Unplugged

Recently, I spend most of my days with the television off. I watch a few select shows, and a little bit more when the husband is home, but overall, I think I’ve pretty much kicked that habit. It’s nice. I really kind of enjoy the quiet for the most part, and when I don’t, there’s always music.

But the Internet has been the other 300lb gorilla on my back. Because I have a laptop, it just sits here in the middle of the living room, reminding me that there is email to check, blogs to read (or write), and other things that might need looking up (see: green+watery+baby+poop). I tend to have one eye on the screen as I feed my son or watch him play on the floor. And I realized that I don’t like giving half of my attention to things. Maybe it was this blog post on Internet addiction that made it really hit home, but whatever it is that made me wake up to it, I have been trying to shut the computer more and give my life the undivided attention it deserves.

But it hasn’t been easy. Babies do pretty much the same thing all the time. And even though he’s incredibly adorable and entertaining, making silly faces and talking about whatever nonsense is going on around the house for hours on end can really wear a mother down. I’ve had a couple of days when I felt like I might be able to be superwoman. To get a household project done beyond dishes and laundry, which I’m pretty good at completing fairly regularly. I have yet to actually get into the costume, but I’ve imagined the glory of what my superpowers will accomplish, and it is glorious indeed.

One thing that’s especially difficult about reducing my online time is the fact that family and friends far away from us enjoy a consistent flow of photos and thoughts from our little corner of the world. And uploading photos and editing (where needed) always takes longer than it should. So maybe I’ll need to devote a certain time or day specifically for that purpose. It will take planning and discipline, probably more than I realize, but in the end, I won’t just have the photos to remember my boy’s babyhood, but I’ll have real live memories in my head, too. And that will be something.

I think that not only closing my computer but also eventually putting it away in the office when not in use will help me be better. Physically and emotionally as well as a better wife and friend, a better mother. If I can kick this habit, now, and indulge in moderation, I might just become invincible. So, watch out for that.

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