Ignoring My Kids

Last week I did something strange.

A friend of mine sent me a text Friday night and asked if I wanted to get together Saturday morning. She said she would even bring me coffee. Ordinarily, free coffee would make me do just about anything, but getting to hang out with my BFF and drink free coffee? Sounded like a slam dunk to me.

I looked at my phone and paused. Something didn’t feel right.

My kids had just returned from two days with my in-laws. They were in bed shortly after they arrived home that day so I hadn’t been given much time to be with them. I missed them.

Rather than text my friend back with an emphatic YES as well as my coffee order, I replied with, “Ya know, this is kind of weird… but we just got Lily and Levi back after two days and I think I really wanna just spend some time with them.”

That’s right, folks. I declined adult interaction and free coffee to hang out with Lily and Levi.

Well that’s weird.

There’s more to this story, though. A little mommy guilt thrown in to spice things up.

I’ve been struggling with ignoring my children. Not ignoring them in the sense that I’m hiding under my bed whilst they bang on the door asking for more porridge, please. Ignoring them in the sense that we’re all in the same room together and I’m on my phone.

I really hate my phone sometimes.

I totally buy into the idea that having technology at our fingertips 24/7 is giving us all a mild case of ADD. In addition to that, I’m trying to expand my readership and social media presence which means spending a lot of time on Facebook, Twitter, other blogs, etc. My “job” is spending lots of time on my computer or smart phone connecting with people.

Sadly, it had started to take its toll on my relationship with my kids.

Mornings are the worst and the most justifiable. Once the kids are awake and changed, they eat breakfast on a blanket while watching an episode or two of Daniel Tiger. It’s part of our routine. That’s not what I feel guilty about, though.

On one hand, I have Lillian. It takes her awhile to really wake up and be ready to take on the day. She’ll often times hold her piece of toast (oh who am I kidding? It’s almost always cheese) in her hand as though it’s a security blanket for some time before diving in and eating. She’s not ready to face the day until she’s been up for about twenty minutes. She just wants to sit and watch some animation before plotting my demise. That’s cool. I have zero problem with that.

On the other hand is Levi. He also takes some time to wake up, but it’s about five minutes. Once he’s scarfed down some toast {fine! It’s cheese!) and chugged a sippy cup of milk, he wants to play.

I, on a freakish third hand, do not. I want to check my personal Facebook, this page’s Facebook, Twitter, email, the blogs I follow, etc.

So I don’t always give him, or them, the attention they want and quite frankly, deserve.

I’m all for poking fun at feeling mom guilt over silly things like overloading my kids with dairy, but this is a real thing to feel really guilty about.

That Friday night when my friend asked to come over, mommy guilt struck an effective blow, and reminded me that I needed to spend time with my kids and stop with the constant distractions. I’m in charge of my choices, and I can choose to put my phone on top of the fridge for a couple hours, and then freak out when I can’t find it.

It’s not easy to admit I ignore my children sometimes with something that seems frivolous. It’s even harder to break the habit. It’s sad how difficult it is. But I’m trying.

I’m trying to be more present. I’m trying to engage with them more. I’m trying desperately to find the joy in playing with blocks for the 412th time that day. My kids are better for it because they know that Mommy wants to be with them. It’s better for me because I get to see how awesome my kids are.

And it’s good for you because it’s really hard to write about your kids if you don’t have a clue what they’re doing.

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2 thoughts on “Ignoring My Kids

  1. Oh ues, I am guilty of this too! I wrote a post about this a while ago but the sad part was my one year old is the one that brought it to my attention! He was sitting in my lap while I was browsing my phone and he very politely took the phone out of my hand and put it down without saying a word! It was quite powerful!

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  2. And you still got coffee a week later! Because awesome BFF’s will adjust their desire for time with their mommy friends so that those mommy friends can be awesome at loving their kids. Everyone wins in the end. Kids get mommy time, mommy is awesome, BFF’s are awesome and coffee is still consumed. Bahahahaha! I am awesome. I mean you…you are awesome…and me.

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