I stumbled upon a post from a blogger that I follow who created a theme for her year. I can't be sure I am that warm and fuzzy, but then I saw this image from the January Oprah magazine.
Nothing, I have made nothing happen, but luckily this is not a blog post about that.
What this post is about is that 2014 is not so much about making things happen, but about the need for people to calm down. I can't fix myself, but I can sure tell others what they need to do. And it is calm. down.
It became crystal clear that was the real theme, when I read this article about screen time, AKA the new hot topic for preschoolers. Having everything BPA free and organic is so 2013. It is screen time, screen time and screen time. This was just one of many posts I have read in the past year. Starting with "Dear mom on the iPhone" followed quickly with "Dear mom on the iPhone: you are doing fine".
The article that settled in under my skin is not from a blog I follow, but I can guarantee you that the blogger is a wonderful woman and mom who is only trying to encourage and remind us exhausted mothers to not always give into the screen. And I know that some of us listened and took it to heart and are now better mothers.
However, after reading it the first thing that came to mind was - calm down. I mean, I love the points she makes for her kids and I totally want mine to think I want that.
"I want to talk to you when we are out to eat. I want to listen to your questions. I want to have training opportunities. I want to allow space for conversation that can take us deeper. And if you are always distracted with electronics, well… I might miss those moments."
But right now, I don't want that. I don't want to answer any more questions. I don't want to train. I don't want deep conversations, I have them every time we are in the car (today it was why the homeless man is hungry and where did he get the cardboard). But I do recognize that, my kids are little and we are together all the time, so surely once they are bigger and not coming to me to pull up their underwear I will want all that she talks about.
I think it is more than that for me, though. I, personally, think technology is such a wonderful gift. Yes, can it be overused, but so can cookies. No one writes post after post about how cookies are evil and when people see kids with cookies they get sad for their future. Calm down.
Think about how our mom's had it rough. Imagine this if you will....Mom has to drag a sick kid to the doctor. She has taken off work, or has another kid in tow. They all have to wait for an hour, with no way to entertain the children. She has read all the books in the place and all the ones she brought with her. The kids have eaten all the snacks and are now fighting. She had no recourse. You know what we have? Iphones. I can pull out my phone and within seconds everyone is quiet. I can take a minute to calm myself down and we don't get kicked out of the waiting room.
Same goes for restaurants. I don't bring the iPad with us, but I know plenty of parents who do and I don't judge one bit. Because I pull out my phone in a similar situation to above. If the kids are finished eating and are starting to get rowdy, I take no shame in wanting to eat a meal without yelling. Plus, this is the benefit of the technology. We have to suffer with the dangers and grossness of the digital age; shouldn't we at least get to enjoy the perks? Again, let's just all calm down.
This weekend, I took the boys swimming out at their grandparent's house and Liv wanted to see if the boys would like the books she downloaded for them. The one they are reading is about an otter that did something (I was on Facebook when they were reading and not really paying attention). But about every other page had an embedded link to a video of different types of otters swimming. They were enthralled. We don't have otters at the Houston Zoo, so they could not see them in person.
I would just like it if we could all calm down and realize that the majority of parents are doing the best they can. We can't begin to know what they deal with at home, why would we judge what they do in public?