My great aunt sent me this poem when I was pregnant with our fifth child. (Click HERE to read it.) It is titled “Song for a Fifth Child” by Ruth Hamilton. It is a beautiful poem about putting aside daily tasks to be more present with our children, because they grow up too fast. The dust and cobwebs will always be there; our babies will not.
Don’t let things, tasks, people stop you from enjoying your kids while they are still here in your home, needing you.
My house may not be “Pinterest perfect” (my last Pinterest attempt actually ended in an ER visit and stitches), and my countertops are seldom clear of piles of mail, the kids’ artwork, or the dishes from supper last night. But our days are full of laughter and learning and cuddling and singing and playing.
Except for when I get trapped in the time vortex known as Facebook. I can sit down with the intent of giving myself a 20 minute break to unwind on Facebook during naptime, and then look up to realize it is supper time and my house is in complete chaos.
Lack of discipline? Yes. Lack of self-control? Definitely.
Can anyone else relate?
I decided that in order to more fully enjoy my kids, and to be more present with them during the day (and maybe even stay caught up with the laundry??), I’m breaking up with Facebook.
Those that know me well know that I have always had a love-hate relationship with Facebook.
Things that I love about Facebook include: keeping in touch with friends and family that live far away, being able to make new friends in various groups, and having the ability to keep up to date on news happenings around the world. And that’s about it.
I don’t love the drama (oooooh the drama), or the negativity, or the time-sucking, or the constant “I need to know anything and everything about your life” that floods my newsfeed. I have lost friends due to things posted on Facebook. And, sadly, I’ve missed out on daily interactions with my kids.
Ouch. It hurts to say that out loud. But if I’m being honest, then yes, it is true.
So, last weekend I made the decision to deactivate my Facebook account. <<Again.>> (Don’t get me wrong, this is much easier said than done!)
I’m putting a stake in the ground and saying I’ve had enough. This time with my kids at home is more important than anything I can see on Facebook. No offense, but adiós, Facebook! At least until I learn some self-control and discipline. 😉
In regards to the poem I shared above, I give to you my own rendition that more aptly fits into our generation of parenting. With so many things competing for our attention nowadays, let’s make sure our kids aren’t coming in last place! Maybe you can find the courage to unplug more often. Or maybe you want to try a break-up with Facebook (or Twitter, or your e-mail account, etc.). You have nothing to lose and everything worthwhile to gain! 🙂
Song For A 21st Century Child
Mother, oh Mother, check your inbox.
Text back your friend, talk, talk, talk.
Notifications and friend requests, too;
try to go viral with a hit on youtube.
Where is the mother who isn’t updating?
She’s out in the backyard, blissfully playing.
Oh, I’ve grown shiftless as I dislike to.
(giggling, smiling, cuddling, too).
E-mails are waiting, I forgot how to Tweet
(running and skipping and hide-and-go-seek).
My blog’s not updated and my followers are blue,
and my password needs changing to something new.
But I’m playing pirates and kissing boo-boos.
Look at those toes! Aren’t they just cute?
(giggling, smiling, cuddling, too).
Facebook and Twitter will wait ’til tomorrow,
for kiddos grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So turn off the iPad, silence the beep.
I’m snuggling my baby for babies don’t keep.