A spending challenge is always good practice, but the thing I’ve really been feeling I need to cut back on is computer use. I don’t begrudge myself the time I spend writing posts, this feels pretty healthy. A way of processing my life, which right now needs a lot of processing. But all the other bullshit I do out of pure addiction, the just wasting time stuff. I’ve really got to knock it off.
Right now is my blessed moment between kiddos. The Babe of late wakes at 5:45. Ugh. But at least that gives me time to ogle him for 20 minutes, then we go out and take a walk which puts him back to sleep (are other babies like this? Both mine woke early, but only had about 20 minutes of happy time before getting fussy and wanting to go back to sleep) and I can still be back home by 7 and have, theoretically thirty minutes, sometimes more (sometimes less), to think and write my own thoughts before the Toddler wakes. The thing is, what I’ve been doing is trying to eek that time out, because she does play pretty well by herself first thing in the morning, and just staying on the computer, and then being annoyed when she starts to distract me (ie: get my attention). How hideous! That is tops on my list get rid of. So, rule one: when the Toddler wakes, keep myself open to her, and the moment she tries to catch my eye, close the computer and be with her. Don’t know if I will need to be more specific with myself, we shall see. Then throughout the day, none of this popping in to the computer to check my stats (oh yes, I do, it’s sooooo embarrasing).
I believe it’s hugely important to allow, encourage and even gently require kids to play alone. And I’ve sort of been, without thinking it through, using that as an excuse to tell her, “Not now, sweety. I’m working on something. In a little while.” And I do think that’s a great lesson if I’m in the middle of a cooking project, or folding laundry, or any other active activity. But obviously if I’m staring at a glowing box half the day, she’ll want to too. Duh. Anyone could figure that out, right? Our kids follow our lead to a frightening degree. Those little sponges don’t miss a thing, so look out! She has started whining, “I wanna watch a movieeee” every time she has any kind of lag or low feeling. And it seriously disturbs me!!! We gotta nip that sucker in the bud!
Where I’m waffling is the afternoon “nap.” The Toddler doesn’t take one, you might remember, and while I was pregnant and packing up our entire lives for this move, I started to allow her to watch a movie in the afternoons because, you can’t argue with that it is a kind of rest. And I myself needed that afternoon break like crazy. I didn’t feel too bad about this. I mean, I know, do I want to teach her to turn on the TV as the only way to rest her brain? That’s fucked. I should instead sit down with her and read to her for an hour, or take her for a walk (riding in the stroller is very resting, for her anyway). But, can I muster the energy to take away my afternoon break? A mama has to keep her sanity, above all else. If she really just sat down to a movie once a day for 40 minutes or so, it wouldn’t bother me that much…. It’s this new using it to solve all her problems that really freaks my shit out.
Here’s the other thing, and this is really how the movie watching spiraled out of control. Baby naps. I mean, what the hell am I supposed to do? Our house is small, and no room is removed and quiet for Little Guy’s naps. Let alone the actual putting him to sleep. And of course, I’ve birthed another Sleep Fighter. How can a four month old fight sleep so hard? So it takes me 20-40 minutes to put him to sleep and what’s the Toddler supposed to do for that time? She’s still of the age where she wants to at least be in the same room as other people. If not up on the bed with them, snuggling (read: jumping). Don’t forget, in case it’s been too long since your last baby, that the little buggers take four or five naps a day. Especially when they’re such light sleepers that the naps often don’t last more than 15 or 20 minutes.
No, I mean, seriously. What am I supposed to do about that???? Any ideas welcome.
Oh, back to computer rules. Another problem is that I await my moments like a true addict, any time I have to myself, like if Hubby takes the kids for a walk, I just immediately think computer. Gross. I’m a project person, really I am. But my projects are all getting usurped by the computer. I love writing about them (kumquat syrup coming soon!) but I have to actually do things to write about them! So, one idea is to limit myself to one hour per day. If I get it in the morning, so much the better, otherwise, I can make up in the afternoon if I get the chance. But for now anyway, I’m going to limit myself to just mornings, and save any afternoon breaks for project time.
Okay, I’d say that’s just about enough time spent at the bar, telling my drinking buddies all about how I’m gonna quit!
See ya’z later, tomorrow mornin!
ps. Yesterday I used my afternoon break (Toddler in the bath, good thinking huh?) to weave. Good for me. Some of the first weaving I’ve done since we got back from our xmas break. My loom had just been sitting in the corner, shooting me dirty looks.