You’re So Not Cooler Online, Mom

IMG_0727Okay, guilty confession time ladies. I am a stay-at-home mom who spends too much time online. I mean, too much. I’ve tried to quit. I once decided I would ditch the smart phone and downsize to keep myself in check. That worked well. I now have a new iPhone. I’ve tried deleting Facebook from my phone, but then there’s still this whole Safari app. I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’ve learned.

We as moms need to be the example for our children. I do not want my kids to remember me as the mom who sat on Facebook or Pinterest all day. I do not want them to have to tell me to put my phone down or try desperately to get my attention. So, I need help. Anyone relate at all?

I used to read articles while nursing my kids. I would get up in the night and look for the latest gossip on Facebook while waiting for my children to fall back asleep on the baby monitor. Why did I waste so much time doing this!

Many women suffer with internet addiction. Coleen Moore, coordinator of resource development at the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery in Peoria, says she is seeing an increase in young, new moms coming in for help who are addicted to blogs and message boards.  We all want the latest information, the best parenting tips, and the cutest clothes for our kids. So, we surf the Internet.

A Stanford University study found that 9% of people try to hide their internet usage from their loved ones. To me, this is sad. I want to be present to my loved ones. I want to be engaged in my family. Why do you go online, mom? For me, it is to fill the void of isolation. I live 6 hours away from my closest friends and family, so the daily Facebook update is a way for me to stay connected. Some days, I don’t get to talk to adults much, because my husband can work really long hours at his job. Here I sit on one of those days.

Social networks like Facebook also can be a trap for moms, I believe. We go on these sites and put only the highlight reel. Does anyone really post the not-so-great mom moments?  I often see the cute kid pictures and selfies of moms in make-up and trendy clothes and wonder where are the real photos? Don’t get me wrong, I do love seeing my friend’s children’s smiling faces, but are we putting up a fake front or really showing who we are?

I don’t have the answer on how to solve being online too much. I wish I did. I do know that we as moms need to be present. I talked with a dear friend yesterday about this topic. She told me her husband unwinds by getting on the iPad, and she wants her family to be priority. You’re not alone if you feel this way, too.

So let’s make a new decision moms. Before we log on, sign-in, or power up our electronic devices, let’s look around us. Right now, I have two sleeping toddlers and a cat in my house, so I’m online. If we have sweet babies that are playing or kids that need us, let’s be present. Facebook can wait. Pinterest can wait. Real life can’t. Let’s not miss the precious moments because we are too busy.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of two in Northeast Indiana. Time to get offline and eat some ice cream!


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