a whole different blog!

When I was growing up, if the house phone rang and we were busy or eating we just ignored it.  We didn’t rush up to see who it was, we didn’t have an answering machine or caller ID; and we didn’t have ‘1471’ in the early days (shit I feel old!).  So if you missed a call, tough titties & nobody really cared.  The phone was also wired to the wall and located in the busy kitchen so there was no privacy as such.  So phone calls were to the point and purposeful.   We hated being on the phone; we had shit to do and people to see – you know, in actual person!

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As a parent, especially a single one I think it’s really important to spend real quality time with my babies, and actually be ‘present’ rather than distracted by my smartphone.  They are growing up in a fast-paced technological world (which is great!) BUT there is simply never ever any substitute for being present and giving your time and attention to both your loved ones and people in general for that matter.   Since Cancer, my time with my babies is even more valuable and precious than ever and I began to distance myself from technology as a direct result a few years ago.

For example, I deactivate my personal Facebook account a few times a year to take a break; there are certain apps that I turn the notifications off for; all group message conversations are permanently muted; certain emails are filtered straight into specific folders so I only notice they are there by physically checking occasionally; no phones allowed at the table; I rarely scroll through the Facebook newsfeed and I’m not one to ‘overshare’ my shit on there either (show some damn dignity people).  I am a HUGE fan of the ‘Do Not Disturb’ function and use it a LOT!  I’ve also always turned off all notification and phone calls from about 8pm at night (unless I am out and need to check in about my babies).   And when camping with my babies I have always turned my phone off to enjoy the peace and experience fully.  I always thought that this was enough.  It wasn’t. 

A few days ago I was trying to reply to a really important email; the kids nagging me for yet another snack; the youngest getting angry; I couldn’t concentrate on the email; it was turning into bloody chaos.  In that moment I had forgotten my priorties.  The email actually wasn’t that fucking urgent, yet my kids craving my presence was.  So the phone got ditched and I gave the kids their 10th billion snack of the day as we all sat and chatted about travels and holidays we were planning for next year.  How it should be. 

That evening I decided to stop ALL notifications on my smartphone and placed contact restrictions on many people in my caller list who are known to drain both my time and energy needlessly.  And it’s been liberating.   I only know if I have an email or message if I make an effort to physically check, and no more of those annoying Facebook notifications for everything single little bloody thing!

Now, we aren’t all Topsy and Tim (God those obnoxious little brats irritate the hell out of me and well that mother is clearly using something to get her through the day!).  But I do feel it’s important to set a good example as kids mimic behaviours they see.  I want my kids to gain confidence with the outside world and real bloody people – not waste their life away watching YouTube videos of some anti-social gamer playing a video game and commentating as they go (what the actual F is all that about?!?!)

So, if you don’t get an immediate response from me (or no response at all)…..it’s either because I have my priorities set differently to you; or I’m busy doing the other zillion things single parents have to do!  I’d definitely suggest giving it a go – you would be surprised at how addicted you actually are to those pesky little screens!

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Amy Griffiths, Well Being Freedom Services Ltd ©

MUMS CHUFFING ROCK TOO YOU KNOW!

proud

Why is it that most mums very rarely praise themselves???  Now I don’t mean in an unattractive narcissistic manner (we ALL know a few mums like that!); but in a genuine, accomplished way?

Some of you will remember a survey I put out to mums a few months ago, asking various questions about confidence, happiness etc and quite frankly the results backed up what I already suspected.

The majority of the mums who responded felt they lacked confidence; time to themselves; and craved a form of escapism.  Sadly my survey isn’t the only study carried out recently in relation to how mums feel.   A study by Channel Mum found that a WHOPPING 90% of mums asked, admitted to feeling lonely since having children.  That’s a really shocking statistic, and one which I really hope we can improve.

So I’d like to start a little experiment.  For all my wonderful mum-readers (and the wives/partners of the men who read my blogs), I want you to spend just ONE minute thinking about the things that made you proud about YOU this week?  Not your kids; we already know how amazing our babies are and if you are like me you will be constantly praising them and feeling an overwhelming amount of pride in their achievements.  No.  This is about something that YOU and only YOU have achieved this week which makes you feel proud of YOURSELF.   It can be a small achievement or something really life changing!

 

OK, got your list?  Well done!  Now I want you to head on over to my newly created CLOSED FACEBOOK GROUP and share your achievements with other mums – we love to hear other people’s happy news!    In return, I will share two of my own proud achievements from this week – exclusively in the group.  The aim of this is not only to get you thinking more positively and regularly about your OWN achievements, BUT to also connect with other mums in similar situations & to feel less isolated.

See you there!

Amy x

 

Amy Griffiths, Well Being Freedom Services Ltd ©