I love my boy more than anything in this world, and I am so grateful for this blessing in my life. I cherish every moment that I spend with him, including the days when his terrible twos are at its worst. Just like this momma, every mother needs a break; a little something that lets them step away from the chaos and give them a chance to rejuvenate their soul. However, what happens when that break takes too much time away from your child?
When I thought about picking up writing after giving birth to my son, I felt overwhelmed. He needs me, and I could not write anything without worrying about his needs. A friend of mine told me that I was to never stop writing. In fact, she encouraged me to write about his prematurity. So, I tried.
The words flowed like jagged little pin pricks. I was distraught over my son’s health and well-being. I tried writing in a journal to him while he slept, but I was interrupted on many occasions; like a timer indicating that it was time to pump, or my son’s cry that muffled through his incubator. When I brought him home, I picked up the pen once more, but sleep was all I really wanted in my down time. My waking hours were about his need.
I stopped writing all together. My own needs, even my dreams, were second to that of my son. When he turned a year old, his independence began to shine. And, I noticed that my snippets of time on gaming apps were getting longer. He slept throughout the entire night and took 2-3 hour naps at once. I had chunks of time to myself, again!
The older he got, the more independent he was. I deleted all of my gaming apps, and picked up the pen, once again. All of a sudden the dam gave way and words began to flow. I could rely on two hours each day to write, and my husband and children gave me back my Sacred Writing Sundays where I have blocked out 6 hours of time to indulge in the creative arts.
However, writing has spilled over into motherhood. In the event to update my blog I had clocked in a lot of screen time on my phone. So much so, that my son took notice. It wasn’t just me whose head was down a lot in this household; my husband and our daughters, too. Wyatt was the only one without a phone and playing all by himself. He was surrounded by people who love him but didn’t want to play with him.
As any mother can tell you, a myriad of fits and tantrums were to follow. When I finally realized what was going on, I felt guilty. My poor boy was craving attention from the family that he loves, and no one was willing to get down on the floor with him. I had to be the bad cop and tell everyone to put their phones away and play with my son. I took my own advice, as well. Since then, he is more fun to be with.
No job or dream is worth taking your attention away from your family. Family has a way of letting you know when you aren’t there for them. They will act up or lash out at seemingly random times or all of the time. Give your family the attention they deserve and put your phone away. Come up with rules such as “Fork Up, Phone Down” where everyone removes their phone from the dining area and eat their meal together, or create “No Cell Phone Zones” such as when you go on vacation or are watching television together.
As for me, my phone will not receive my attention when I am caring for my son. He and I will get on the floor and play together, watch his favorite animated show together, or go for a walk around the neighborhood. Our time together is limited, but our choices are limitless!