Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Old Habits....

Some bad old habits of mine are starting to resurface. Ones that were curbed temporarily by necessity and happenstance, not because of any conscious effort put forth on my part, mind you. I speak, of course, about spending too much time on-line. It is an addiction/compulsion that many of us share. You wouldn’t be here reading this blog right now if you didn’t have an issue with it, too, am I right?

It took over a month to get our internet access up and running when we first moved here. A painful, long month of trying to figure out how the heck we were going to get information every single time we needed an address, a number, a destination, directions, everything! I would keep lists of the things I needed to look up and then check them off dutifully one-by-one each time I managed a trip into town to the library or a café with wi-fi. I was upset that my blog had to go pretty much on hiatus, I lost momentum with my writing, stalled out growth of the site, and lost touch with friends that I wanted to keep informed of the minutia of our transition to English living.

Even while I complained copiously about not having access to all of this at home, though, I knew that it was for the best. I knew in my heart that the kids needed me to be present during this time. They needed all of mommy’s attention, not just the 10% that isn’t focused on daddy, dinner, housework, twitter, and blogging. And that is (sadly) NOT listed in order of importance to me.

Not having internet access for four weeks was one of the best things that could’ve happened to our family.

No wi-fi for the parents + no screen-time for the kids = a happy, connected family.

Total no-brainer, right?


So, if it is a total no-brainer, then why is it so eff-ing hard to pull myself away from the computer again? I love this blog; I love the feedback to posts, I love the game of it, I love the possibilities, I love the people I’ve met…. But aren’t the people that I love right here in my house more important? I like to think that I always put my family first… well,… that I would put my family first, anyway,… if I needed to. But the truth of the matter is that I can be incredibly selfish and I push my kids and husband away when I am busy writing or editing photos. And that really stinks. Especially because I have time during the day, when all three of the kids & Daddy-007 are at school, to get this work done.

I am going to spend the rest of half-term break (the kids are back in school on Monday) re-aligning my priorities and figuring out a system of internet use that will get me back on track. I’m afraid I’m going to have to make a little ADHD chart, like the ones I used to make for Destructo, for myself that outlines when I can use the ‘net and when I can’t. I know I can make it work, but I need a little space to think about it, scheme up a program for myself, write it down, then put it into practice. The proclivities of the ADD mind make it a lot harder than it sounds, so cut me some slack, okay?

Buckland Abbey

Note: If I resort to using ‘internet time’ as a reward for good behavior, you will know that I have gone totally insane. Please send help!


  1. We all struggle with this. I un-plug during the day. Check my email/blogs in the morning once the kids are on the bus and then again during the toddler's nap time. Once the kids are all in bed, I log on again.

    I could spend hours on twitter at night. I really need to stop doing that. It sucks me in. I hate that site. Heh. :)

  2. hhhmmm...i get tired of being everyones bitch ! period! get this , do that , drive here, i want you now, give me all of your attention, ........i am old and still have not figured out the secret to being a stepford wife and mummy ? but i do know you have to keep one small , little thing for just YOU!! Xp

  3. But you DID miss me right?

    Hey I understand, hence why I cut down to once a week and I don't blog at all in the evening. We all need a system.

    But you DID miss me right?

  4. The clock only has 24 hrs every day. I take it off my TV time, it's the only way I can handle it.


  5. I'm right there with ya sister...need a 12 step program but I would totally fall of the wagon! again and again off to play my game now and check FB!

  6. Sweetie, I completely understand!
    I have given myself a schedule that I follow. Internet after the kid's in bed or in quiet time. When we get home from the day, I spend all the time I can with her and eat, play, read, whatever. When she goes to bed, that's my time. How I handle it with the husband? Um, not quite adept at that one yet.. I'll let you know. :-)

  7. I could definitely use a schedule. But, at the same time, you do need to take care of yourself too. Even if it's a little mindless time in front of the computer. If you push too much 'you' time away to make time for everybody else it can cause more harm than good.

    Oh, and can I have a copy of that AMAZING picture?!

  8. Hmmm ... a schedule (to be said with a plummy accent) that might help but the problem with being at home is that as soon as you say you are going to do one thing something else comes up. I don't go online in the morning or the evening and I try to be "there" when the kids get home. But it's hard, my on-line friends don't expect me to make playdough or even dinner.

  9. There's always something.
    At least it doesn't have calories!

  10. I have a litany of ideas every so often of how to manage. Currently, I have my laptop in my bedroom, so it keeps the brainless site cruising to a minimum. On the other laptop, I deleted all the bookmarks and won't open my reader, so I hit only 3 sites then immediately turn it off. Max of 5 minutes spent. Though I am a master planner, the internet is like my own personal hurdle I set back out every few weeks, because net free is the way to be.

  11. It's so hard, isn't it?

    But, so is engaging. Blech. ;)

    You're a good mom. You'll find the right balance. Being aware of it is the most important thing, right? Lots of people don't even have that much.

  12. Tis hard, tis hard and you have my full sympathies.

    I've struggled with this and what it ultimately meant for me was a downsize in my blogging life. I tend to read most blogs on the bus as I'm travelling to/from work since I get google reader on my phone, but it does mean that I leave much fewer comments than I would.

    I write posts all the time, but only in my mind.

    Family eats so much time, damn people with their emotional needs and their bittersweet heart bonds.

  13. Just knowing you have a problem is the first step to recovery. Or something. I was never in a twelve step program so I'm not sure. But I THINK that's what they say. I should look it up online. Just as soon as I finish commenting here and reading about 14 other blogs and Twittering about them and chatting with some people on Facebook, I'm going to wiki that. I can totally do that because I don't have a problem at all.

    No, I don't.

    Shut up.

  14. I'm sure you'll get it all sorted out!!! It's likely it's just all of the changes you know! You'll be FINE just FINE! Although a schedule might help ...

    I get so sick of housework ... that I actually schedule a time of day to do a certain task, and give myself a specific amount of time to do it in. Otherwise ... I keep putting it off. Sad ... I know ... but true!

  15. Sigh. I really get this. Turn us off. Really. We'll still love you.

  16. It's taken me forever to comment on this post because I guess I've been attempting to practice what you're suggesting in it! I'm trying very, very hard to unplug myself for greater periods of time, but wow, the computer can be a siren's call, can't it?

    In early October, we put our foots down with the boys and took away their computer time for things other than school-related matters and told them that would be the case until the end of December. It was seriously getting to be they were on the thing constantly. We expected a bit of a backlash, but they took the mandate reasonably well, and I have to be honest, last month they rediscovered toys I figured they forgot they had, they read more, they invented games, and they were (even more of) a pleasure to be around. Part of me hopes that when December rolls around, they forget the time is up. An even greater part of me hopes I can start practicing what I'm preaching with my laptop!

    Finally - I can't even begin to tell you how much I adore that photo at the end of this post. When I look at it, I just picture this ideal land of whatever you wish to be behind that gate!

  17. It is very hard for me to unplug. I did for a long time but the last ten months I have been heavy on the internet. Something to think about.

  18. I hope we all don't end up in some sort of cyber rehab for this problem.

  19. oh, I hear ya. and I've made charts, schedules, grids... to no avail so far. I get fixated on a specific thing and that consumes all my hours, it seems. it can be a book, blogging, a TV series I just bought on DVD, or searching for the perfect birthday present of for tickets to travel to NYC... I'll see your ADD and raise you an obsessive-compulsive ;-)


Thoughts appreciated. Advice welcome. Douche-baggery scoffed at then deleted.