Towards the end of last year I did a lot of reflecting over our family time, and the quality of the time we do have together. Both my husband and I have pretty intense jobs, we can spend a lot of time distracted checking in on emails and feeling the pressure to be ‘online and available’ to work pretty much all the time. I also co-founded About Time Planners last year, which I LOVE doing, but we have social media accounts that need to be kept on top of as well as shipping orders etc etc etc, you don’t realise how much time you spend on your phone whilst the kids are skipping around your heels trying to get your attention or you’re simply missing watching them grow up…*audible heart break noise*.
That rather terrifying Apple iOS update that gives your screen time total was the final straw. We agreed that we would have a no phone day every Sunday. We switch up lie-ins at the weekend and the rule is once the other one is up, our phones go away and we don’t check them again until the girls are in bed. I was initially very hesitant, not just because of my clear phone addiction, but mainly because I use the camera on my phone so often and didn’t want to be on family days out unable to snap away in my usual over aggressive paparazzi way. Anthony had this covered though, he very sweetly bought me a simple digital camera for my birthday luckily not too expensive as he knew it would be used (and dropped) by the kids. So that was it, the New Year rolled in, and we got stuck into the new regime.
We’ve had around 5/6 ‘Phone Free Sundays’ (we probably need a more catchy title…) but they’ve genuinely been pretty special. The first couple of weeks I felt like I was missing a limb, I’d find myself reaching for something that wasn’t there but now I genuinely look forward to it. We talk more, we chat to the girls more, we just have more time, the days seems longer (in a good way!) and it gives us both a weekly digital detox that has been amazing. A couple of times, we’ve stayed home and hung out, Nora still naps (long live the nap!) and for that 1.5 hours Edie is usually pretty chilled out, on any other day, I’d be running round like a nutter doing the jobs that had been mounting up, putting the laundry away (I HATE that job!) unloading/reloading the dishwasher, you know how it is, and if I do get a few mins to myself before Nora is back to it, I’ll sit and scroll through Instagram, but on our Sundays when we’re at home, we try to get a newspaper. I know this may not seem that groundbreaking but when you’re parents to two pre-schoolers, a newspaper is a luxury up there with spa retreats!
Newspapers and I have a funny relationship, I don’t know if it actually stems back to the fact I don’t really like how they feel (I know I now sound like my 3 year old…) but I don’t enjoy reading them however The Sunday Times magazine pack…I’m all over that! Pre-kids we used to get it delivered every week and it was such a lovely treat to flick through the Style mag and the Culture section and now, if we’re at home and not running round after out of control scooters and stopping the 2 year old from licking farm animals (she’s all the ferals!) we get The Sunday Times and I sit during nap time and read.a.magazine…in daylight hours, in peace…
Do you ever manage a digital detox or do you have any tricks of getting more time back to do the things you love (reading!) around bonkers family life?