Disclosure: By writing this post, I am, by NOOOOO means, trying to make anyone else feel guilty for having or using an iPhone. This is all about me and my husband and how ditching our iPhone’s have changed our relationship with each other and our children.
About 9 months ago, I read a post called, “How to Miss a Childhood” over at Hands Free Mama and I was, literally, gasping in tears as I was reading it. I realized that much of what she was talking about…was me. It was me, plain and simple.
While pushing your child on a swing, do you pull out your phone and start checking Facebook? …yes.
Does your child bring you your phone excitedly, like she found your most prized possession? …yes.
Do you pull out your phone at a stoplight?…yes.
Do you look at your phone at the dinner table? Do you pull out your phone when you are at a restaurant waiting for your food?…yes and yes.
Does your child look up from doing something proudly to see if you were watching, only to find you looking down at your phone? …unfortunately, yes.
Do you get irritated when your kids are talking to you when you are focused on your phone? …yes.
Do you feel like you can’t leave home without your iPhone? …yes I did.
And there’s more…
Do you check your phone first thing in the morning … even before you kiss, hug, or greet the people in your family?
Do you look up from your phone when your child speaks to you or just reply with an “uh huh” so she thinks you were listening?
Do you use drive time to call other people regardless of the fact you could be talking to your kids about their day—or about their worries, their fears, or their dreams?
Do you decide the app you’re playing is more important than throwing the ball in the yard with your kids? Even better, yell at them to leave you alone while you play your game.
Do you take your children to the zoo and spend so much time on your phone that your child looks longingly at the mother who is engaged with her children and wishes she was with her instead?
After reading these questions, my eyes filled with tears and my heart weighed heavy with guilt. How many moments had I missed with my children because I was playing with my Iphone? How many memories were never made? The tears fell freely as I kept thinking about how my life had become so connected to my iPhone. The guilt for what I had done to my kids was overwhelming. I couldn’t bear it.
You see, my husband, a few months prior to this day, had already ditched his iPhone. He did it for a much different reason. To him, the iPhone was temptation. It was a means to access pornography in the deep, dark secret places of his life. His old addiction was sparked when the iPhone came into his life. It was an addiction that he had broken several times prior, but with the access of porn at his fingertips, he was overwhelmed with temptation. It hurt when I found out…when he confessed to me, with guilt and tears in his eyes. My self wanted to slug him. How could he do this to me again? But instead, I hugged him and cried with him and told him we would get through this. He smashed his iPhone to bits and pieces and we have never looked back. This was a year ago and I am so proud of the changes that my husband has made since he made the decision to get rid of his iPhone. I’m proud of the changes I have made.
I don’t miss any moments with my children.
If I leave my phone at home and forget it…so what.
I am FULLY there.
My kids have ALL of me…not just some. I am with them. I see them. I rejoice with them. I learn with them. I dance with them. I sing in the car with them.
My relationship with my husband has deepened to a new level through all of this. I am there for my children and he is there for me. We have decided that our family is more important than technology at our fingertips. Do we miss it? Sure! Especially when we are out on a day trip and lost! However, we have learned that good ole Mapquest printed with ink and paper is still good enough. We’ve learned that it is much more fun to wonder into a new restaurant instead of planning ahead. We’ve learned to hold each other hands…”family hands” as my daughter calls it…instead of holding our phones.
We are here…
in this moment…
in this time.