It's 12am, I am trying to keep my eyes open as I feed my little one. After all the books and articles I read I still can't seem to get my 6 month old to sleep longer then two hours at a time, much less through the whole night. I sit in my glider and begin to scroll through more articles on tips and suggestions to keep my baby sleeping longer. Then I scroll through Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram to kill the time spent nursing my baby. I mean what else do you do in the middle of the night when you are trying to stay awake long enough to nurse your little one? Besides I do this for about 20 minutes every two hours, I wouldn't know what to do without my phone to keep my occupied!
That has been my attitude for the last 6 months while nursing my newborn. Now there's nothing wrong with some social media, I mean how else will I let everyone know that my baby is the absolute cutest! Plus keeping connected with distant family members and friends has been great. Pinterest helped me decorate Tennessee's room and I'm already planning her first birthday party! Unfortunately it has also stolen some precious moments I'll never get back. I noticed this when a mother who had her baby before iPhones were invented said to me, "Isn't the middle of the night feedings the best? It's just you and your baby. No one else will ever share that special moment of bonding." But for me I have shared those moments, with thousands of people. I invited them into her nursery and paid more attention to them then to my daughter. I let them come in and steal these precious few moments I have with Tennessee as a baby. How could I do that?! How could I let complete strangers come into my daughters room in the middle of the night and steal my attention from her?! What kind of mother am I?! One who get's distracted by her silly little phone that attaches her to the world with one tap.
Do you think this realization stopped me? Oh sure, for a few days I resisted the urge to scroll through my friends meaningless updates and pictures of their lattes. But before I even realized it there I was again, glued to my phone trying to pass the time spent nursing. My justification was that I only got on my phone when she was nursing, it wasn't like I was ignoring her all day. But then as if my daughter knew, one day when I was browsing through Pinterest and she was nursing, she gently reached up and grabbed my phone and pulled it down. Then she just looked at me with eyes that told me she was wise beyond her years. In that one look I could hear her say, "Mom, I won't be this close to you forever. Take advantage of this and just be with me. Put down your phone; you're missing it." So I did. I listened to my daughters plea for attention. Sure she's only 6 months, but I have no doubt that she already knows when she is being ignored.
As mothers we have a million things distracting us from giving our children our full attention, from the laundry, to the grocery, to our other children, to our husband and the list goes on. But sometimes we add to that list meaningless clutter that really has no place in our lives. Now I'm not saying you have to go delete your Facebook account or heaven forbid stop pinning, but maybe set a timer. Give yourself 20 minutes a day to catch up on your social media. Do it when the kids are napping, do it when your pooping for all I care (hey sometimes that's the only free time you get). Just give yourself a limit and let those late night feedings be just between you and your little one. Trust me, 20 years from now you will yearn for those moments when all she wanted was you.