App-sessed! How did our mothers ever survive?

Ok, I love a good organizational tool just as much as the next OCD mom, but I feel like every component of my children’s lives is connected to an app. I’ve had to become “app-sessed” if I want to know the latest information about their activities so I show up at practice when I’m supposed to and deliver orange slices to the soccer team on the right weekend. There are apps for each classroom, an app for the soccer team, and a group chat for scouts. I’m sure I’m missing one, but just know there are multiple groups with lots of people in them.

Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy the fact that these apps allow me to connect with the people I need to, but it does get me wondering…how did our mothers ever survive? Forget about there not being apps 30 years ago, there weren’t even cell phones! Yet, I still got to where I needed to be at the right time and the soccer team had their orange slices on the right weekend. It was pure magic!

I remember my mom being part of a  “telephone tree” when information for school or an activity had to get out. The idea of a phone blast was not even a thought! My mom would actually pick up the phone to call someone to relay a message. I know…the horror.

Nine times out of ten they even picked up the phone since there was no caller ID. They couldn’t just let it go to voicemail to avoid having a conversation (not that anyone would ever do that these days). She actually gave up five minutes of her day to have a live conversation with another human being. Imagine!

There were no group texts to send out and get information. She didn’t have to worry about being part of a group text where everyone needed to text back the entire group to say that they not only got the message but to also say thank you five minutes later! I now turn off notifications because I don’t need twelve people saying “thank-you” at midnight. Yes, that’s happened and I’m sure many of you can relate.

Sure, I could choose to not download the apps and not join the groups. Then what? I wouldn’t know what’s going on in my children’s classrooms, I would overlap with someone else’s “orange slice weekend” and my kids would miss practice or worse, we would show up on the wrong day.

Call me crazy, but I would love to go back to the days of “telephone trees”. Granted, I may not answer the phone all the time, but one solid, informational phone call versus 20 text message sure sounds good about now. It was a much simpler time back then and things still got done and we all survived without our apps. Our “app-less” mothers still got it done, and probably better than we are today.

Is anyone else feeling “app-sessed” these days or is it just me?



3 Resolutions Every Mother Should Make

Now that you’ve cleaned up the confetti and thrown away the champagne bottle, it’s time to look ahead to the new year. For some of us that means making resolutions. For others not making a resolution is your resolution. But, if you are one of those mommas looking to make a resolution, I’ve got three ideas you really should consider.

Lose weight? No.

Get Organized? No.

Spend More Time with Family? No.

Stop Gossiping? No.

So, if a momma doesn’t want to lose weight and clean her house, what could she possibly want to do in the new year?

For starters, limit your phone time. No, I’m not crazy. I’m including myself in this one. You don’t need to memorize everyone’s Facebook status or see everyone’s tweet pronto. You don’t need to accept every game invite. Playing Farmville 24/7 won’t make you a farmer. It just won’t. Your phone is not going to explode if you don’t check your e-mail every five minutes. The messages will be there.

If you’re like me, there’s just some unexplainable obsession with checking or being on your phone all the time. The hold that the tiny screen has on us is undeniable and sad at the same time. How many times has your child asked you to get off your phone? Raise your hand. I’m raising mine. How does that make you feel? It certainly doesn’t make me feel like a good parent.

If we spend less time on our phones, we’ll have time for real conversations. I’m not talking about text convos or snap chats. I’m talking about honest to goodness verbal interaction with another human being. I know, it’s crazy to imagine. I’m talking about having more quality time with our kids so they don’t have to compete with our phones.

So once you’ve limited your phone time, you can think about yelling less. After your child has used your hardwood floor as a canvas, it’s hard to not want to yell like a maniac. Trust me, I’ve been there. How about when you’ve asked your children to do something three times and they don’t even acknowledge that they’ve heard your voice? They’ll hear if you yell, right? They will, but what will it accomplish? You’re going to get even more mad.

I think as parents we sometimes forget that our kids are just that…kids. They don’t have the same reasoning skills as we do. They just want to have fun. They just want to be kids. Sometimes we may fall victim to wanting our kids to act more like adults than they should or than they are capable of. Raise your hand if this includes you. I’m raising mine. By yelling less, we can actually talk to them and think of other ways to remedy situations. In the process we can try to let them be kids. Maybe we can be kids sometimes too. Wouldn’t it be fun to just color like no one is watching?

