“But Mom I have a project to do!”
These were the words of my 12 year old son who needed to use my laptop while I was frantically trying to get some work done. I’m sure he’d asked me several times but like most people I’m generally incoherent when I’m on the internet working. With me working full time and having a full time business on the side, the Internet allows me to manage my business. Checking appointments, returning emails and sending invoices are all a part of my daily activities. When I’m working, general questions get answered with a “just one minute” and phone calls get ignored- I’m trying to be superwoman.
When my son noted this to me in an attempt to get some work he had due completed, I immediately stopped working. I looked up at him and contemplated if I was going to punish him for screaming in the house or get off the computer so he could work. I decided on the latter and as I got off and did some work around my house, I began to reflect on how much time I actually spend on the computer. After a lot of thought I realized I was spending too much time on social media.
The kids need me to help them complete and check homework, make dinner and get them situated at night. So I had to choose- the internet or my kids. I decided that to keep my crown as ‘Super Mom’ I had to be more purposeful when I’m online. Check out my tips on navigating social media without getting caught up:
- Don’t get on the any social media until after the kids go to bed. When the kids come home in the afternoon, I log off all social media and I devote that time to them. We work on homework, play time, appointments, etc. If I get an urgent email, I wait until their in bed to return it. I can’t get the time back with my kids, I can always answer an email.
- Give yourself a time limit when online. When that time is up, I turn off the computer and spend time reading or with my husband.
- Plan ahead what you have to do on social media beforehand. Everyday I make a list of important things I have to get done by the end of the day. That way when I get online I know exactly what I have to do.
In the end I spend much less time on the internet than I used to and my kids are happy they can get back on the computer!
How do you manage your time on the Internet and your kids?
Words: Franchesca Lane-Warren