This year I gave myself a Mother’s Day gift.

I didn’t realize it was going to be a gift when it happened.

You see, I was using my phone too much. I’m sure I’m not alone in this, right? Those phones can be magnets I tell you! And to be sure, they are pretty incredible tools. Oh how productive they can be!

Of course, I have so many “important” things to do on that that phone of mine, we all do, right? But I found myself missing out on the things right in front of me.

I realized I was looking at my phone way more than I was looking at my husband and children, and that is pretty sad if you ask me. I mean, technology can ruin adults just as much as it can ruin our kids!

So when I crawled into bed last weekend I challenged Dave to a “screen time challenge week” on a whim:

Whoever tallied up with the least amount of screen time at the end of the week would be the winner.

And he was in.

We decided we better put high stakes on the line (30 minute back-rub for the winner) and the trash talk began. Oh he thought he’d beat me easy peasy but I won by a land slide. (He should have known by now that I am very serious when there’s a back-rub on the line. Ha!)

I answered texts when I was at my computer doing work, (why do we think we have to answer texts the minute they come in?), and when I was in the kitchen or in the car or in our bedroom I was really there.

I must admit that back-rub was grand, but do you know what the real gift was?

It was the gift of my family.

Oh sure, they’re already mine. But I cherished them so much better. I saw them. I was present.

I was there to talk to them more often face to face. I found out things I never would have known had I been so easily distracted.

And although I know that was a gift to them (who doesn’t want their mom or wife to be more present?), I was the one who benefitted the most.

My brain had more space to think.

My heart had more room to wrap.

As we drove home from Dave’s parent’s house last night we tallied up our screen-time and I already spilled the beans about the results. But I loved the conversation that ensued, all five of us tucked in the car together, my girls commenting on how much the liked “this” mom. Ok, ok, yes, it was Mother’s Day so they were being nice anyway (they’re always nice), but I just like how this feels.

So now the balancing act begins.

Not sure if a back-rub needs to be on the line every week (ha!), but I sure don’t want to look back and realized I missed out on time with these people I adore most in the whole wide world…

…along with their big siblings and spouses we sure wish we could hug every day!

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  1. I love this! I actually did something similar for myself yesterday for Mother’s Day. I deleted my instagram account! It was a big move but I have 5 little ones and another on the way and I have been trying for years to be more present with them. I have been really good for months at not looking at instagram more than once a month but I decided for this stage in my life…I just needed to be with those that were right in front of me. I made chatbooks out of my instagram and then ripped the bandaid off last night and deleted my account. The book Stolen Focus and Digital Minimalism both helped me realize I needed to take the plunge!

    1. Great job Hailey. I have 5 little ones too, and did the same thing 2 years ago. I am more present now and I love it, so do they.

  2. Looks like you had a great Mother’s Day. x

    Just curious, has the subscribe to comments been turned off, if so why?

    1. Hey Julie, good question. For some reason that plugin was giving me all these error messages so I disabled it until my brother Josh can help me figure it out! Hopefully it will be back soon.

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