Do you still know them? People of your age without a mobile phone? I can count them on one hand. Even more so on one finger!
I am actually jealous of people who live without a mobile, because I have to admit that I am a mother who is lived by her (two) mobile phones and laptop. My biggest excuse is; ‘yes, but it’s also my job’. A poor excuse, I know. So, let me tell you my secret for a great start of 2020!
A common situation
Last week I was with my five year old girl at bakery ‘Out‘ in Ouderkerk aan de Amstel. We live in a cozy village with a dito bakery. Next to us was a mother with her daughter. I estimate the girl was about ten years old. I dare to say that the mother has literally been on her phone for 45 minutes without interruption. App after app went back and forth. The girl tried to make contact from time to time, with no results, and sat quietly in front of her, eating her cake.
Even if your house has burned down, escalation at work, your cat has its period or whatever your problem is, have a little respect for the person opposite to you! I noticed anger but also cowardice in myself. Instead of being bothered by the situation, I remained silent. I nodded kindly at the girl a few times but that was it.
I must also admit that I felt a shame for this woman and for myself too. Okay, I can manage this at the bakery, but at home I am a regular copy of this woman. My children have spoken to me more than once about the use of my telephone and texts such as ‘Mama, are you still working?’ are regularly coming my way.
The secret solution
And now let me tell you my secret for a great start of 2020! I have since then purchased a kitchen timer! If I want to finish something else, we determine the time together and then the phone goes aside (also on silent!). This also works for their screen time. Together we can lay down the screens when the timer rings.
I now try to be more aware of my own screen time and instead of looking at my screen, I make real contact. I don’t always have to be available to everyone, and certainly not when I’m with my children. The world will keep on turning without my attention. Children prefer the attention of the people they love!
And you know what. The best part is that we let the world stand still for a moment.
Marianne is mother of Valentijn (2012) and Anne-Mare (2014) and one of the Founders of Topsitters.
Once in a while she gives you a glimpse into her turbulent life as a mother and entrepreneur through a blog.