Put the phone DOWN

Monday, December 15, 2014
I think we are all guilty of this in one way or another. Technology is at an all time high, and it's so easy to be consumed in an online social media forum, Pinterest, or amazon just from your cell phone. The time we spend online can sometimes be outrageous, and I don't think we realize just how much time we are taking away from being actively present with our families. When Ava was little, I didn't really see a problem with this. Newborns sleep so much that I found myself having loads of extra time on my hands just to browse the web. Now that I have a full blown toddler, the time I had before is no longer. Ava is down to one nap a day and her other waking hours are spent playing and being completely active. Rather than trying to limit my presence with my child, I put everything else aside. Don't get me wrong, there are times when we need to make an important phone call, submit a school assignment, or maybe we just couldn't wait to post a picture of our cute kids, but other than those occasions the phone is away.

The growth of a child is so rapid, and you'd be surprised by all that you see them do when your focus is solely on them. Justin and I have this talk regularly. Since he works long hours and gets limited time with us, we make our time together count. During the day, we don't really do a whole lot of activities for ourselves, and that is completely okay. Recently Ava started making new sounds for her emotions (more on this in her 19 months post) and we honestly wouldn't have caught it if we had been consumed with other things, like our phone. Whenever she sees something sparkly or if she seems something light up, she says, "Ohhh Wow" and it is the cutest thing ever. Whenever she eats something that she thinks is pretty tasty, she goes, "Mmmm" with the cutest smile on her sweet face. It's little things that like that remind me that being completely present is more than necessary.

Each day this past week I have found a way to use my phone a little less and less. With family out of state, we try to talk to them pretty regularly to stay up to date. Today, rather than making a phone call, we sent a letter in the mail. Ava helped and added her little signature (you're welcome grandmama). This way Ava's grandmama gets an update on how we are all doing, but she gets to keep that letter forever. Whenever we take park trips or even trips to the store, I leave my phone behind. I do bring my camera along, but other than that... it's just me and the babe. I even utilized a phone book the other day. Rather than relying on Google (like I always do), I braved a paper cut to find the number I needed. There is a reason why the childhood years from generations before us were so full and fun.

They didn't have the distractions we have today, and they had to be creative. I miss that aspect of life, so this is why I'm opting to put the phone down a bit more. I want Ava bug to remember the moments when her mommy and daddy were right there with her, not yapping on the phone while she did her first cartwheel or hand stand. Not the moments her mother spent on the computer while she asked to bake cookies or something, you know? If you would have told me a few years ago that I would be the gal that resents technology, I would have laughed.. LOUDLY. Now, I see the reasons why It can sometimes be harmful. Not just for parents, marriages, or kids.. but for all relationships. We have too many distractions in our life that we can't control, we can control our phone usage.

Just some food for thought on this beautiful Washington day!

Happy Monday all!

♥- Leilani

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