We're going to talk about cell phones...and all technology for that matter.
I've sat at family dinners with the younger generation not saying a single word, with their face down in their iPads for hours. And I've seen how Ava's eyes light up every time she hears that FaceTime ring.
There's something in us that makes our endorphins go crazy each and every time we hear the "ding" from our phone or see that little red notification bubble appear on our screen.
And I'm not making that up. It's plain old science.
Humans love technology. Technology makes us happy. And technology is addicting. It's the real deal.
So raising Ava without her face buried in a phone and an iPad, knowing how to verbally communicate with people (yes, face to face communication) is very important to us. And the best way to do that?
Lead by example.
But there's a slight problem. My job is technology. I run social media accounts for various companies in addition to running my own two blogs and although I love my career, there are times that I hate it.
My phone is glued to me and I am glued to my phone. And without it, I don't make a living.
So Ava comes into the picture and I feel terrible.
Yes, I get to spend every waking moment at home with my baby AND make a full time living, something that isn't very common. So I am so lucky there. But in the technology department, I feel as though I am failing and I cannot do anything about it!
I'm in the middle of posting a product on Instagram and I look up and Ava is sitting there smiling at me. And it breaks my heart in half. She's not completely aware of it right now but in a couple of years she will be and I dread the day when she asks me why I'm always on my phone.
I want her to look up from the other side of the room and see me smiling right back at her. I want to lead by example. But this is how I make a living and I love what I do.
I once read an article where a mom put her phone down while her two boys were playing across the room and checked off how many times they looked over at her for acknowledgement. I don't remember the exact number but it was something like over 30 times in an hour.
That's 30 times her kids wouldn't have received a positive affirmation from their mom had she been scrolling through her Facebook.
And what I've learned from that is although I'm going to have to have my phone in front of me a whole lot until I stop blogging (which may never happen), I need to set it aside for times during the day so that Ava knows I am there for her. So that Ava knows I am watching and smiling and acknowledging her presence. I need to make a better effort to set aside that time, no matter how hard it may be.
I urge you to sit down and just watch your kids play for 20 minutes and see how many times they look back at you. And every time they do, you're making a positive impact in their life.
And in my eyes, that's a whole lot more rewarding than a little red dot telling me someone "liked" a photo of mine which they probably won't even remember 10 minutes from now. That is Ava's future and she will remember these days for the rest of her life.
That's my love-hate relationship with technology in a nutshell.