Addiction is a strong word. I’ve never been addicted to anything. I’ve never done drugs. I don’t drink so it’s never been able to get excessive. I don’t view pornography and I’m not even addicted to food anymore. Though I love a good pizza and brownie as much as the next guy, I’ve found a way to cap my cravings. No, I’m not addicted to anything, unless you ask my 3 year old, and he might be right.
After having my baby in November and becoming a stay at home mom, I lost quite a bit of contact with the outside world. You hear so many horror stories about taking your baby out and then having them get sick that with a preemie, it was in my best interest to stay behind the closed doors of our home. Sometimes it was hard feeling like I never got to see other adults, or talk about something besides Wild Kratts and Mac and Cheese. I forgot a little bit what it was like to interact in the big people world. Thank goodness for technology, it kept me connected to what I called “the real world.” My phone was my lifeline to other adults. To intellectual converations. To the friends that I hadn’t seen in a long time. Whether it be through facebook, Instagram, text, email, the Internet, or just a phone call, my phone was always with me. I finally didn’t feel alone in a big house all day until my husband came home.
Now, remember my 3 year old, from my last blog entry? The one that is always wanting to play, but I’m so busy that I never have the time? Well, I promised the other morning that once we ate breakfast, got dressed and brushed our teeth, and I got the house cleaned up that we could play. Being a mom of my word, I finished cleaning, put the baby down for a nap and I went into his room. “Let’s play buddy!” He was so excited! We were finally getting some time that was completely dedicated to him! He doesn’t have as much of that since we had Ryker. Even though we do our very best to give him his own time, sometimes it doesn’t work out the way we want it to. We pulled out his cars mat, his cars, and his….dinosaurs because naturally you need those things, all together. I sat down on the floor, he handed me my dinosaur and then I pulled out my phone. “MOM! You promised you would play with me! That means no phones!” A little shocked and put back, I said “I’m just sending a message Jax” and he, being 3 going on 18 said “mom, you can do that later. Right now we are playing.” Okay. Well fine child. No problem.
The sad reality is that it was a problem. I found myself continuously reaching for my phone and having to remind myself that it wasn’t time for that. But I hadn’t looked at my facebook in hours. What if someone posted something awesome? And it was Thursday, I was missing everyone’s throw back Thursday pictures. Okay, this is easy, just forget about the phone. “Oh, Bedford text me! Of course I need to text him back.” “Or do I? Would Jax understand?” You see, while I was having this inner debate about what I refused to admit might be an addiction, Jax had built an entire village. I looked at him smiling, and talking about how the monsters were going to the movies and his avengers were going to the park. I was missing it. When did he grow up? I took my phone into my room, plugged it in, walked away and plugged myself into my child’s world. I plugged into imagination, fantasy and magic. I plugged into a relationship with my 3 year old that I haven’t experienced before. And I loved it.
When he decided that he wanted to watch a movie, we cuddled and I found myself wondering, where have I been? What have I missed? The thought was a little depressing, I needed to change things so that I didn’t miss even more. First of all, I was addicted. Okay! I said it! I was addicted to reading what my friends were doing that day on their facebook posts and seeing where they checked in for lunch. I was addicted to looking at recipes on pintrest so that I could make the worlds most fantastic menu. I was addicted to scrolling through fitness pages on my Instagram in search of new workouts. I made a goal, right then, to start living more presently and in the moment.
The rest of that day was beyond productive. Imagine that. Dinner was made, the kitchen was cleaned, both boys were showered and in bed by 8 leaving my husband and I extra quality time which never happens! I’m embarrassed to say that I struggled that day. I found myself picking up my phone when I could have been reading to my babies. Or looking at my email mid Walking Dead episode instead of cuddling with my husband who I had barely seen all week. But, the point is that I recognized it and am working to correct my addiction to what I used to call the “real world.” This is the real world. My family is the real world. Not the random girl posting videos about how to get better quads from home. Or the kid from highschool that I haven’t talked to in 7 years that hates his early morning classes.
Technology is Incredible. And while the internet can be a frightening place, it can so be a beautiful place to explore. My Facebook albums hold all of my most precious memories from the past 4 or 5 years because technology lets me post pictures of those moments from anywhere! My blog allows me to express my feelings and share them with others through the awesomeness that is the internet. My pintrest holds so many yummy food ideas for dinners that my family can enjoy at the dinner table, together. Or craft options for the days that I’m at home with my kids! I love seeing where my loved ones are in their lives and getting to follow love stories, graduations, the building of new families with the birth of new babies and so much more! But, sitting across from my very busy husband at a restaurant on our date night, is not the time to explore. Playing hide and seek with my 3 year old is not the time to explore. Cuddling my 3 month old while he laughs at me wiping cereal off of his lip, is not the time to explore. Because those moments, those are the ones that I’m sick of missing. I’m still addicted, and I’m not trying to not be. I’m just trying to change my addiction to the things that capture my heart. I want to be addicted to the moments that I want to take mental pictures of. The times that I laugh until I can’t anymore. I want my addiction to be to things that make me a better person. I want to be addicted to my life. And I have my 3 year old to thank for the reminder that life is to short.
Be present people. Don’t be addicted to the things that don’t matter. Choose to be addicted to the things that do.