Saturday, February 25, 2012

worry in the 21st century

When you become a mom, you know you are signing on for a lot of things. There are the usual things: diaper changings, lack of sleep, whining, a tighter budget, less free time... the list could go on and on. What I didn't necessarily expect was the worry.

I was a worrier before (although no one has a thing on my sister Catrina, who is the queen of worrying.) but being a parent takes it to a whole new level. Now you actually have a real, valid reason to worry. I remember my mom saying that to me before I had kids, that I will worry for the rest of my life once I have a child. And she was right... again.

When you bring that new baby home from the hospital, worry takes a front seat. I remember the first night at home with Bailey. She was fed, clean, and happy. She was already asleep when I went to lay her down. After about one minute of laying in her crib, she was wide awake. We tried everything. I kept replaying the nurses' voices in my head going over all the baby no-no's to prevent SIDS: Put her on her back. Don't put a blanket over her. Don't swaddle her. After one sleepless night filled with crying, both Jared and I said screw it. We swaddled her in a wrap and it worked like magic. But every time she slept later than normal, I always thought to myself: "Oh my God, I hope she is still breathing." And regardless of Bailey turning out alive and well, I still did/do the same thing with Avery. And I think these are normal thoughts - or at least I am going to pretend they are for my own sake.

Lately when I think about our girls and the future, I have been worrying about how different our world is from the one I grew up in. And not to be a huge downer (spoiler alert: I am), but I am not sure it is a change for the better. There is such a focus on technology now, and I think it has come at the expense of relationships.

Obviously I have a computer and the Internet to be writing this blog. I have a cell phone (although it is not "smart" in any sense of the word). We have DVR on our flatscreen tv. Jared has an Ipad. I have a Facebook account. I am not against technology, I just don't really like how people have changed because of it, myself included.

How many times in the last week have you been having a conversation with someone and they stop paying attention to you to send a text or check Facebook? So annoying! People are so often worried about "staying in touch" with other people that they ignore the real life human being standing right in front of them. Or when you go out to dinner with friends and watch them mess with their phones or check their email continually: Is being "disconnected" for one hour really all that hard?

I have a love/hate relationship with Jared's Ipad {which he is more than aware of and comments on whenever I say that I wish we didn't have one and then log onto it the next day}. Obviously it's a genius invention. But if I am at home with the girls by myself and the Ipad is here, the thought to sit and log on to it is tempting. And once you are on it, it can sometimes be hard to stop. Friends are inviting you to play games, you can browse anywhere on the Internet, there are so many apps out there you can do just about anything. It's addicting.

But I don't want to be more checked into Facebook or my phone than my own life.

After the girls are fed and changed and happy, I want to spend my time with them reading books or playing farm or dancing to music - not always reading up on what my Facebook friends are doing this exact minute.  If I meet up with a friend, I want to spend the time talking {and most likely eating} - not watching them play with their phone. If I am at a concert, I want to be enjoying the concert - not updating my status every 10 minutes to let everyone what an awesome time I am having.

*Sigh* ... Life used to be so much simpler...

I want my kids to know the difference between having Facebook friends and having friends. I want them to have the kind of active childhood I had: building forts, going on bike rides to Grandma's house, exploring outside, staying up late at slumber parties, swimming all summer long...

I want them to experience their lives - not just text about it.

And for that to happen, I need to do it, too. I need to be the kind of mom who shows them balance. The kind of mom who can log onto the computer without being a slave to it. The kind of mom who would rather go to the park with her kids than stay inside watching tv. The kind of mom who listens and gives 100% of her attention when her kids ask for it.

 I am going to try my best to be up for the challenge.

1 comment:

  1. If the worry thoughts are not normal, then you and I are both not normal! We have also said "screw it" to many of the things we are not supposed to do, but you do what you have to in order to sleep and not have a screaming baby (which breaks my heart, when she cries that is). I love this, and I hope that I am up for the same challenge, thank you for sharing! Again I just adore this blog!


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