Mom Talk #2

Let’s talk about screen-time. This is such a huge topic but I wanted to address it cause its a problem that I have recently began to struggle with my two year old about. She always wants the phone. I know this will change once she starts school but I’m having a hard time keeping her busy now so the phone situation doesn’t come up. At the same time I am trying to brand my blog – and that requires me to be on the phone or on my laptop (like I am now typing this at 12:48pm) she sees all of this. She sees me using my phone and using the laptop and she imitates my behavior. I know I could switch my “work” hours to times she’s not awake, when she takes a nap or when she’s down for the night or get up early before her and knock out everything I think I need to do online. I hate that she sees me using technology so much I’ve tried to implement technology free days on Sunday’s but that didn’t really workout the best as sometimes I’m not with her on Sunday’s because of work. I try to do activities with her to get her away from wanting to watch peppa pig or poppy but as many of you parents know a toddlers mind is always looking for the next shiny new thing – they don’t stay concentrated on one thing for long. And as sad as it is sometimes it just keeps the peace to just give her the phone so I too can take a breather from dealing with meltdowns and demands of a two year old (no judgment here). Sometimes my selfcare is giving her the phone for 25 minutes so I can stretch or read a chapter of a book or anything.
I also know that too much screen-time can have negative effects like with anything too much of something can have repercussions. Lets look at some scientific data of how screen-time effects kids and toddlers. Scientific research – doctors say that kids younger than 18 months shouldn’t have screen- time at all I know this can be impossible with TV’s in homes, tablets and technology becoming increasingly part of our normal day to day function. But its said that since brains are developing the most in the first 2 years and children learn the most from interacting that they need to be interacting and not sitting in front of a screen. Interacting like being in nature, going to parks, being around other kids, being out in the world and learning seeing, hearing, touching things. However, there is “good” and “bad” screen-time. Good screen-time could be facetiming family members, doing games on a tablet with someone so the interaction is still there, watching educational shows. But these studies still say screen-time from 2-3 years of age should be limited to an hour a day which isn’t very long. One thing it specifically warns against is screen-time at bedtime and during meals I myself have a bad habit of eating and watching TV which I have passed on to my daughter already but there’s always time to implement changes this week I am going to make sure I myself and my daughter don’t eat our meals in front of a screen. I challenge any of you to do the same if this is an issue for you or to just be more present and aware of your kids screen-time this week.
I do feel guilty when I give my daughter the phone or sit her down in front of the TV just so I can get things done. In short its hard being a parent and having dreams, other responsibilities, and caring for yourself too. Its hard but its not impossible. I know my daughter likes to paint so I make a point to try and make it an activity we do daily or every other day, she likes doing crafts and going on walks, she’s a texture person – helping me cook or bake or measure out things. Puzzles and playdough things she can get her hands on is good for her. So, there are some activity ideas you can implement with your own kids and if anyone has any other activities they do with their kids that their kids enjoy leave a comment about it. Leave a comment with your own stories and or struggle about children screen-time. I wanna hear! As technology becomes more integrated into our lives I want to know of things we can do to stay in touch with ourselves and our children.
When Sage was a baby baby (what I call pre 2 years lol) I didn’t let her watch much TV or use the phone. To be honest before she was 2 TV didn’t hold her attention for long because she was so curious about the world and her surroundings. I wish that kids youtube had never been introduced to her. I’m not sure how it was. Its not a huge issue she’s getting older and isn’t as interested in her normal day to day surroundings. On outings she’s fine without the phone doesn’t think about it once. If I could backtrack I would. It has definitely been a struggle with her telling her no when she asks for the phone first thing in the morning. I also just want her to use her imagination and have free playtime more and not be distracted by moving things on a screen. I think technology in a way can really make someone anxious – overthink – distracted – the brain isn’t supposed to move a mile a minute there needs to be a balance – relaxation a calmness I think being on the phone for long periods of time can mess this up. I’ve noticed this even with myself. Based on what I’m watching and how much TV or how long I scroll on insta I feel drained and anxious more so than usual. I don’t allow myself time to sit and be still. And I think kids really need that time to get to know themselves and process things naturally.

Much of parenting that I’ve learned is just doing what you feel is best, taking it day by day and trying not to feel doubts or guilt about things you have to do. So, I encourage you if you think your kids use too much technology whether 2 or 7 take it day by day and start limiting your kids usage. I also encourage you (parents) to be more present with your kids to not use your phone while they’re talking to you or while eating dinner but give your kid(s) your undivided attention. It’ll be helpful in the long run.

What are your thoughts on toddler screen-time? Do you think its a hard necessity? Are you strict or loose about how much screen-time you allow you kid(s)? How much technology do you (the parent)use and how does this affect your relationship with your kids?

More information on screen-time:

https://www.babycenter.com/screen-time-babies-toddlers

https://childmind.org/article/value-screen-time-toddlers-preschoolers/

mom talk 2

 

 

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Sage’s Birth Story

Sage’s birth story is something I always wanted to write about mainly because of all the things that happened that I didn’t want to happen. But let’s backtrack a little bit. I got pregnant at 23 I was still in college which was already not the most ideal environment to be pregnant especially with my body changing, hormones, and being “young” and pregnant and the first one of my friends all at once. Let’s just say pregnancy was extremely isolating for me living on a college campus when so much of my existence before was about how I looked and what the next move was. I was not in the mental space to have a kid. Or the financial or the emotional. I was a mess.  I was a lonely mess.

