In this day and age of distractibility, the Internet can be a friend, or an enemy. We can have the best of intentions to get on for just 15 minutes, but hours later, we look up and realize that it’s past time to get dinner started.
I used to be one of those moms. I rationalized I was collecting information that would help me be better. But in reality, I was doing all that research and singing up for emails because…
…I had a fear of missing out.
And sadly, it came at the cost of my family. My house rarely got cleaned, the laundry piled up and up, and my children… were growing up.
I am so thankful to God for bringing a wise woman (Yvonne) into my life about a year ago. I asked her how she was able to be on the Internet all the time and still connect with her kids (she is the area coordinator for ICC and that means a lot of time on the computer in emails and planning). She told me something which changed my life…
Whenever my kids come up to talk to me, I shut my laptop.
I thought, “surely I can carry on a conversation without having to close my laptop!” But after a few days, I decided to do what she said. When my daughter came up to me, I immediately closed my laptop. At first, it didn’t register with them they they now had my full attention. But after a few more times, they began to catch on that this wasn’t a fad. They really had mom’s full attention.
Had I realized the impact this would have on my children’s lives, I would have started doing this years ago. My oldest became much more open with me. My children started telling me more often how much they love me. I looked into their eyes when they talked and they felt that what they had to say, and more importantly who they are, is important.
It was then that I decided that my fear of missing out was placed wrongly on the things I felt I needed to know. I should have been afraid of missing out on my children.
I began to trust that if God wanted me to know something, then He would make sure I knew it. So in addition to closing my laptop when the kids were near, I needed to let go of the fear of missing out. I went through and limited my emails, my blog reading, and my pinning.
Am I perfect? No. There are still times I get involved in something and forget to close my laptop, or I once again have several tabs open. But I have learned not to fear missing out on information, and I have learned that the computer can wait. My family, my children, and my house … They shouldn’t have to.