The world is a very cruel place. I read an article this morning about screen time, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/07/the-dangers-of-distracted-parenting/561752/
I have the luxury of a few hours in my studio today. I was just in the middle of painting and tears started to roll down my face. I think about many things simultaneously, they are all sad things. What happened to that joy I just felt? Painting is my therapy. It always makes me feel better, grounded, more me. More able to be Mom again. I realize I’m still O.K. I’m still functional. I’m still going to work in my studio for the next two hours. I’m O.K. in here. I’m O.K. as a mom. I’ve felt the phone addiction was bad to indulge in from the beginning. I’ve kept a separation between my screen time and parenting time from the get go. Times I’ve slipped, found myself doing too much Facebook in front of my kids, I caught myself and tightened up, limiting myself twice a day or turning off my phone for huge chunks of time. I have rules for myself, no phone in the kid’s bedrooms, not using the phone when we are out, unless my kids are playing and in their own world I may check my messages.
My husband has always gotten annoyed with me, he says I never answer my phone. I tell him I’m busy and don’t want to be distracted while I’m out with the kids or in a grocery store or in my studio. I see the look my kids give me when they are trying to engage with me and I’m looking at my phone. I try to tell Jack and Fiona what I’m doing- I’m writing an e-mail, or looking a recipe up. I still feel guilty. But if I am writing in my journal or looking in a cook book it doesn’t feel bad and they understand and accept what I’m doing. A screen, iphone or ipad put up barriers between people. I know how my kids feel. When I’m hanging out with people and they constantly check their phones I feel they are not with me. Only half of them is with me. Half of them is in their phone. It’s not a good feeling.
I worry about the kids, about our future generations, about what kind of public school system we will have left. Our government right now is not going to do anything for public education. I can’t imagine the damage Trumps administration will have on our school system and the future of our kids and country. It’s frightening to think about. The sad and truly terrifying thing is these parents on their cell phones and giving kids ipads and iphones puts the whole population at risk of being brainwashed and addicted to screens. I sound like a conspiracy theorist or crazy person! But it makes sense. I want to get away from it. I don’t want my kids to be addicted to screens. I don’t want to live my life behind a screen.
I painted my whole time, now it is time to leave my studio. I had a good, productive session. I am ready to go be mom, just me, a person. No barriers.