A couple weeks ago my 5 year old daughter was trying to explain something to me. My eyes were locked on my phone and I simply nodded and answered her questions with a lot of yeah’s and uh huh’s. After a few minutes of her trying to talk to me, she looked at me, knocked on my head and said, “Hello Mom, are you in there?” At first I thought it was funny, but then I felt this overwhelming sense of guilt. I completely missed an opportunity to really talk and get to know my daughter. Instead of looking at stupid Instagram, I should have been talking and listening to her; asking her questions and letting her know how important she is to me. Because she is WAY more important to me than my dumb phone. I should have laid her head on my lap, stroked her hair, tickled her arms and talked to her about things that 5 year old girls want to talk about. I would never want her to think she wasn’t important enough to have my undivided attention. I don’t want her to look in my eyes and think, “Mom, are you in there?”
When my daughter said those words, it immediately reminded me of the talk Elder Robert D. Hales gave in the April 2010 LDS General Conference. He said, “Being there means understanding the hearts of our youth and connecting with them. And connecting with them means not just conversing with them but doing things with them too.” I have such a hard time playing with my children. I could snuggle you, tickle you, sing to you, and talk with you all day, but actually playing and doing things they want to do is a struggle. That’s what dad’s are for right? 😉 But I’ve noticed that it’s those times that my daughter remembers and will bring up again in conversations.
I have a love/hate relationship with my phone. I love how I can capture those moments of my children with a swipe of a finger and record the hilarious things that they say and do. I love how I can keep myself organized and have everything right at my finger tips. I hate how I can spend countless and unproductive hours scrolling through my phone and becoming so preoccupied by other people’s lives that I’m missing out on my own. I would sometimes love to take my phone and flush it down the toilet and go and buy myself a flip phone. Awwww the good ol days. I mean, they don’t call them the GOOD ol days for nothing.
We need to be ENGAGED with our children. We live in a world where technology has taken over our lives. It can easily become an addiction and we can get lost and so focused on other people’s lives. In a blink of an eye our children are grown and we have missed precious moments where we could have interacted with them. We need to make TIME for them, just like we so easily can make time for ourselves.
Many of us realize there is so much to do and so little time to do it. We are stressed for the things we do and guilty for the things we do not. We must get CONTROL!
Every day we get a 24 hour check. How we use it is completely up to us. But we must remember it must be GOOD because we have donated one day of our life to it.
Let’s put down our phones, close our computers, turn off the TV, and ENJOY the small things, laugh, giggle and PLAY. Let our children remember us as the mom who was THERE, and not the mom who they were constantly knocking on the head and asking, “Mom, are you in there?”