Like so many others, I found myself way down the rabbit hole of social media these past few weeks, thanks to various attention-grabbing topics.
It’s almost ironic that a month ago I was blogging about staying connected, and now I feel drawn to write a post about disconnecting.
After pondering further, I realized it’s not about disengaging entirely. As with anything in life, moderation is key. Social media, texting, and video calling are all wonderful ways to keep up to date on Framily—a mashup we lovingly use here at Mothering Humanity to mean friend, family, and those people who blur the lines and make life better.
Sometimes, however, our connection with the outside world is so powerful that we begin to ignore those within our own home. I found myself losing grip of my girls by hyper-focusing on world events. My heart was hurting for humanity, but I was forgetting about the tiny humans at my fingertips.
It’s hard to admit, but I was filling what little free time I had staring at a screen.
“Mommy, can you play with me?”
“I can’t. I’m busy.”
It had to stop. My girls needed some of the attention I was lending out to others, or should I say, “other things.” I wasn’t using the time to connect with Framily. I was reading articles, blogs, studies and op-eds on police brutality, racism, the black experience, white privilege, the coronavirus, plagues, vaccines, political movements, the Nordic model, the economy, you name it!
I was enjoying a week off, while between courses for my MFA, but I wasn’t spending it with the people who mean the most to me. It was time to take action!
I ditched the phone for a few days and my girls flourished. To begin with, we had a crazy-cool photo shoot in the woods and ice cream afterwards. As a family, we played in the pool and barbecued, while hanging out with the in-laws. My kids got to play with their cousins, roll around in the dirt, and pick flowers. We went to bed late, slept in, cuddled a ton, spent time playing, learning, coloring and connecting at home. We sang. We danced. We went out to eat with family. It was awesome!!
It was also a good reminder that mothering humanity begins with family. True change begins at home. I can only hope to influence my children if they trust our mother-daughter bond. A quality connection is key.
…It’s also a lot of fun.