Screentime Mom Guilt

With summer upon us, I feel the need to get this out there.

Yes, our kids have screentime. They use our ipad, they use their kindles, and they both, age 3 and 5 know how to work the roku stick.  Days go by when they don’t even ask for it, and there are days when they watch way too much! It’s called balance and moderation.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

I cringe at the thought of my kids not having an active life.  I also cringe at the thought of not having a quiet moment at the end of the day to get dinner going, or clean up dishes.  I also cringe at the thought of a really long car ride, or a trip on an airplane…. heck traveling in general without the help of their Kindles. If I must be honest, the thing that annoys me the most are the people who judge.  Do you want to judge my whiney tired kid, or do you want to judge me for letting them sit quietly while playing on their tablet? Do you want to judge me for my child freaking out and throwing a tantrum because I had to discipline them, and I stuck to my guns, or do you want to judge me for not following through.  Really, which bothers you more? Regardless of what you may think, I don’t care which bothers you… chances are you’re going to judge me for both! The reality is, my kid is go

ing to throw tantrums and my kid is going to have screentime, and if it annoys you… sorry, not sorry.

I hear/read all the time about people saying kids in restaurants with tablets, or kids in grocery stores, or on car rides, having too much screentime.  I also hear of how that family with the screaming child ruined someone’s dinner, or flight, or annoyed them in the store.  Some of us have no choice but to bring our kids along in these scenarios… I mean afterall, they are human beings.  They should be allowed to come out to eat, or be at the grocery store, or the underwear store, or the shoe store.  They have to learn store etiquette.  I don’t usually let the kids use their tablets in stores or restaurants.  I’ve also had to remove my screaming kid from a public area (by remove, I mean carry over my shoulder kicking and screaming) until they were able to calm down. But in certain circumstances, where I know that it will keep them busy when I’m trying to get something done, they have screentime.  They also have screentime as downtime when we’ve been super busy.  I have felt the “Mom Guilt” about many things.  I refuse to feel it about screentime anymore.

Unfortunately there are many things to feel guilty about.  We are the parents and we must make the choices on how our kids are brought up.  Social media makes it difficult not to have guilt, and not just mom guilt.  FOMO is a real thing, apparenlty… (Fear of missing out) and with vacations and perfection and health food choices, spewed all over Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, it’s no wonder we have guilt! It’s difficult not to feel the guilt.  I just try to remember the balancing act.  I’ve recently written about balancing the buckets of life. This applies here as well.  Set some boundaries, supervise time limits, and let the kids have screentime when they  YOU need it.

Let go of the mom guilt. You are doing the best you can.  Be smart about balancing your kids downtime, and activities.  Be involved as much as you are able to be.  You have to just let it go sometimes. That’s life, actually.

Balancing the Buckets of Life

How do we know if the balance is right? How do we know that we are filling all of the buckets to the right level?

There are so many things to balance in life.  Family, career, self care, and social life, are just a few that seem to top off the list.  There’s sports and activities, chores and home projects, homework and rest, down time and screen time, relationships, and me time… okay that last one is funny- am I right?

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How do we know if the balance is right? How do we know that we are filling all of the buckets to the right level? It’s a circus act in our house.  There is always a new challenge to work around, and it never quite feels like we are getting it right.  If there is a moment where we come up for air and feel like we are filling the buckets in the right order, a bucket spills, and in the blink of an eye we are back to trying “right the ship”.  We pull together as a team and bang out the yard work, just to come in to an extremely messy house (you know, a spilled bucket) and in an instant we are back at it.   If you’re living, you’re balancing.

As you grow you may find some buckets stay empty, because your priorities have shifted. You may be filling the career bucket a little more than the family bucket, so you try to make time to fill the family bucket, and you feel like you’re not putting enough in the career bucket.  It’s difficult to see the big picture when you’re constantly running around filling buckets.

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When you’re young, it seems like time moves slower, and for some reason, you don’t worry as much about filling the buckets.  When I was young, I filled up my fun bucket a lot- maybe a little too much.  When I look back I’m glad I was filling that bucket up then, because now I have more buckets to fill, and my fun bucket is completely different. I look at our parents, who are now grandparents, and they have a way of filling the buckets so evenly… except the bucket they fill spending time with their grandchildren… that one is always overflowing.

It’s important to balance your life, but don’t get so caught up in trying to fill all the buckets.  This is what priorities are for. Sometimes you have to pick and choose where you focus your time, and the other stuff will have to wait. Do YOU, and balance what makes YOUR life work.

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As phases of life pass by, everything changes. There will be a time for that bucket that may seem like its empty right now. Balancing means you’re working at it, little by little, and living your life.  At some point you’ll feel like you’re maintaining all of your buckets, and in an instant, one will spill. That’s life, actually. 

 

Reality in Social Media

Originally story @huffpost

http://huffp.st/bek62Ab

We need a reality check people!!! Seriously though- how can we raise confident kids with proper expectations of real life, with so much fake representation? #nomorefilters #reallife #thatsnotreallifeactually #thatslifeactually #bodyimage #expectations 

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