Blogger Sarah Wade has a list of weekly activities for moms who have children of a variety of ages. The purpose of her list is to encourage social interaction for children that stay home and moms that might feel home bound or are discouraged for various reasons to venture out on their own.
The Week of April 24th
Activity of the Week: The Jamestown Settlement
Are you ready for an adventure? One of my favorite things to do is to take day trips, my girls and I try to go as often as we can. I always feel lucky that we are in an area that has so many great options for day trips. I recently took a trip to the Jamestown Settlement and so far it was my favorite day trip! There is enough entertainment for a whole day. I would recommend going to the ship museum, there is a nominal entry fee that will cover everything. Once you enter there is a large museum, a fort, and an Indian village that include great hands on activates and demonstrations. I was so delighted to see how kid friendly everything is, even for very young children. The highlight of the trip for my kids was seeing gorgeous ships. You are able board and tour the ships and my daughter even got to help pull the anchor up out of the water. I would recommend this activity for all age groups. My youngest, who is one, had a fantastic time and so did I! My tip to make your trip a little more special, stop at Jamestown Pie Company and pick up a delicious pot pie to have for dinner after you get home, trust me its worth it!
When I first started this blog I wrote down a list of topics that I wanted to focus on first, screen time was at the top of my list. However, it took me almost 2 months to actually touch on the subject. It might seem a little silly but the topic made me nervous, because we all know it's a little controversial. I will start off by saying that the purpose of this post is not to tell you how much TV, iPad, or computer time your kids should have, that is a decision for each family to make on their own. I am going to say that I have found that a lot of times when moms talk about their little ones watching a movie, or playing on an iPad they feel the need to defend the choice. I can usually sense a little bit of shame in the decision, I know I am personally guilty of this.
Don't feel shameful….
Whether you are a parent that allows no screen time, a little screen time, or a lot of screen time, what ever decision you have made don't feel guilty about it. If you are driving down to Jamestown for the day and you give your toddler the iPad in the car, there is nothing wrong with that. If you don't allow screen time in your house, and your child doesn't know any of the Mickey Mouse characters at a friend's birthday party, its okay. You will think about it way more than they will, trust me on that. You have made your decision in your children's best interest, hold strong to your choices and trust your instincts on this one mom!
Screen time for mom and dad …..
Since we have all decided we are not going to be shameful, I will openly admit we watch TV in our house. Some days more then others, but we know all the shows on Disney Junior, and we have watched all the princess movies on repeat. What can I say? We are a girl house. This is where I stand with screen time for my kids, everything in moderation.
What about personal screen time? If you asked me how often I use my phone to look at social media, search the internet, read articles etc. I would tell you that I only do it during down time. I recently realized that I have been spending entirety to much time glued to my phone, but how can that be? I only use it during down time, and I certainly don't have that much down time.
My experiment ….
Last week I decided to unplug entirely for two days, I only checked in once during nap and then again after the kids went to bed. I kept a log of everything I wanted to do with my phone during this time. I was surprised at what I discovered. I thought I was only using my phone during down time, but the reality is I was using it frequently throughout the day and turning all phone usage into addressing immediate needs. Here are a few examples from my log: I need to order dog food, I need to check on the guest pass policy for our pool, I need to check the weather for next week, I need to RSVP to a party, I need to text my girlfriends a funny picture of my child, the list goes on and on. With the exception of two text messages all the things on the list could wait until later. I found during the time I was unplugged I was more patient with my girls, they were less needy, and we overall have had better days.
Since my experiment I try to be more aware of how often I am on my phone and try to limit myself when I can. Our phones are great tools for moms and dads at home, they enable you to stay connected to the outside world and feel less isolated. However, If you find yourself taking a little too much time away from reality, then maybe it is time for a little screen time audit. Even if it's only for a day, you might be surprised what you discover.