I feel pretty good about how I spend my time lately.
Except for a certain window that I really want to work on. That window is approximately 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm.
I usually have very little energy by that time and quite honestly tend to use it to text, zone out, look at Instragram, etc. Lately I have been letting the kids watch an hour of TV at 7 pm. But honestly, I am not really happy with this.
For the kids or for myself.
Last Oct/Nov, I embarked on an experiment to really minimize my phone usage/scroll time to under 100 minutes (#operation100). And it freaking WORKED. You guys, I was so happy during that time! I read more books, felt more present with the kids, was just happy.
Then we got COVID, had a truly terrible winter ‘break’ that wasn’t a break, and began 2021 in a truly unsatisfying way. I haven’t been able to get my groove back since.
Yesterday I was scrolling and they were watching and I felt a) guilty b) empty and c) generally disappointed in myself. It’s not that I think an hour of TV is evil. It’s just that I have such limited time with the kids and I feel like I need to do better with that time. I’m also just . . . kind of drained by that point in the day. Annabel wanted to do “art class” and I should have gone with it. But I didn’t.
We are in the process of adding therapist and various learning specialist appointments (all at a financial + time cost!) to our lives and I feel like we are at a pivotal place in our family. I want to make sure our family culture feels loving and attentive and fun. AND YET in the moment sometimes I just find it so, so hard.
I don’t have an answer, but I know that:
1- I want to get back to the minimal phone / scrolling use that I had in November. I truly liked my life more when I had this structure firmly in place.
2- I want to use that hour better. Maybe if I don’t have energy for an inevitably raucous group activity, structuring one-on-one time is a good compromise – I can let 2 have screens and do something with the 3rd kid on a rotating basis. We could walk outside when the weather is nice.
3- I want to get my evenings in general to a place where they do not feel wasted. My mornings are great. My work days are . . . well, it varies. But I’m generally happy with the flow. Then I get home at 6 pm and it’s like – BLAHHHH. I would like to fix these hours. Oh, and building in some time with Josh would be nice too (when he’s here).