If you haven’t really tracked this: like literally marked a paper every time you checked your phone in a day, an evening, an hour, then I’m going to guess that you’re probably underestimating. In fact, I recently read that your estimate is likely only HALF the amount of times your check your phone. HALF.
So, if you say, “Oh I check my phone about 25 times a day.” (which is VERY low by the way), in reality, you probably check your phone over 50 times per day. And let’s just say you are on those lucky people who sleep 8 hours a night, this means during those 16 hours you are awake, you are checking your phone 3 times an hour. And think about when you do check your phone how much it totally sucks you in sometimes (your newsfeed, your emails, your social media stalking—yes, we all stalk a high school boyfriend or nemesis every now and then). It’s an INSANE amount of time we’re spending completely disconnected from what matters to you, to me, to us: our families.
Most moms who work full-time outside the home see their kids for only 2-3 hours per day. Sad but true. Can you believe that during those precious 2-3 hours, while we’re juggling cooking dinner, eating dinner, giving baths, reading stories, that we are also sharing it with our phones. Not okay.
So, when I went back to work after my littlest guy was born, I started something new. I started leaving my phone in my bag from the moment I entered the house until all my kids were tucked in bed (I’d say asleep, but let’s be honest some nights I fall asleep before they do). On a regular day, I was only getting forty-five solid minutes with my baby before he would fall asleep for the night (well, the baby version of sleeping through the night). Forty-five minutes to spend quality time with my baby, while cooking dinner, eating dinner, giving baths, and in this case, giving him his nighttime bottle. I didn’t even want the temptation of my phone being in visible sight to compete with that. Once he was asleep, I had my other two guys (4 years old) to hang with and my phone just wasn’t invited anymore. I needed the other hour we had left to talk about their day, read them stories and “stay in their room a few minutes” as they request every night once they’re all tucked in. I will admit, I do sometimes use my phone during those quiet few minutes because if I didn’t I’d almost definitely fall asleep in their room every single night.
So why not try this? Or are you already coming up with excuses why this won’t work for you. If you are…let’s run through the list…
Got a crazy boss? Really? 2 hours of not checking your phone when you’re not working will get you fired? Are you sure about that? And by the way—I’m not talking when you have a work crisis. I’m talking the day to day, status quo, norm here.
Fomo? Fo real? You don’t need to respond to every freakin’ group text. Remember that. Real friends understand your silence doesn’t equal your commitment to their friendship.
Seriously, ask yourself this. On the regular, what is more important than reconnecting with your family after you haven’t seen them all day? If you can answer it, then go with it.
If you can’t, which I hope you can’t, then stop. Disconnect. And reconnect. Your kids will thank you for it. Your husband will thank you for it. YOU will thank you for it.