April 29, 2014

I was online too much this week

Does this tree have WiFi?
But according to this blog post (on Chasing the Gerber Dragon), it's okay.  I must admit, I was one of those moms who looked askance as texting, Swyping and Facebooking went viral on the playground benches.  Of course, I was peeking at my phone, shielded from view in my purse, looking for the latest deals on Cartwheel. Or I would wait until we got back to the car-- the boys buckled in, the engine idling while I updated my FB status or checked to see if anyone liked my latest Instagram photo.  

What I took from WottaDoll's post was that it's not an either or situation.  As moms, there is never a time when we are not taking care of our children.  And sometimes, just sometimes, we need to take care of us while we are caring for them.

That being said, I know that one day soon I will attempt to disconnect from all this instant information.  It's too much.  In some ways I would have been a better mom if I had had my children before Facebook, Pinterest and the daily onslaught of Groupon emails.  I remember the days when the only screen I saw after 6pm was a television.  Friends, Frasier, Law & Order.  And anything, absolutely anything, on BBC America.  Those were good times.  Now I duck out of the room so my boys won't see how much handheld screen time their mom pursues. (Between you and me, I don't actually have to go to the bathroom 11 times each day.)  

Yes, if I know what's good for our family, I'll go on an internet diet.  

Contemplating life offline
But wait--there's so much good information out there!

This brain research explains why kids, especially boys--especially boys who struggle to read fluently, should learn cursive handwriting.  I wish I had knowledge of this when I taught special education students at the elementary level.

As someone who earned a graduate degree in child development, I couldn't help but applaud every few seconds while watching Dr. Megan Koschnick explain how Common Core standards are encouraging unsound educational practices.  (I could have done without the snapping gum, but maybe it helped calm her nerves in front of a large audience.)

Then there's the fact that I'm an SMC with nary a villager in sight.  What I do have is the wisdom of women who, though I'll never meet most of them, give me exactly what I need, when I need it.  Their words of comfort come from blogs, nonprofit support organizations, message forums and yes, Facebook.  Also helpful was this paragraph from I Need to Get Away on the Mothering in the Middle:
What is not talked about is that older moms are out of phase with their life cycle – traditionally their children were at university, leaving them free time to reinvent themselves, go back to school, take pottery or tai chi. But with young children still needing driving to their own hobbies, these mid-life moms are caught in a crunch. 
After a long day at work, followed by rush hour commuting, two different daycare pick ups, four bags unpacked, two folders looked at, dinner made, dinner refused, teeth brushed, stories read, bed refused, I really, really need to connect with women who understand what it's like.  Women who have BTDT.  Unfortunately, most of these women live in different time zones.  Cue Google Chrome.

Even if I wanted to, and I think I want to, I can't stop cyber reading and writing cold turkey.  I just applied to a graduate program at a distant university.  Unlike my first graduate degree which was completed by traveling to a college classroom twice each week, this program is 90% online.  I applied to take classes at-large.  After three courses, if I'm successful, I will enter the actual degree program.  It's exciting and terrifying at the same time.  I'm not sure it's possible as a single mom.  It's not exactly necessary either.  It's just that I have a nagging feeling that if I don't move forward, I'll be run over.  Vocationally speaking that is.

What information do you access online that you can't do without?  Maybe I'll look into those sites.  Not today though.  I'm certain I've had enough bytes and pixels.  I'm off to find a rerun of Law & Order.

Okay, a few more bytes...my comments on other blogs continue to disappear instead of publish.  As evidenced above, I don't really have tons of time to figure out why this is happening.  I hope I will eventually.  But for now, if you are blogging, I am reading.  (And oohing over those cute Easter pics, saying kind things to the screen hoping you will feel my cyber support.)


  1. So very well said. I do all my cyber time while I should be working & after E goes to be...except on the weekend, then I jump on whenever I can. What I find funny is those Judgy McJudgersons who look down their noses at the moms (& dads) who are grabbing some screen time while their child plays at a park, they probably wouldn't think twice if that parent was reading an actual book. But really, what's the difference?

    BTW, I can't comment on blogs from my phone anymore...so if I don't read a post from work, I try to remember to go back to comment...but I'm sure you can guess how that goes.

  2. For awhile I thought I needed to give up my phone all the time when I was with my kids. But I've come to realize that I need to give it up during our evenings together, as that's when I should be giving them my undivided attention. But on the weekend when they're playing or watching a movie? No reason to stay off my phone then, they don't need my undivided attention all the time.

    Though I'd like to read more, and I'd like them to grow up seeing me read, so I might need to throw a book in there some, too.

  3. I have been detaching from my phone but not so much for Elsie but for me... It is stressful to be "on" 24/7. And even if I am playing on facebook etc, I see emails from work come in and feel like I need to address them immediately.

    Plus when I am on, she tries to take it away to watch her videos. :)