Okay, so that added to the lack of knowledge around pregnancy and what I was going through – the lack of being to connect to and with mothers my age already led to me not feeling the most confident or sure of myself.

Many times at the hospital I was nervous I was scared. I cried more than once at an appointment. The one that sticks out the most though is when I had to get seen because Sage wasn’t turning the closer I got to my due date and it was decided that I would get a C-section. Prior to this I had cried at an appointment because the ultrasound technician had stated pretty bluntly that there might be something wrong with my baby because their was a white spot on her heart. More tests no clear conclusions. At the time I 1. didn’t realize I should’ve asked for a more apathetic nurse and that 2. I should’ve gotten another opinion about having a C-section. But at 23 with limited funds and no health insurance (pregnancy Medicaid came through) I didn’t have many options. But I won’t say my whole experience sucked. Even though the first 3 months I had horrible nausea couldn’t keep anything down – I wasn’t a vegetarian or vegan at this time but I would eat meat and immediately throw up. I remember the only thing I could keep down was packaged ramen (which is pretty damn unhealthy).

I was also put in some pretty uncomfortable situations like squatting at my baby daddy’s sisters boyfriends (yeah) apartment cause there was an empty room and we had nowhere to go as we saved money to get our own apartment. I pushed through. But I think a lot of times I did cause I wasn’t thinking about what was going on I had completely disassociated from what I was going through – I should’ve taken my ass home to my parents house and pregnancy probably would’ve ran a lot smoother I should’ve taken the semester off school and thought about what I really wanted in life and what I wanted to do. But instead I ignored and did what I thought I should do which was basically grow up over night and struggle. Cause when a woman gets pregnant and her life isn’t mapped out to a T it is always seen as a the biggest mistake in her life on TV. And being on a college campus I of course felt and saw all of this when people looked at my stomach and then looked at me then quickly looked away. I wasn’t relatable to the people I knew anymore so I stopped hanging out and I isolated myself more than I already felt.

But like I said it wasn’t all bad. I had an 8 am printmaking class and I would stop at Starbucks on campus everyday and it got to the point where the baristas knew me and would give me my sandwich and juice for free (probably cause of my protruding belly). And if I was late to class my professors never said anything to me cause its like everyone knew I was doing my best.

Having a surgery to give birth freaked me out. I blamed my body for not remembering what it was made to do. I was angry I was upset I was disappointed in myself. Honestly, I was fucking scared. Signing papers to give birth. Laying on a surgery table to give birth. Being cut open and having a catheter stuck up me. I don’t remember much from the actual birth as I was under heavy meds. I remember shaking when they pulled her out and looking at my boyfriend and saying I was cold. I remember the doctor who was their for backup or support or both coming over reassuring my boyfriend everything was okay and laying a blanket over me. I also remembering this feelin of something pulling as they pulled Sage out  – much like when a tooth is pulled and you kinda feel it somewhere deep.

That’s all I remember really except the pain the next day. The soreness. Not being able to walk to the bathroom or wash myself in the shower without help. In the hospital I didn’t instantly feel connected to Sage cause good ole disassociation had been with me for months – but I cared. I stayed up at night just looking at her I didn’t get any sleep. I watched the sun rise every morning. I was so jacked up I got a cold sore. But Sage was beautiful she was angelic (cause lets face it every mother wonders if her baby will be ugly) and she was so chill she didn’t have crazy newborn fits or cry a lot probably cause I cuddled her all day and barley let her be in that plastic bassinet thing. She slept a lot.

And when we left the hospital it felt like a little bubble had been burst. It was like okay now go do everything on your own – go cook, go take care of your newborn and yourself and be in a constant state of happiness doing it. And oh make sure you look presentable too cause everyone loves a hot mom. I didn’t know what to feel. And I wish that society wasn’t so backwards about motherhood and was more about community (even though I was stubborn and didn’t want anyone to bond with Sage cause I felt insecure about being a mother and pushed away all outside help from other women) and how its needed and crucial to getting through the first year and keeping your sanity and not just going through the motions and patting yourself on the back cause hey at least your getting shit done and killing this motherhood thing.

I didn’t know how to be a mom or even me or 24 anymore. I mean I don’t suck at being a mom. I know Sage loves me. I sacrifice everyday for her and I think about the future more than I should cause I want to be able to give her things she needs and wants but I wish there was like I don’t know a crash course to all the FEELINGS of motherhood and how as a woman you have to change. There’s a lot of change. There are even more deaths I feel like in womanhood when you become a mother with all the expectations that come with it. I mean there’s already so many expectations of being a woman and add motherhood to that and its like you gotta be on your shit 24/7 and its just not realistic. And don’t get me started on the guilt. It took me months to go out without Sage or hang out with friends and then even more months to go out and not feel guilty for being out. There also seems to be this big separation between women who have kids and woman who don’t. It’s like you somehow have gone down a path of no return or something like their are two separate clubs. I don’t get it.

I know this probably wasn’t the typical birth story but that’s cause motherhood isn’t seen through rose colored glasses over here its the best thing I’ve ever done it has pushed me and pulled me and made me step out of my comfort and therefore grow and get off my ass and go for the things I want. It has humbled me. And for that I will forever be grateful Sage chose me and continues to do so everyday (I mean not like she has a choice lol the real test is when your kids are older and still love you).

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