Why do we always need to be entertained? The other day I came across a blog post titled “10 Things to Do While You’re Breastfeeding”. Intrigued, I read it. The post encouraged breastfeeding moms to pick up a new book (paperback, Kindle, Audible), bookmark your favorite blogs/websites, binge watch shows through online platforms, journal, and catch up with family and friends over the phone… to name a few.
Maybe it’s just me, but my hands are a little full while breastfeeding. I can’t even fathom journaling while breastfeeding, but maybe I’m just not a seasoned pro at this point. Either way, it got me thinking about our society’s need to be entertained. Whether it’s breastfeeding, driving, or even TV watching, it seems we’ve reached a point where concentrating on the current activity just isn’t enough. We can’t just breastfeed, we need to read a book while breastfeeding. We can’t just drive, we’ve decided to check our feeds or text messages on our phone (it’s scary seeing how many people are on their phones while driving these days!). We can’t just watch TV, we have to be on the internet while watching TV.
As a working parent, it often feels like there are so few hours in a day for just me. From sun up to sun down, I’m either working or taking care of someone. When I do have downtime, I’m trying to squeeze 10 things into a two hour window. That’s why I work on e-mails as I watch TV, look through Instagram while I cook dinner, or blog while I pump. There’s just a lot to do and little time to accomplish them.
As a chronic multitasker, it’s hard for me to be still. That’s why I read the “10 Things to Do While…” articles and write them myself. In my opinion, technology and societal pressure have changed the way we do things. We’ve gotten so used to always being on and there just aren’t enough hours in a day! It feels weird being fully present and not working on 100 other things, but what if we stopped. What if we just focused on what we’re currently doing? What if we were fully present?
Sometimes I wonder what we’re missing out on. As I sit there watching Instagram Stories while I’m breastfeeding, what am I missing? Am I missing my son looking up at me while eating? Am I missing the opportunity to rest? Am I missing the opportunity to interact with my older daughter? The answer is yes, and I forget what I’m missing out on by being on my phone. I think there’s a lot we’re missing out on by being on our phones so much.
Now this wasn’t meant to be a “get off our cell phones” rant, but I know it wouldn’t hurt. Instead, I’ve just been thinking about how it was before all of this technology entered our lives. What it was like for my mom when she breastfed us in the 80’s, how different the roads were before smart phones, how different it was for students to get their school work done, and how much more engaged we all were when days were a little simpler.
I don’t think we even realize what we’re missing out on or how stressed we all are. The days go by too quickly, and although I’m not the best at slowing my brain down and being fully present, I want to work on it. I want my kids to see a mom who is paying attention to them, not a mom who is always on her phone. I want to enjoy breastfeeding my son, taking time to enjoy these sweet moments. I want to watch a favorite TV show with my husband, instead of us both being on our laptops. I want to see more drivers doing just that… driving!
It’s unrealistic for me to never multitask, but I hope to be more present as time goes on. I don’t want to miss out on the world around me. I want to be more a part of the memories!