Message Received: A Change of Focus

The past few weeks, I have had this feeling of conviction each time I would sit at the computer.  I knew I spent a lot of time online… checking email, facebook, twitter, pinterest and more!  What shocked me the most was what I was teaching my children.

Without any words, I was teaching them that I was putting the COMPUTER above THEM.  They were viewing the situation as I was valuing facebook more than I valued spending time with them.



Imagine my surprise when my three year old woke me up Sunday morning and asked me to come downstairs with him.  I begrudgingly yawned and trekked downstairs.  Only to be asked by his sweet face, “Mommy do you need to check your computer first before we ‘nuggle’?”  My heart broke in two.  He saw that I was putting the computer above his needs… Me!

Shortly after church, my husband and I were planning the rest of the afternoon.  I go to check my computer (ya know, because I am so important) and I see this note that my oldest son left for me.

computer closed! @runningrachel

I think he was trying to send me a message.  Computer Closed!  It wasn’t just a statement.  It was an exclamation… closed.  Mommy do NOT get on the computer.  WE want to spend time with YOU!  I received that message loud and clear.

We have had gorgeous weather here in northern California.  Deciding to take full advantage of the family day… and the sunshine, we headed to a local park.  The boys (and Mommy and Daddy) played, giggled, climbed, ran, explored and more.  We were all a hot mess when we left that park.

the boys 3/24/13 @runningrachelthe youngest boy 3/24/13 via @runningrachelthe boys 3/24/13 via @runningrachel

I questioned myself, what if I had not unplugged and I continued to work during our family day.  Would I have missed out on their smiles, adventures, memories?  Would we have stayed at home and not really enjoyed our day?  I am glad my son spoke truth into my world this afternoon.  Reminding me that I needed to unplug and turn off the computer.  It was closed.  I needed to PLUG IN to my family… that is always open.

I am going to try to make a conscious effort to unplug from my social media/online world when my children are awake.  I need to make THEM a priority… make them FEEL like they are VALUED and IMPORTANT.  Because they are!

Also, by unplugging and getting away from the computer… it will encourage and motivate me to be more active and LIVE LIFE to the FULL.  I will be a living example to my children to MOVE and DO… rather than sit at the computer while staring at this mysterious picture on the computer screen called facebook. (my guilty pleasure).

This is a message that *I* needed to hear.  I heard it loud and clear.  Now I need to practice what I heard and live it out.  I am going to do my best to change my focus.  But I need your help.

How do you manage your online time? (facebook, twitter, blogs, pinterest)
How much time do you spend online?
What time of day (when) do you check your social networks?


  1. says

    I had to give myself one day a week off. Sunday is my social media sabbath – no online time. The day is so much fuller and longer. I feel so much more rested and ready on Monday.

  2. says

    my online time is def my “me” time… instead of watching tv, i’m on the computer… or i’m doing both. i do try and make sure i still have time for my hubs, but you’re right – i probably should make it more of a priority!
    Linz @ Itz Linz recently posted..Marvelous Bridal Shower

    • says

      <3 I am a multitasker also… catching up on my DOOL (Days of Our Lives – my guilty pleasure) while drafting up posts or checking fb/twitter ;)

  3. says

    I definitely struggle with being online so much. I don’t have children, but I do need to make more time for my husband over Twitter, FB, blogging, etc. I have started unplugging earlier than usual so we get one-on-one time every night.
    Maureen recently posted..This is MY Journey

    • says

      I have started unplugging earlier… and then replugging in once the kids (and husband) go to bed. Which means I am a tired mama because I go to bed late. 😉

  4. says

    my husband and i made the decision to close our fb accounts about 2 years ago and honestly, it wast the best decision we have made! i’m not going to lie, it was challenging at first and it caused me to realize i was literally addicted to it! hoping you kind find a good balance… and thanks for the reminder to stay “plugged in” to family!
    Tina recently posted..33 weeks

  5. says

    What an important message! Your son sounds very smart. Mine’s too young to notice how much time I’m spending on the computer, but I have a feeling this will be an issue for me someday too… Thanks for sharing this, and I’m glad you had so much fun with the fam!! (Also, crazy jealous of your weather!!) :)
    Kim @ HealthyNest recently posted..Monday detox and new goals

  6. says

    This is a great post! I sometimes feel the same way. I try to write and schedule blog posts when I’m not with the kids/they’re asleep and tend to not check social media much once I’m at home each night. I usually will grab my phone and look at Facebook as the kids are playing in the tub or if they’re watching something before bed, but as far as the rest of the night, I try to make sure I’m present for my husband and our boys. If that means I’m not great on Twitter or posting the latest pictures on Instagram, then so be it. They’re only little once and I want to spend the time we have together, together.
    Anna recently posted..If I were to buy myself birthday gifts

  7. says

    Oh yes. I struggle with this a lot. I unplugged for National Day of Unplugging for 24 hours and it was really great. I know that I’m constantly plugged in but when my kids mention it? That’s when I know that it’s gone too far. I’m trying to be better about it but it’s still a difficult balance to create.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..What’s in your Fitness Closet?

  8. says

    The best and really the only time for me to work on my blog or check social media is when my children are in school. That way I have few distractions and I can accomplish what I want to accomplish. I also do work at night when they are in bed. I don’t know how I will manage this summer when all of them are home.
    Jennifer The Quirky Momma recently posted..Work at Home Momma

  9. David says

    The computer can be a real time killer. It can be worse than TV because of the sheer volume of information. I stay off the social networks, but still spend too much time on various news sites and checking my email. I was told years ago one should check email 3 times a day at most, that is it. Still have not adopted that habit. Maybe today is a good day to start.
    David recently posted..Rapid Weight Loss Tips: Cycle Those Calories


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge