Like many of you reading this, our family has recently navigated the uncharted waters of societal lock down. I’ll be honest: I didn’t see that one coming, 2020. Like many of you, we’ve found our own ways to cope through the highs and lows of this new normal as a typical family unit. First of all it was simple, lovely things like family baking sessions, grilling out to ‘define’ the weekend, playing soccer in the yard. I even got back into ‘me time’ and drawing (what?!).
Slowly though, over the last month or so, we…devolved a little bit. Truth be told, I ran out of steam at some point in May, and low and behold the ease of a screen was like a siren’s call to me.
I’m not proud of it, but then again, I’m not particularly ashamed of it either. Roblox and YouTube Kids have been a Godsend in moments of mini crisis, and a little escapism isn’t something I really want to begrudge my kids, or frankly, myself right now.
The problem is though, it never stays as ‘just a little,’ does it?
Best laid plans and all that, I found myself over the last month falling deeper and deeper into my phone (namely the news, the numbers, the need for change, and the whole flurry of perspectives that just about trample us nowadays whenever we dare to take a peek at what’s happening outside our front door). So. Much. Stuff. To. Deal. With.
So we all hid a little. Not every moment of every day but, well, close enough. We dove into things that didn’t matter as much. That mindless screen time beckoned.
So now, here I sit at the beginning of July, with school time peeking its worried little head around the corner at me, realizing that we have some really crappy habits to break in this house if we ever want to enter a state of productivity again. I pulled out the big guns: a brand new daily schedule complete with limited screen time, and to top it all off, a chore list.
The kids freaked.
My six-year-old took it the hardest. He cried for a solid twenty minutes in the wake of having to eat a snack without a TV to stare unblinkingly at (yes, we were that far gone folks). These massive reactions of course only solidified my suspicion that we needed less staring at moving images in this household.
I’m proud to say I’ve stuck to my word, and we are marching through the screen time purge trenches as we speak. It’s not easy. But it is necessary, and as the Mama Bear, it’s up to me to enforce these ‘difficult changes’ for the good of the house. Even if I do miss Facebook like the dickens.