Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Facebook is killing my parenting skills

And thank God I bought myself an oven timer in the nick of time.

These days (ie today and yesterday) I'm limiting my own facebook time. I round the clock to 30 min and can't check anything online til the buzzer goes buzz. Cool huh. Small step but a goodie!

So yesterday I turned that buzzer on and sat outside with Belle's for an afternoon tea. And I looked at her. Up close and personal. Beautiful. Lovely.

I haven't done that in so so so long. She kept grinning coz she was wondering what on earth I was doing out there with her. I was twitching and wondering what was happening online. So I counted her freckles. One by one. And the tension from my shoulders dropped and I smiled with her.

So why don't I do it all the time?

My guess is that it's all about hiding away. The problem with having 3 (and I'm guessing this is the same whether you have 1, 3 or 7) is that it tends to be quite a bit like herding cats. You scream. They run. In the opposite direction.

And you want to run too. Right over to the computer screen. It's safe there. You type, people listen. People type, you listen. Such a civilised way of communicating.

But lately facebook and cyberland has started to wedge its fat cyber butt right in the middle of my non cyber life. Need to race out the door? Oh just let me check email quickly. You want to play? Oh can i just catch up on facebook first. Need dinner? Here, here is some weetbix coz there is some very very important chat going on on some forum somewhere.

The wedge is deepening as facebook extends to links, as links extend to google, as google extends to blogs, as blogs extend to online articles, as online articles extend to twitter, as twitter sends you back to facebook. A cyber merry go round and round and round and round. And before you know it's a new day and you only have 3 hrs sleep left before the chaos of the morning begins - round about the same time REM sleep was just about to kick in. But your attentions are a bit wiped. You exhausted them in the wee hours in front of that civilised screen.

And it's not just cyberland. We lost connection on the computer for a week once and after initially calling the doc for some panic pills I soon realised that I didn't actually care. I just exchanged one screen for the next and discovered Greys Anatomy and a couple of other shows I've since forgotten. Same thing happened when my phone fizzled a couple of weeks ago. I just didn't care. Like chocolate. Don't need it. Love it, but don't necessarily want to gorge myself on it. Til someone drops off a box of Ferraro Rochers and I gorge plus. And then I realise I overloaded. But damage is already done...yep, same same.

These days I am noticing a direct correlation between my improving typing skills and my deproving (I know it's not a real word) parenting skills. My middle sons way of having fun with mum? Crawl in to my lap as I type away and sit quietly til I'm finished 2 hrs later (he is such a people pleaser that one). My daughter has given up and just hands me the Play School DVD with a flick of the hand and a roll of the eyes. My youngest just belts me from behind, but he's my third so I just ignore him, coz he's used to that.

I miss them. I miss watching them. I miss talking to them whilst they still want to do that (I rekon those days are numbered). I miss them lying on my belly and staring at me like I might just be the most magical person on the planet and they may just want to marry me themselves one day.

Most of all I just miss looking at them. Their skin, their dimples, their button noses. The freckles that pop up just when you're not looking.

Freckles. In the sun. That's all it took.

So less facebook time for me. I'll parent more and I'll blog more (that's for you Em). The rest of cyberland I'll still see you around, just a little less.

Til Friday,



  1. Your writing is blossoming baby, as are you, what a fantastic look at how we get all 'screened' out of the real world. I am addicted to Red Bubble, as you know. You need to have a column and share it with the world, why not approach a women's magazine honey, bunny, big love, big time. S xxx

  2. you rock Di - love love love it!! I'm with Saso, your writing is blossoming, blooming, making me laugh and smirk and want to write back. perfect.

    Freckles: it took me so long to make peace with my own, and even now sometimes I see pics of myself and can only see the spots on my face. Cue every pic taken of me with Maia the day she was born!! But, I am officially in love with the kiddies' freckles. It's so cool seeing them appear on their squishy little noses.

    The mobile: like you said last week, you didn't really miss it. It is a relief to let go of the crap we think is so necessary sometimes. One of the many many reasons I love it at mum and dad's - no mobile coverage and no internet.

    Big love, see you Friday,
    ally xx

  3. Far out, were we separated at birth or something? I could have written that, you just put what is inside my head down onto your blog. So alike it scares me! And on that note, I am going to sit on the couch with my kids. Thanks for the swift kick...I need it today. I am escaping to the safety of this screen too much today, as the school holiday boredom has just got a little too much.....

  4. An amusing post with real content. Could see myself reflected in the words but it's my life I'm feeling the wedge between.

  5. This is way too true. I'm setting my timer today! I do wish more people would hit NADS once in awhile, though - I miss those "good ol days"!



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