For the New Year…

 Happy 2014 everyone!!!
I absolutely love this time of year!  I love to make new resolutions, and make plans to carry through with them.  Maybe it’s because I have so many areas in my life which need improvement?  I don’t know, but I DO know that I love resolution time!
One thing that’s been on my mind for awhile, and especially recently, is how technology affects our lives.  I looked over into my living room the other day and saw all 5 children holding and staring at some sort of electronic device.  I am not exempt either.  I like to spend a good share of my time online, shopping, social sites, blogging, etc.  But I don’t ever want to have regrets about it.  I don’t ever want to be a mother who ignores the needs of her children, because she is caught up in what she is doing online.
Wouldn’t it be enlightening to be able to step back in time to when people spent their whole day preparing their food, hand washing their clothes in a basin, building their shelter, and hunting for their next meal?  Wouldn’t the family dynamics be quite a bit different?  Think about it, no smart phones, no tv, no wii, no internet or computers, people actually interacted most of their lives.
While I know technology is good and amazing, I also know that if left unmonitored, it can take over our lives.  That’s why I am committing to the
 Children First, Challenge. 
Yes.  I made it up, but it’s one of my resolutions.
This means that I will schedule my online time while the kids are in school or while they are sleeping.  The rest of the time, I want to “be present” while I am with them.  I remember watching a video somewhere, and I tried to find it, of a little fussy toddler trying to get her mothers attention away from her computer.  Her mother was glued, and despite all the tugging on her leg and whimpering, this mother wouldn’t turn away from what she doing and show any attention to this little girl.  Sad. Or how about going extreme as in the case of the man and woman whose 2 year old nearly starved to death because they were constantly caught up in their reality video game where their avatars married and had jobs?  Can you imagine?  Breaks my heart.  These little children need us.  We cannot afford to let ourselves get distracted by technology from the most important role that we have as women, and that is to raise and nurture our little ones.  I don’t ever want my children to feel like they have to compete for my attention, especially with something like a smartphone or a computer.  Not worth it.
What if you don’t have children?
How about taking the
Chores First, Challenge!
Do all of your important things first, in the morning, before you check your emails or even turn on the computer.  Even before you check your phone.
It amazes me how much time some people, old and young alike, (myself included) can spend on their electronic devices.  Have you ever timed yourself to see how much of your time is spent online?  Can you imagine what you could do with that much extra time each day?  Now, I am not suggesting we all unplug, that would be almost illogical these days.  But I am suggesting we watch our time carefully, and especially when we are around our children.
I am planning ahead, because not only does it take discipline, but this takes courage!
It’s not like you are giving anything up.  It will actually make you feel more productive, more effective, and you will have more satisfaction in your day.
Have the courage to put your children first.  Don’t justify by telling yourself it doesn’t bother the kids. They have it hard enough, growing up in this uncertain and ever increasingly scary generation.
This world needs more mothers who are present, and who put their children first.
Have the courage.
Take the challenge along with me.
I hopping off my soapbox now.
Happy New Year all my friends!