We are all guilty of it.. I’m in the living room with my son and as he independently plays with his toys and entertains himself, I pull up social media and find myself liking someone else family time, coffee dates, outdoor activities and so on. Moments, sometimes many moments turned minutes later, I guiltily catch myself not paying attention to my own little world. I get so consumed in other peoples lives, fun and stories on a news feed that I’m halted from making our own.
Well today.. today was different. We had a mandatory power outage from 8am to 4pm and I won’t lie, I panicked as I thought to myself how I would entertain myself and my son all day long. Being that I work from home and power going down meant no work getting done, I immediately scrolled through the laundry list of items I could get done and I quickly realized how many tasks require power. Oh, I’ll clean.. wait vacuums take power. Laundry just needs water! Wait.. also needs power… Well, maybe I’ll be good and open up the garage and organize.. hmm garage door is electric and with it closed is dark… Good grief, how do we survive? I then figured, well I can blog all day long and prep upcoming posts, I just need to make sure my laptop is charged.. only to realize my WiFi relies on a power source. I was truly stuck. We live in such a dependent world..
Now, I didn’t want to have to be hulled up in the house all day because the one thing I would do to entertain myself is turn to my smart phone for entertainment, which means segregating myself from my son. All due to this a beautiful thing happened…
In the morning I prepped everything necessary that required power.. I pumped before 8am otherwise my milk supply would have drowned me. I pulled all of the food and bottles from the fridge I would need for the day and put them in coolers. I even made myself breakfast, before 8am! Imagine that? Momma got to eat and it wasn’t a brunch time breakfast quick fix, it was an actual breakfast time meal! The glorious thing about productivity first thing in the morning equals more productivity throughout the day. If you take on the hardest task of the day first, everything else will come easy. Now, I wouldn’t say my tasks were difficult, but they did rely on electricity so I busted them out which left me able for more, earlier in the day.
Once the power went out, the beauty began. I sat on the floor with my son. We played with his toys, he crawled and climbed all over me, gave me hugs [heart melting] and kisses [heart exploding]. I got to watch his every move and utilize ever opportunity to teach him about the world that surrounds him. The crazy thing, at 9 months, it seemed as if he almost understood me and clung to every word. No, not because he is a genius, but because I gave him my full, unadulterated attention. I could easily see his cues for when he was ready to nap. We walked into his dark quiet room and I put him to sleep with only the hum of my own voice. No sound machines, no air purifier blowing, no diffuser bubbling, just the quiet of our two souls in a serene moment and I loved it.
Once he was soundly sleeping in his crib, I laid on my bed. I tried think of what to get done without electricity and tried to figure out what I could do while he slept. Instead I just laid there and read. I got quality time in for myself to read the word and devote myself to some me time. As humans, we need to be filled in order to continue to pour out unto others. If we are always running on empty, we will quickly run weary. I began to truly value nap-time as a space where I could give myself what my heart had been searching for.
We devoted the rest of the day to spending quality time with others and getting outdoors. We never go to parks… mainly because he’s just a crawler and loves to eat anything and everything that lies on the ground, so staying indoors makes my life easier. The moment we stepped foot onto a park today, his eyes lit up. He watched older kids run around, he crawled up to other infants to greet them with waves and pokes (hopefully not to the eyes), he learned to pull himself up and crawl onto the playgrounds and figured how to get up the stairs. I felt as though all this time of staying at home had been so limiting on his learning, children need to get outside.
In a world that’s so plugged in, we can easily convince ourselves we are happy, up-to-date and full on life. However, experience a day without power and unplug from social media and your eyes will be further opened. Today I experienced my son better, God better and my I’m whole heartedly filled with Joy as I write this tonight.I challenge you. Unplug. Invest one day, one entire day to your family, God and yourself. From 8am-4pm, don’t touch one dish, one piece of dirty laundry, keep everything turned off and your smart phone at bay, maybe nearby just to capture the moments. You’ll feel more attune, you’ll learn something new, experience a new place, stretch yourself to find other ways of liking whats around you versus liking others lives on a screen. You need this. Your family needs this. I dare you – unplug.
-Essentially an Unplugged Mom