This oversized sweater reminded me so much of my favorite mustard cardigan, I had to grab this one as well. The ends of the sleeves are my favorite part; I love the look and fit of them! I threw on a leather jacket over the chunky knit to add a little more texture to this look. I love leather jackets over sweaters.
A few weeks ago in church someone said to me “you don’t have a plate full…you have a platter full!” Its no secret that my life is crazy busy. With three young boys and pretty much a full-time job on top of that, my mind feels like it is in constant overdrive. I currently have 61 unread texts and 97 voicemails (it’s madness, I know, and it drives Garrett crazy!). I want to respond to everyone’s kind comments or questions online, and I feel so bad when I’m not able to. My brain gets so jumbled with everything I need to do, on top of dishes and homework and everything else, that sometimes I just stare at my phone and scroll because its mindless, and that’s about all I feel like my brain can handle.
Over the past few months I have found myself “mindlessly scrolling” much more than I used to. I’ve really let my guard down with the time spent plugged into my phone. My kids know there are times I am working on a post or answering emails, and I have make it a point to explain what I am doing on my phone so that they are aware. However, when I get stressed, my coping mechanism has turned to pulling out my phone. Checking email, texts, instagram, calendar, whatever. It isn’t necessary to do right in that moment, but for some reason I feel the need to do it. And it has made me get impatient with the boys, forgetful, and just tuned out. When I am scrolling through beautiful images, all of a sudden I need to decorate my bedroom, or bake that cute cake, or look into buying that scarf, or do that cute activity with my kids, and suddenly I’m even more overwhelmed with all of these new “things” I have to do that I’m even more stressed. It’s a vicious cycle.
I am working on being a lot more aware of when I pull my phone out, and being deliberate in what I do on it. It’s too easy for me to pull out my phone for a quick calculation, and all of a sudden I’m waist deep in Insta and emails and Pinterest, and what did I need my phone for again?
So here are a few things I have done over the past weeks that have helped me unplug from my phone and tune into my kids and what is happening around me:
Turn it off: A few nights a week (always around dinner when things are the most crazy), I just can’t get distracted, so I shoot a quick text to Garrett to let him know that I am turning my phone off for the next hour or so. That way he doesn’t get worried if I don’t respond to him (which happens, often). Then I leave my phone upstairs and I can focus 100% on my kids’ needs. It gives me time to have conversations with them and I am so much more patient!! I’m not distracted by something else, and I don’t feel like they are “interrupting me.” And magically, dinner is on the table faster, there are less fights, and the nightly routine gets done in a much more reasonable amount of time.
Do not disturb: I have set work hours during the day, and those hours are crucial. My mind is clear, I am alert, and I have to work quickly and efficiently. I give myself mental time frames for each item on my list that needs to be done and just plow right in. But then I get texts from family and friends, and all of a sudden I’m having 4 different text conversations and it’s been 40 minutes. I need my phone for work, so turning it off isn’t an option, so I put my texts on “do not disturb.” That way they don’t pop up on my phone and I can get to them when I’m done with work.
Set designated times for scrolling: I have gotten better about planning and prepping posts, so I’m usually fairly quick when I jump onto insta to do a post, but then I want to see what everyone else is posting and I wind up late or with hungry screaming kids. So I’ve tried giving myself certain times that I can scroll. Usually first thing in the morning in bed for a little, waiting in the carline for school pickup, and the second bedtime is done. They are calm, quiet moments where I can like and comment and get caught up on all things insta. This does mean that I miss a lot of my friends’ posts though. I feel bad when something important happens in one of my friend’s lives and I’m 5 days late liking their photo, but I’m trying really hard not to beat myself up over things like that. Knowing that I will have time later that day to scroll helps keep me from jumping on mindlessly a million times a day.
I know my situation is probably a little different and a lot more extreme (I’m extra…I know 😉 ), but the clearness and peace of mind that I get when I do these three things helps me so much! My kids get bumped back up to being my main priority, and I feel much less mom guilt. There is always a balancing act to do. It’s never perfect. But I’m always digging for anything that can help me focus, and hopefully some of these will help you! I would love to hear any tips you have for unplugging!