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i confessed on my IG account that i was suffering from a ‘phone checking addiction.’ i didn’t’ realize that phone checking was an addiction. but it IS. wow. i’m gonna get all honest with you so- watch out.

i was checking my phone ALL. THE. TIME. first thing in the morning, at stop lights, at the park, in line at the grocery store, during church services, filling my car with gas… you get it. A LOT!

i started to notice that i felt thin. the more i checked, the worse i felt. there was something inside of me that felt desperate like when i was in high school and wanted the popular kids to notice me. not just notice me, but LIKE me.

 

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when i took IG and FB off of my phone, this is what i discovered:

1- i was using my phone to fill me up.  when i was bored, i picked up my phone.

when i was lonely, i picked up my phone. when i didn’t know how to interact with people around me, i picked up my phone.

now without these apps on my phone, i just starred at my blank screen looking for an answer that it could no longer give me. then…. when my phone couldn’t fill me, i went to the fridge. wow. i was watching myself move from thing to thing to gain gratification.  i was lonely and i was using my phone and food to fill me.

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when i was pregnant people told me about poop and sleepless nights, but no one ever said to prepare yourself to be bored. i know it isn’t the ‘right’ thing to say about motherhood.  i feel guilty even typing it, but along with managing schedules and naps and dinner, there are also hours of total boredom. call the cops. i just struggle entertaining my kids. i don’t like putting on costumes and sword fighting and pulling out all the art supplies. it’s hard and laborious and exhausting.

when i took a step back from my phone checking habits, i felt just how lonely i was. i saw how much i looked to social media to fill me up. turns out no amount of likes took away my emptiness. only God can do that. so i began praying more. i praying for my boys when they were at school. i praying for my husband at work. i praying for people in my life and those that were hurting. i had so much more space in my head and heart for God and other people.

 

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 2. social media actually made me more agitated.

i became more annoyed with my kids for wanting my attention, i became distracted, and i became disconnected with life around me and in front of me.  when i was on my phone i was bugged when my kids wanted a snack or my attention. i was always saying, “one more minute. hold on. JUST WAIT!” there was always this layer of frustration below the surface because my kids were in the way of me getting my next phone fix.

 

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3. i cared more about people i didn’t know than the people i did know.

i found myself thinking a lot about the people i had met on IG, but had never met in real life. maybe instead of ‘thought’ i should say the word ‘fantasized’. i saw the way they raised kids and decorated theirs homes and how well they photographed their lives. i was daydreaming about moving to new zealand or new york.  i was commenting more on IG then i was texting or calling my friends back.

 

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4. i didn’t miss it.

i was so nervous to take the apps off my phone. what would i do without them? but after one day of taking a break from phone checking, i didn’t miss it at all. i felt freer and happier.  i went outside more and was anxious less. i talked with my kids more. i looked at nature more.  i was truly happier. i breathed longer and enjoyed my days more. i wasn’t thin at the end of the day, but i was satisfied with how i spent my time.

 

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5. i was living two worlds.

i looked to my number of followers and number of likes to give me affirmation.  it’s so embarrassing to admit that out loud, but it’s true. i needed my phone to validate my life, my significance, and my job as a mother. i needed my social media world to help me escape my real world. i felt like i had two worlds: my real life and social media life. i felt disconnected and disjointed.  i couldn’t keep my real life in order, but i could keep my social media life organized into pretty little squares. i don’t think i was lying, but i was using my phone to make me feel better about myself and as a way to avoid my fears and inadequacies.

 

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will i go back? yes. probably, but it will be different. i have met some beautiful-BEAUTIFUL souls on IG and i dearly love following their journeys.  i just don’t want to NEED my phone with me all of the time. it became a weight in my pocket and on my heart. i want to leave it at home or in the car and not panic. i’m not sure how i will integrate it back into my life, but i want my phone to serve me, not the other way around.

it just feels freeing to sit at a stop light and talk to my kids about the shapes we see in the clouds. it feels good to text with an old friend or pray instead of filling the void.

 

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i don’t want to discredit how IG and FB are a good thing. because they are. it’s how much i turned to them that was the problem. i know my kids will need counseling when they get older (starting a therapy fund!now!). i don’t want them to remember that their mom always had a phone in front of her face.

so changes are happening. less phone checking, less anger, less filling,  less worlds, and a lot more freedom.

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since the day we bought our house in 2011, i have been dreaming about turning the useless breeze-way into a mudroom. the breeze-way connected the garage, kitchen, backyard, and my office. really- it was just a junk collector and really painful to look at. now…. it is a mudroom!!! it collects backpacks, shoes, art supplies and of course- junk!  because how in the world do you get rid of junk when you have kids?! there is always stuff. at least it is more organized now and prettier to look at :)  Sam did most of the physical work, while i did the  hard work of pinning and spending money (hehe!). we did hired our friend/contractor who put in the french doors. enjoy our newest reno project!

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thanks for visiting!  next post will be on our barn door and new concrete dining room table! let me know if you have any questions!

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hannaly grace july,

you are one today. you are the brightest, sweetest, most beautiful baby girl of all time (well, you and noelle). i get teary thinking about this year with you. you’ve lived on my right hip for the last several months and there is no place i would rather you be. you are always right there, content and smiling. when you crawl your hips move quickly and your tush bobs around back and forth. you have taken a few small steps and will be completely walking in no time. when you laugh and your whole body shakes with joy. you are amazed by your brothers. you adore your sister. your dad is completely in awe of you. you make me so proud to be a mom. i love you completely. i always will. happy birthday, baby girl.

love,

mom

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