Last weekend, we reached our data limit on our internet. It hasn't happened before but we had 3 days before the data would return. It was a long weekend and the kids were not impressed ( and neither were the adults). As the weekend progressed, I notice an interesting phenomena. My kids came out of their caves. They created and drew. They watched a movie with us. They were present. They connected with us and with each other.
To be honest, while I enjoyed their company, I felt a little sad. We try really hard to limit their online time but obviously we have slipped. Don't get me wrong, they aren't spending all of their day in their rooms and only coming out for food and water. They are very present in our home. I wish I could say we get that balance right, but we don't. Well not always. I stand in the middle of the seesaw and try to balance. Sometimes we are up and sometimes we are down. Sometimes, I have the sorest legs trying to get that balance right.
I think this is one of the toughest parts of being a mother. The art of balancing and getting it right. I try not to beat myself up when I fail. I know it will tip the other way with a bit of effort. I try to remind myself that I care enough to work hard at it. If I fail or fall, well that is OK. If I succeed, well great. Either way, tomorrow is a new day and I can start again.
Since the data has returned, I have been monitoring their usage. I have been tipping the seesaw back to the middle. If I was honest, I would love to have data free weekends. It is a fight I wage every now and again. But mostly, I go back to the old "distraction" technique. The one we learn as mothers to get them to move in the direction we would like. I asked them to come to the beach for fish and chips because it is so beautiful outside. We spend four hours together as a family, connecting as a family, with no online time....with no complaints. That is the art of balance.