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live for what matters. step away from the internet.

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The internet is an addiction.  

Lately, I have felt guilty about my internet usage.  For a while, I had the rule that I could not go online if my children were awake.  I followed this rule very well — and my children used to take a solid 2+ hour nap together so I had my internet “fix.”  Now, they never sleep at the same times.  I am never alone.  I have no me-time.  I can’t take a shower.  I love being home with my loves, but sometimes, an “escape” is wanted and needed, and the internet is just that.  An escape.

So I have been slowly moving into having my laptop (because, alas, it’s portable!) at the kitchen table for breakfast, or at my son’s little table if he is busy making a Lego creation.  That’s okay, right?  Five minutes here or there?  Well those five minutes become 45 minutes, and then wow, his younger sister is up and I missed all this wonderful one-on-one time to make a Lego creation or build a train track because I wanted to “work on my blog” or look at a recipe or check Pinterest, and oh the list goes on. And Facebook — so much sharing of random nonsense, information, inspirations, hilariousness, tear-jerkers — some of it is wonderful, infuriating, emotional.  But when does it end — the answer is it will never end — it will go on and on.  I must stop.

What do I want my children to remember about me?

What do I want for them?

Will I want them addicted to the internet or social media?

What do I want my children to remember?  Me?  Or me attached to a laptop — ignoring them and their calls for me to play with them so I can figure out one more great way to make a sensory bin?  What do I want my days to look like?  Do I follow the schedule I want for my days?

I am guilty.  Can you relate?  Do you often just want to “check Facebook one more time” {or blog stats or news or Pinterest, etc.}?

I want to be present with my children.

So timely was my stumbling onto the wonderful Sarah Mae.  Her blog is beautiful.  She encourages mothers to be as God created them.  I love her blog and I hope you will check her out!  She recently wrote an ebook titled: “The UnWired Mom.”  She is not against the internet.  She loves the internet.  (After all, if you love to “blog,” then you must appreciate the internet!)  She just shares how we can learn to not be slaves to the internet and live our lives to the fullest, without regret.  With discipline and structure and patience and forgiveness.

I am so happy that I purchased her book for only $4.99.  She shares her heart about how the internet can distract us, but also, how we can be ourselves, as individuals, moms, and wives again.  I love it and I am so glad I purchased it.  I needed to read this!

I want to say here that — I love the internet.  I love to write on my little blog.  I love how the internet gives us so much information and we can practice our right to freedom of speech.  I have met so many amazing blogging moms and learned of many early learning activities and homeschooling techniques and free printables and recipes, the list goes on.  But where do we draw the line?

I will not allow the internet control me or my time.

That is my line drawn.  Sarah posted the following quote from her wonderful and honest and breath-of-fresh-air-blog-thoughts on why she has chosen to revamp her internet habits:

I don’t want to regret my life. I want to live full and whole and present, even in the mundane, because it’s where God has placed me. I want to be aware of my time and how I’m spending it; I want serve God with my life. I want to pass “real life” onto my children; I don’t want them wired. I want to build strong relationships with my family and the people around me. I don’t want to be a slave to anything, because I am free.”

I want to set guidelines.  And I am making them public because that way, I can be held accountable, at least to myself and to my husband.  So these are my personal rules:

  • I will {try!} to wake up 30 minutes earlier so I can check my email and blog and link parties before the children are up.
  • I will keep my laptop upstairs and closed on my desk when the children are awake.  I will not go on it.  (If I can’t follow this, then I will turn it off so it is not easily accessible.)
  • I will not buy a “smart phone,” ever, it is too tempting to want to constantly check social media and other “news” constantly.  I don’t always want a portable device ringing or telling me to check it just once more.  I don’t want the internet to distract from my life more than it already does.
  • I can go online during nap times or sleep times.  But I will spend at least one night a week with my husband, unplugged, I want to see him and not just sit next to him.
  • When I am on the internet, I will only keep one or two tabs open and will focus on the task at hand: blog posts, ordering items, link-ups, quick news and not social media for an hour+.
  • I will limit my Facebook time.  I will only check it two times at night – and close the tab each time.  I will not endlessly look at my “Home feed” and instead check on a few friends and post one or two updates on my personal and blog pages.
  • I can read my Kindle while the kids play outside.
  • I can check for a recipe or directions or other pertinent information, but I must set a 5 minute timer.  (There’s an app for that — which I’ll try to figure out!)
  • If my son is finishing up his movie during his sister’s nap, I can go online until the movie is over.
  • If my husband is home, on weekends, etc, him and I can rotate set “computer” times upstairs for each other if we each need a break (for him it’s mostly work, though).
  • I will go to bed by 9:30 or 10 every night, (unless we are watching a movie!) and not just sit on the internet all night. 

I feel good about this.  Set goals.  Kind of like my new health routine (sleep / eat / move / be healthy for you).  I can stick to written out goals (I’ve been gluten and sugar free for 2 months now! — with a few exceptions).

So maybe I won’t have as many posts each week — so what.  I still love writing about my life and my children and our schooling.  I still love reading about how other mothers are making parenting and homeschooling work, I just need to be more mindful and more disciplined with my time and I must always remember that living with my children is more important than documenting or sharing our lives with others.

Today, my husband was home.  We decided to be unplugged for the afternoon.  He mowed the lawn, I watched my son watch him, running from window to window with excitement (he loves mowers).  I read stories to my baby girl.  Then we went outside, John was in the sand box while I nursed May in a lawn chair.  We all went to our play set and sat on the swings.  Then we dug for potatoes from our garden.  I prepped dinner while John and my husband took a shower.  He turned Metallica on and my son got his little guitar out and we all danced.  We laughed and yelled at John for hitting his sister.  We were present.  It was hard not to look up recipes on Pinterest (and get sucked in), but it was wonderful.  Present and real.  I can do this.





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  1. This is a beautiful reminder to unplug and spend time with our precious ones! Thank you for sharing your heart and goals with us. You are an inspiration!

  2. Being online is definitely an addiction! Pinterest is addictive! This is such an excellent post. I love it. I think putting limits is really key. Unplugging is not only a great idea, it’s NEEDED.

  3. Wow…I really loved this! This has been on my mind 24/7 recently. Just like you mentioned, I’ve literally ignored my kids so that I could find things on Pinterest to do with them!!! Isn’t that insane?! I just recently found a blog called The Hands Free Mom, and I think she posts once a week or even every 10 days, and she is about the same thing – putting down our lap tops and phones and all of these screens. Thank you so much for sharing at The Blogger’s Digest, this was an excellent, thought-provoking read!

    1. I’ll have to check out that blog — agreed — looking up things to do with them while ignoring them is ridiculous — I’m so happy I’m in this new rhythm….

  4. I loved every bit of this! The internet is a powerful force that threatens constantly to assume a position in our lives that it doesn’t deserve. These are excellent guidelines! I am featuring this on my link up this week at Walking Redeemed!

  5. I love this post Amy! I also read The UnWired Mom. Its led me to make some changes too. (More on that later). Anyway, I wanted you to know you will be featured tomorrow mornin’.

  6. This is my first time reading your blog. I’m not a mother, hopefully one day..but I am a newlywed. I am so guilty of this with my husband (sometimes he has his turn too). As of today I will be deleting my Facebook app from my smartphone (baby steps) Thanks for the post, it was refreshing and empowering!

    1. I’m so glad that it inspired you, Kim ♥ Yes, deleting your FB app sounds like an amazing start!! Good for you :)

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