I have always took pride in the way that I balance my job with my social life. But, I am not balancing it well with my family life.
My job, that pays the bills, comes in many forms that includes blogging and social media management. In fact right now on my iPhone I have 16 business pages that I manage various social media channels for. That means I monitor and get the conversation going for those businesses on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and so on.
I am on my phone a lot.
I am on my phone for my son’s 45 minute story time.
I am on my phone at my daughter’s 30 minute piano lesson.
I am on my phone when my husband drives the kids to swimming.
I am on my phone when the kids are at the park.
I am very thankful for this. I do not feel like I am missing out.
Let me repeat, I do not feel like I am missing out.
In fact, I am beyond lucky to have a career that enables me to stay at home with my son and that technology enables for that to happen. I am very happy that I can manage these accounts while I am away from home and not lugging my computer to serve hot lunch at my kids school. Laptops and pizza sauce just don’t mix, yo.
Now, with all that said, I have started a very bad habit and it is time to put my phone down.
Every morning after I wake, and stumble down the stairs to the kitchen, the first thing I do is check my phone. I have always liked living in the Mountain Time Zone, that way when I wake up in the morning I have all those lovely Toronto emails sitting in my inbox.
I can get a ton of work done from 7:30 to 8:30 am. I hug my kids while reading emails. I listen to my daughter practice her piano while checking instagram comments. I dress my son while clicking “favourite” on tweets. I answer texts while putting cream in my coffee. I discuss the families agenda for the day while clicking “like” on Facebook comments. I sort of hear the words that my family is saying, but mostly, I have no idea what is going on around me. I am in my zone.
But something made me snap out of if this morning.
This morning my daughter stamped her foot and shouted, “Look at me!”
I put my phone down and looked at her.
She needed help putting on her brownie scarf.
“You never look at me when I need your help!”
I answered with, “This is Mommy’s work.”
She walked away.
And I realized how stupid I sounded.
It doesn’t matter if I am answering emails when she is at dance class.
It doesn’t matter if I check YouTube while my husband does his homework.
It doesn’t matter if I reply to Facebook Inquiries while my son plays with his lego.
When they do their thing, I can do my thing and when I do my thing they can do their thing. It can go both ways.
But, not in the morning.
They need me in the morning. They need me to help pack their lunches. They need me to help the find a matching sock. They need me to give them a morning snuggle. They need me to pay attention to what they are saying.
I might not be able to go cold turkey. Sometimes there really is a work shizzle storm that needs to be taken care of at 7:15 am and I will take care of it. But, some things can wait until 9 am.
My husband and kids can’t.