Hands Free - Month #1

>> Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A few weeks ago, we decided to be more Hands Free and committed to enjoying the little moments with our family.  I really wasn't sure how this was going to go....especially since I've been so dependent on my phone, Facebook, email for distraction.

But when I read Hand-Free Mama, I realized how many moments I was missing with my daughters.  So many missed opportunites to connect, to share, to spend time together.....something I desperately wanted with my girls.  I've always envisioned us having a close, loving relationship as they grew into adulthood.....but at the rate I was going, I feared that I was just going to be an inconvenience to them in my old age.

As we "unplugged" over these past weeks, those moments presented themselves with more and more clarity......not only with just me and my daughters, but with me personally.

*  Instead of playing games on my computer, I played games with my kids.  We played endless games of Uno, Candyland, and more.  Since it was during the Olympics, we held our own Olympic events....laughing until we were breathless and cheering as we all, at one point, would win medals in our own version of Family Olympics.

*  Instead of reading posts on Facebook, I read books.  By being unplugged, I was able to take the time to sit and savor my 5 year old reading to me....seeing the joy on her face as she read books all by herself.  I would quickly answer "YES!" to my 9 year old when she asked me to come and read with her at bedtime.....recognizing that one day this moment may never happen again.  Nani and I also started a little Bible study together....doing devotionals and then discussing them together at bedtime.  We also resurrected another bedtime tradition of using our "Notebook" -- where we write special things and then leave it in the bedroom for the other to find.  I found that I missed this little exchange of notes and was possibly losing an opportunity to connect with my soon-to-be-tween in a very pecial way.  I look back on how many moments I lost because I was on the computer when my daughters asked to be read to and I would say "in a minute" and when that "minute" passed a couple hours later, they were already asleep.  I even enjoyed some books of my own!

*  Instead of "pinning" crafts, I actually completed crafts.  I had a pile of projects that I wanted to start and even finish....and this was the perfect time.  The girls and I also started some crafts together -- painting picture frames, coloring fabric squares, making Matryoshka dolls during the Olympics.

*  Instead of checking my FB while in the car line or after pick up....we'd put our playlist on and sing together....each of us getting to pick a song of our choosing.  I'm finding that Nudgie leans more towards Carrie Underwood and VBS CDs, while Nani is more of a Taylor Swift girl.

It was an eye-opening experience....and certainly not easy.  I failed many times.....pulling out my cell phone when I shouldn't.  But there were also time when I did, I would catch myself and put it away.

During this next month - my task is to be more deliberate and choosing what matters.  This particular chapter builds on the previous one, but the focus is on being more deliberate with my girls....trying to find more ways to connect, more ways to experience the joy that comes with parenting.

Stay tuned!

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