Friday, September 30, 2011

Be Still

It's a funny double life we bloggers lead. On the one manicured hand, frequent posting and checking in online keeps us a part of this Invisible Internet Friends community; on the other, if we don't take enough time away from our laptops and cameras, we don't have much real life experience to write about - and, um, possibly more importantly - nor can we enjoy that "real life" much if we constantly feel the tug of an electronic leash.

It's something I've struggled with lately - yes, it's true, I don't only wrestle with deeply superficial questions as "Should I buy those shoes?" (Answer: I did) - and an excellent point raised by Invisible Internet Friends Hopsy and Erin in response to that blogging community post. How to indulge my little online hobby here and stay in touch with our online family without letting it sneak into the time I want and need to be taking care of my real-life one?

Because I love nothing more than setting up impossible expectations for myself, this week - the same one  in which I vowed to be a kinder, more responsive citizen of the internet - I also vowed to close my laptop and step away from the iPhone more during the daytime hours when Master P isn't napping. Some overlap is both inevitable and enjoyable, of course. After all, part of the reason this post-child Pretty 2.0 exists is to have a family document of these times together . . . but, somehow, I want to be fully present while doing my SAHM thing too.

Master P and I were enjoying one such computer & camera-free evening the other night in our backyard, by which I mean to say that the wee CEO was in full-fledged, Caps Lock'ed "YOU MUST PAY ATTENTION TO ME NOW NOW NOW BECAUSE I WILL NOSE-DIVE OFF THIS PATIO CHAIR!" mode. The skies clouded over while a brisk wind blew in, threatening rain. Master P paused from his chair leaping to point at the sky, then ambled over to sit in my lap and take it all in. We sat for a spell, a rare occasion in the life of a toddler and toddler mama, and just listened to the leaves rustling.

I don't know where it came from - a recent service? a post from one of you? - but in that stillness the Psalm "Be still. . ." came to mind. No cameras, no laptops, just us, in wonder. I might have missed it had I been distracted Tweeting or trying to get a picture of it. Instead, it was just us, just the right balance, being still.

Would that I had some stirring conclusion or words of great wisdom for you about this, but . . . nope, I'm still here just trying to find the right balance while eating way more candy corn than nature intended. Way. Speaking of:

This photo was (obviously) not taken during the time described; observant readers will note that one of those ships on Master P's romper is actually a candy corn. Yes, he gets the very occasional bite of candy; feel free to send the Internet Parenting Police over at your earliest convenience.

9 comments:

Diary of a Domestic Failure said...

I struggle with this daily. Not to mention my husband feels (at times) he is competing with my computer. I do my best to always be present for my children, but as a SAHM, the computer is a portal to the outside world. A place to relate to other Mom's and have some form of social interaction. That is something I can't part with - not as long as I am CEO of my household. Finding a balance is beyond difficult but not impossible.

Diary of a Domestic Failure said...

I struggle with this daily. Not to mention my husband feels (at times) he is competing with my computer. I do my best to always be present for my children, but as a SAHM, the computer is a portal to the outside world. A place to relate to other Mom's and have some form of social interaction. That is something I can't part with - not as long as I am CEO of my household. Finding a balance is beyond difficult but not impossible.

OHmommy said...

I am not online when the kids are at home with me. I do check in, on my phone, when waiting in carpool or at after-school activities. But when we are home together it's my number one rule. No technology. I expect the same from them in a couple of years. Tweens texting all the time really bothers me and if I can't lead by example then everything else I preach is a lie.

Ashley Paige said...

I had this same thought earlier this week when dining out with my family. We were surrounded by 4 tables, each with kids by varying degree of ages and what was present at each table? A tablet. Be it an iPad, a Kindle or whatever. And parents? Dads were texting. Moms were texting. And the kids? Were watching movies. MOVIES. I mean, they weren't toddlers. It wasn't necessary that their attention be held by a video so as to not disturb nearby patrons. I don't want to be that family. Dear god, no.

I need to do a better job of disconnecting when I'm home with Carter. There, I said it. You're not alone. It's been pulling on me lately- to make the computer less of a priority. Once again, your writing comes at the perfect time.

Thanks :)

The Mrs. said...

Watching the move WALL-e the other night with Landon, I realized it's the human connection we all need more of. Now if you are connecting through blogging and twitter that is great, but really face to face, non tech time is best. We have to bring ourselves back to the simple things like you described! It's hard to do it all but you are aware and that's really the key!!

Regina Richards said...

Wish I'd have this blog to inspire me when I was beginning my mothering journey. Fight to stay pretty and witty. Otherwise you'll be where I'm at: realizing they're about to fly the nest and sometime in the intervening years I transformed from bluebird to a condor.

Amy @ Forever 29 said...

I must say, you're really doin some internet preachin these days (the good kind!) I worked on my to-do lists for the week and it is quite overwhelming. I think part of the problem is that our internet pals are just so darn fun- and blogging/social networking seems to be the first thing I want to do when I have "free" time...when I should be working towards a balance of laundry, dishes, tv watching, reading...oh, and sleep. I'm convinced half of the bloggers I follow need no sleep. Not this gal. It's also hard to not feel left behind if you're unplugged for a few days...

for a different kind of girl said...

Some nights I glance up from my laptop and notice my two kids plugged into their respective iTouch playing whatever game it is they play ("Those are for music," I want to cry, but who's kidding, they wouldn't hear me) and the husband up at the kitchen table on his laptop, and I want to slap everyone's lid/earbuds/what have you away and plug into life. I think we do miss out on a lot when the lure of Facebook beckons...and honestly, considering I have a teenage girl from my church on my friend's list clogging up my Facebook timeline with her pucker face photos and weird, incomplete thoughts as status updates, I don't need to be beckoned that hard!

So, long story short, I make sure we all sit down to dinner together and we talk. Some nights that's easier than others, and some nights I'm taken by surprise by how chatty my kids can be, but I sit back and I take it all in and I love it and I'll take it for as long as I can, because, I'll be honest, there's no way I'm getting those iPods away from them. :)

(also, sometimes I just sit quietly and plot ways to get them to start liking Brach's mallowcreme pumpkins so I can justify buying and eating more of them this time of year!)

Perfectly Imperfect said...

I found myself way too often spending the day catching up on tweets or Facebook or blogs instead of paying attention to BG. Once I realized that, it hit me hard. Or I realized that I was so busy trying to catch a picture of a "moment" to blog that I was missing the moment. I never want to look back and realize I missed something because of technology. That I missed something she did because I was catching up on people I don't even know (and I don't mean that in a bad way at all). Thanks for posting this. We could all use this reminder at times.

PS- Master P looks SO much like you.

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