AD this is a collaborative post
Being a parent is a funny old game. You worry about everything. A neverending list of potential issues have to be on your RADAR. If you aren’t on alert then you might get blindsided and franky, who has time for that?
We risk assess everything for our families constantly to ensure that good choices are being made and so that those balls we all juggle are kept in the air. To keep our spouse and our children safe and well.
What about us?
Who amongst us is guilty of not taking a moment to risk assess ourselves? I know I am. When Vizulize asked me to examine my screen time habits, it got me thinking.
How much is too much? When should Mums and Dads switch off?
My mobile phone is the first thing I reach for in the morning (usually to check what ungodly it is I have been woken at this time) and then it pretty much stays close all day. I use it far more than I don’t. It is also the last thing I use at night. My business is conducted online so I have to have my phone and my laptop for that. I write using my laptop. I spend massive chunks of the day browsing social media. 9 times out of 10 I will catch up on the news and current events online so that’s more screen time. Not to mention watching programmes and clips on the go.
Vizulize have created a #screentimestats infographic and it makes for interesting reading
What can I do?
It makes sense to me to want to be more present. I frown upon my children spending too much time looking at screens so why shouldn’t I apply the same rule to me!? (well, mainly because as a parent I also reserve the right to be a hypocrite…)
So, here is the plan.
I have set myself family hours. Being a work from home self employed Mum means that working hours are hard to set so I have gone the opposite way. That is, I have assigned hours during which I will not engage with work. So, between 4 and 8 every week day the laptop will be off and my phone will be in my bag. This will allow me to be present and engaged with Moose and Bess after school. I will also set up my alarms and alerts for the following day, 90 minutes before I go to bed so I have screen free time then – I recently signed up to Audible so that’s how I will spend that time. Wait, am I old now?!?
This doesn’t sound like much but honestly I know it will make a massive difference. Social media is great to a point but it can easily make you feel like crap if you let it. Add to that the actual physical repercussions of spending too much time at a screen – dry eyes, headaches, numb bum.. and I feel like switching off is the only way forward.