Today is National Day of Unplugging- a day to unwind, relax and avoid the distraction of electrical devices. If you’re a parent, it’s important to have one of these not just once a year, but regularly throughout, because we all need some respite from social media and technology every once in a while. Here are just some of the reasons why you might like to schedule in a day of unplugging for yourself if you have little ones.
It sets a good example for your children: If they see their parents taking time away from devices, they will be more inclined to follow suit. They will come to see it as a treat but not something that forms the basis of every day. This jolt in the routine helps everyone in the household to snap out of the habit of relying on screens as the main source of entertainment.
You will be able to spend more quality time with your kids: With no screen time, you have to get a little more creative with what you might like to do with your children. This opens the door to other activities such as heading outdoors to exercise together, crafting, reading, playing, cooking- whatever takes your fancy. While it may seem like a struggle at first, you will find coming up with new ideas gets easier as time goes on.
Social media can make you feel like a bad parent: When all you see are other parents doing everything perfectly because they are only showing you their highlight reel of life with their kids- it inevitably makes you feel like you are doing something wrong. If you stay away from this and only worry about what’s going on in your house, you won’t fall into the trap of playing the comparison game.
You can do something for you: Once the kids are in bed, rather than watching TV, scrolling through Facebook or shopping on your I-Pad, you have time to read, write, take a bath, give yourself a manicure or pedicure, have an early night- whatever you haven’t been doing because you’ve been stuck in front of a screen- spend it wisely and invest in yourself.
You can have some quality time with your partner: Having kids impacts on the time you can spend on your relationship- it’s inevitable. But, once your kids are in the land of nod- this is your chance to put down your phones and talk to your partner or dare I say it- have some intimate time together.
You can spend time on your home: Rather than looking at hundreds of Pinterest pictures with envy, put down your phone and do something to change your space. This could be a simple tidy or declutter, moving some furniture or touching up here and there with some paint. And who knows, you might get the bug to do something more if you were to grant yourself some more days of unplugging. Focus on the home you have and how you can make it the best for your children rather than pining over other people’s Instagram posts of their family rooms, which have all been tidied and staged prior to taking the picture.
Finally.. it gives you a chance to reflect on your parenting: Perhaps there is something new you would like to try out with your kids- a fresh activity or to visit a place you’ve never been to together. Maybe you would like to give them more responsibility or challenge them to something they haven’t done before. Without a screen in front of you, you can think about all of these things and write them down. What are you doing well and what would you like to work on as their parent? All parents have things they excel at and things they would ideally want to improve- one of which could be to have less screen time. If this is the case, jot down some ways you can slowly replace their device usage with other things and start to phase it out, even if it’s just a little each day.
Justina Perry founded MamaBabyBliss and has over 15 years’ experience in promoting wellbeing in pregnancy and new mums. She also trains the NHS to help improve postnatal wellbeing, so we caught up with her to ask her about the importance of all-natural products during and after pregnancy and find out how mothers can overcome the most common struggles during this time… to read more click HERE