Are you ready for it? Are you struggling to get the laundry done, engage with your kids, and cook dinner? Do you feel like you’re drowning in to-do’s and can’t keep up? I have a spectacular secret to becoming more efficient and being able to get WAY more done in your day. Even when you take time to hold your sweet babe and walk your toddler to the park.
Here’s the thing, though. The internet really doesn’t want you to know this. So, a lot of time and money goes into you not learning this secret that can bring you so much freedom! Have you guessed it, yet? The spectacular secret to becoming a mama who has time to be present to her kids AND take care of her house is…
Were you expecting that? Let me explain why getting off your phone will help you love your motherhood.
1. Your phone is a time sucker
Time disappears when you are looking at your phone. So, if you don’t have enough time to enjoy your babies and get chores done, try cutting your screen time for a whole week. Take inventory of how that week went. You will have so much time back! You can use this time for sleep… play… exercise… household duties… loving on your hubby… the list goes on.
People who make money on the internet want you to stay on as long as possible. They can’t advertise to you if your screen is off. There are a lot of wealthy, powerful, and smart people pulling out all the stops to keep you online. If you haven’t watched The Social Dilemma, it’s worth 90 minutes of your life. Now, I am hoping one day this blog makes money so that puts me in this category too. Feel free to put your phone down right now and stop reading! If you want more reasons why getting off your phone will bring more joy to your motherhood, press on, sister.
2. You spend more money
You might feel really efficient checking off to-dos while your baby nurses. But did you actually just spend unnecessary money? That’s definitely how I spent some middle of the night nursing sessions. You know how breastfeeding is way cheaper than formula? Well, some hubbies would argue that it’s not when you take into account all the middle of the night shopping. Your inhibitions are down during that 2 a.m. feeding and you are more likely to make an impulse purchase. It took me a while to get on board with the following idea but the longer you spend taking care of a home, the more it rings true.
Each item you own takes your time when you pick it out, buy it, unpack it, recycled the packaging, find a place to store it, get it out, put it away, find a new place to store it, clean it, move it to a new house, donate/return/trash it. Everything you buy will eventually need to take your time. So, while that item may seem like it’s going to make your life easier, recognize that advertisers are very good at what they do. It’s probably not the life-changing solution you thought it would be. However, if you just close your phone and set it down, you literally will have more time to spend with your family.
3. You will get more sleep if you get off your phone
Do you get on your phone to stay awake during breastfeedings? Or to multi-task? Let me present a few ideas.
Choose a position that will allow you to rest more
There is probably a safer way for you to breastfeed than sitting in a rocker trying desperately to stay awake. Take a glance at Dr. James McKenna’s information. His studies show that a breastfeeding dyad (mom and baby) are sensitive to one another and that gives protection while sleeping. He is a researcher so if you can’t absorb it all in a post-partum state, I completely understand! Consider this: your body releases oxytocin when you breastfeed which makes you drowsy. You’re always at risk for falling asleep while breastfeeding.
So, choose to put yourself in positions where it will be safer if you fall asleep. This could be on a firm mattress like he describes (keep the fluffy comforters away) or if you don’t want to feed in bed and you’re choosing to get out of bed to get baby anyway, try breastfeeding in side-lying on the floor. You might feel better than trying desperately to stay awake in that rocker and waking up with a sore neck. Regardless of what you choose, make the decision during the day when you’re wide awake, not in the middle of the night.
Recognize when it’s time to lay your baby down
The second reason you’ll get more sleep if you get off your phone is because we get distracted by what is on our phones. We don’t realize baby has been done nursing for 20 minutes already. I tell myself it’s just one more scroll, one more article. In reality that is sleep that I lose night after night. We all want to feel rested so we can be the best wives, mamas, friends, neighbors, sisters, and daughters so do yourself a favor and close your screen.
The other thing that happens when we get distracted by our phone and miss that baby is done nursing is that we lay them down when they’ve already been sleeping awhile. If it’s a daytime nap, they might wake back up. Then we wonder why they won’t nap. In reality, they napped at the breast because we got distracted. Now, it’s not a problem for baby to nap at the breast unless it’s causing a problem for you, mama. If you are feeling behind and disheartened about getting things done, it may help you to lay baby down earlier.
4. Love your life more by getting off your phone
Most of the people I follow on social media are motivating, positive, Christian, etc. Even so, the comparison game is at work even if subconsciously. Let me give you an example. If I read about marriage, it seems like it will be really helpful. I think I’ll get some tips about having a Godly marriage and I might. What I end up with more is an attitude that sees all the flaws in my husband. That isn’t because he’s more flawed than the next guy. It’s simply the nature of the internet. You see a message over and over again and you start to wonder why your life/house/family/body isn’t like that. I can tell myself that I know what I read online isn’t reality and that it’s someone’s highlight real but it will still make me want it in an unhealthy way. Based on studies, it’s probably doing that with your mind, too.
5. Grow your spiritual life
I have a friend who mentioned she was sad to be done nursing because that was when she prayed. She would get through her Magnificat (request a free, sample copy!), something she struggled to find time for when she wasn’t breastfeeding. I re-learned to pray the Rosary while I was breastfeeding my 3rd baby and I had a miraculous experience the first time when he took a great nap afterward! (He was an extremely poor napper. Probably because I was on my phone and missing the cues to lay him down.)
We know that silence grows our relationship with God which in turn increases our joy. Not the kind of happiness that is based on circumstances, but the joy that remains regardless of life’s trials. The joy that surpasses all understanding. Practice silence, read prayers or the Bible out loud to your baby, meditate on scripture, or read a classic book out loud while you nurse. Think of how much great literature you could get through while you nurse!
6. Make your baby smarter!
I have a friend who is a neonatologist. When she was in school, she called me, amazed at what she was learning about babies’ brains. She said every time they open their eyes their brain fires a ton because it’s such a new experience for them each time. Breastfed babies generally have higher IQs than formula fed babies. Part of this is because they are in close proximity to their mothers and get to interact with them so much each day. They look at you, you look at them, you talk to them, all of this stimulates their brain and helps them to learn. Contrast that with a baby in a stroller who is given a bottle to feed themselves. See the difference? Now, consider that your baby is breastfeeding, searching your face for a response or reaction, and you are reading something on your phone.
Now, I don’t say that to shame you. I like to say there’s no room for shame in motherhood. My friend, Jen with Grace & Able Lactation presents the same idea but more beautifully in this post. I do hope to motivate you with this information. I hope all of this helps you to love your motherhood more and find more lasting joy… by getting off your phone.
Suggestions for spending less time on your phone
- Delete apps you know will keep you scrolling
- Set time limits
- Make your screen a message that will motivate you
- Make it a competition to lower your screen time each week
Now, go, live holy the present moment! I can’t wait to see what you’ll do!