I stood at the kitchen counter with my head down and eyes glued to my iPhone screen. I was probably scrolling Instagram or checking my Facebook notifications. You know, the usual.
It was 4:30 PM and my oldest son had just got home from school. He was in second grade at the time and if you know anything about grade schoolers (and boys), they are hungry and thirsty little critters when they have spent all day at school.
This particular day was no different.
I could hear my son ask me, “Mom, can you get me some apple juice?”
I say I could hear him, but to be honest, I was so enthralled with looking at my phone that I basically “tuned” him out.
As moms, aren’t we soooo good at tuning out our kids? I feel like I have my master’s in kid-tuning-out.
He asked again.
Again, I ignored him.
And then he asked a third time. This time louder.
Still, busy posting a status update, I COMPLETELY blocked him out.
Then loudly I heard him yell, “MOM!!! WHY DO YOU NEVER LOOK AT ME WHEN I AM TALKING TO YOU!!” as he stormed off to his room and started to cry.
If he was trying to get my attention (which he was), he had it now.
It was like I had just been punched in the gut and all the wind knocked out of me. I was almost out of breath.
I had heard his requests, all three of them, yet I chose to finish corresponding with my “internet” people instead of pay attention to my own child?!?! And it wasn’t the first time I had done this. Oh no, I had been guilty of this many many times before.
But for some reason, that day at the kitchen counter almost 2 years ago, when I heard him speak truth to me… it was different.
That day he opened my eyes to what he had been seeing from me.
Which was —> His own mother, ignoring him.
I was a mom who felt more compelled to check her social media feeds than to be present with her children. And you guys, that is never okay.
That day I decided – No More.
No more will I be the mom who chooses to tune out my kids so that I can be tuned in to the world wide web.
No more will I care more about what people have to say on Facebook then what my own child has to say when he’s standing right in front of me.
No more will I prioritize my life based on the standards of Instagram and Pinterest.
No more will I let a child run to his room crying because mommy isn’t listening to him.
You guys, I don’t want to preach today… but I want you to know that I WAS letting the internet change who I was for mere sake of being “cool” to people I didn’t even know.
I WAS going down a path that was leading to my kids becoming a second priority to social media.
I WAS letting what people pinned on Pinterest determine how good of a mother I thought I was.
But No More.
I am no more that mother.
And I am so thankful that almost 2 years ago, my kid stood at the kitchen counter and screamed at me to get him apple juice. I am so thankful that, for whatever reason, God used that moment to nudge me and remind me… “No more.”
My life has forever been different since that day. I now find joy in sorting cars by color for hours or having a sword fight.
This might sound crazy, but it wasn’t an overnight change. It was almost like an addiction and detox from any addiction is never fun or easy.
It took me months to change my habits of constantly checking social media. Sometimes I still struggle with fighting off that urge to let the internet world get in my way of mothering.
But I’m doing it and I am succeeding.
I still love the internet and social media so don’t get me wrong… huge Instagram lover doesn’t have to equate to huge ignorer of children though.
I now choose when and how long I am on social media. I choose when NOT to be on social media. And above all… If there’s a choice between spending a moment with my kids or spending a moment on Instagram? I choose my kids.
And my kids are much happier because of it.
So you guys, if you find yourself struggling for the desire to spend time with your kids because you are too consumed with the internet… I encourage you to turn your eyes to Jesus. Ask Him to change your heart and guide you.
I know it was Him using my 7 year old that day as a way to correct me and a way to better the lives of our family. Let Him use a moment in your life to teach you what you could be doing to better the lives of your family.