Ok, so you’ve limited your phone time and yelled less, what’s left to do? How about take better care of yourself? Chances are you know or are one of those moms who doesn’t really take care of herself. Whether it’s keeping annual doctors’ visits or just making sure you get a haircut more than once a year, you need to take care of yourself. If you’re a hot mess from the inside out, how are you going to take care of your family? We all know the answer.

I’m not talking about being in full make-up when you’re hanging out at the bus stop. But, maybe brushing your hair and getting out of your PJs is a start? Taking better care of yourself doesn’t mean going shopping every week. But, maybe you don’t have to wear the flip-flops that are being held together with duct tape. Taking better care of yourself will not only make yourself feel better, it will also set an example for your kids. We all know kids are the biggest copiers ever.

While these are just three resolutions, they are not easy to keep. I’ll be practicing what I preach as I try to make these work in my life. What’s the worse that can happen? I’ll be having more real conversations without yelling while feeling better about myself. Not a bad way to start the new year.



No Phones at the Table

“No phones at the table.”

That’s my quote. My husband knows it. My kids know it. Even our extended family is aware of it.

Why? You may ask.

Why not?

I grew up in a house where family dinner time meant something. It was a time to talk about your day or any other topic you had on your mind. It was the one time of day when everyone was together, even just for a short amount of time. It wasn’t the time of day to check your Facebook or text messages. Granted, they didn’t exist then (geez I’m old), but you get my point.

Sad to say, family dinner time is pretty much non-existent in many households today. Opposite and crazy work schedules can make family meals impossible. For others, it’s overscheduling ourselves or our family that seems to be the problem. Whatever the case, dinner time ain’t what it used to be. I’m sure many of you agree.

That’s even more reason why we should give our phones a little nappy when actually sit down to dinner with the family. That Facebook video doesn’t need to be watched now. It doesn’t ever need to be watched if you ask me, but I digress. Twitter will still be there in a half hour. That text message that’s dinging incessantly will eventually go away. Don’t worry, it will be waiting for you when you’re done eating your mashed potatoes and corn.

Trust me, it’s hard to resist the urge to set your phone a place at the table. Just because I made the rule doesn’t mean it’s easy for me to follow. I really don’t know why our phones have such a hold over us. It’s an addiction. It’s hard to accept the fact that our phones can wait.

I don’t think the same can be said about our kids or spouses. A little piece of me cringes when parents tell their kids to hold on to that great story they are bursting to tell so that they can finish a text or finish watching a video. The next time, that child may not want to tell their story. Think about that the next time your text messages dings.

So, if you ever have dinner at my house, remember no phones at the table. If you forget, don’t worry, my kids will remind you. They know the rule so well that their play phones don’t even make it over!

How about you? Do you have similar dinner time rules?



Night Night Phone

I will be the first to admit that I am semi-obsessed with my iPhone. I used to roll my eyes at people who constantly scrolled, texted, and tweeted through their days. I sadly admit, I am now becoming one of those people. They say the first step to fixing a problem is to admit you have one. So, there. I’m not saying I’m going to give up my phone completely. Come on now, I may break out in hives. But, I think I have come up with a way to hang up on my obsession…a little.

I started to get the idea when I was on vacation last week. I didn’t unplug completely, but I did loosen the cord. I checked all my fave sites in the morning and again before I went to bed. But that’s it. I wasn’t constantly looking to see who liked my photo or who just tweeted they went to the bathroom. I didn’t catch an email just as it came in my inbox. Guess what? I survived! Shocker, I know. By tuning out my phone I noticed I was more tuned in to my surroundings. Granted, I was near a beach. But, you get the point. I started to remember the days before my smart phone began to transform me into an anti-social notification hungry nut.

So, now that I’m home in my not so picturesque surroundings, I’ve come up with a plan to control my phone frenzy. It starts with really making an effort to limit my phone usage during the day. That means resisting the urge to constantly check for updates. Instead, I can use that time to play with my kids or get more things done around the house. But, the big change is…drumroll please…saying goodnight to my phone so I’m not constantly on it before bed. My new rule is to put it to bed when I put my kids to bed. If I can do this, I will have a few hours to do things like have a real conversation with my husband or watch one of the dozens of shows in my DVR and read a book. I’ll admit, it’s hard to resist the urge, but I’m trying…baby steps…baby steps.

If you can relate to anything that I just wrote, how about trying to make the change too? Isn’t it times to say night night phone?