Hold on a sec, baby, just let me finish reading this… I know you’re crying, I’ll pick you up in a minute…
I’ve said these things to my poor child. Why? Because I’ve been on Facebook. I’ve admitted before to sometimes being a distracted parent, and I fear it’s only getting worse. Now that LM is 16 months and is more aware of what’s going on around him (there’s no fooling him anymore), I’m worried that he sees me constantly glued to my iPhone, watching it instead of him. By doing so, am I telling him that it’s more important than he is?
Apparently, Facebook is no longer “cool” among young people. They use other social networking sites, most of which I’ve probably never heard of. Facebook has been taken over my moms (and dads), who’ve filled it with nothing but pictures of their kids. And I guess that’s OK, considering that, well, I am a mom. I like having a place to go to connect with other moms. In addition to my regular FB friends, I’m also a part of several – OK, more than several – mom groups. There are no less than six post-infertility groups I’m part of, plus a local county group, a breastfeeding group, and one for my real-life mom group (this is the only group in which I’ve actually met all the members in the flesh). It’s a lot to keep track of.
But I like reading parenting information and tips, discussing parenting issues, and getting ideas for blog posts. As a stay/work at home mom, it gives me some sense of connected-ness that I don’t always have while at home alone with LM. But, I wonder if it’s taking up too much of my time, if I need to designate certain times as Facebook-free so that I can focus on LM.
The other people around LM are just as bad as me. Foggy Daddy is obsessed with his iPad (he’s usually playing a game on it), and Grandpa is attached to his as well (usually reading a news website). I worry that when LM looks around all he sees is us glued to our individual screens.
Sometimes I try just putting down the f-ing phone and paying attention to my kid. But then he starts playing nicely, by himself, and I’m just sitting there. My mind wanders. I wonder if anyone’s posted anything on Facebook, I think to myself. And so I take a peek. And a peek turns into 15 minutes of me reading linked articles and responding to the latest controversy over car seat installation. And then LM sees me and starts whining for my attention.
Hold on, just let me finish reading this…
There’s also the feeling that, looking at everyone’s kids in all the Facebook photo opps one needs to do these days, everyone’s life is better than yours. Which is complete BS, because I could post a ton of photos that make my life look fantastic – not that it’s not, but there is more going on than meets the eye in my newsfeed. I find myself comparing my life to others’, and too often it makes me feel bad. So-and-so is going to the gym. So should I. So-and-so is on vacation. I wish I was. So-and-so is going out to dinner. I’m still in my sweatpants.
This is my fault, not Facebook’s. My confidence is just not helped by social media, where it is oh-too-easy to make it look like your life is fabulous. Much self-promotion happens on Facebook.
But still I can’t turn away. It’s an outlet that I don’t want to give up, but I do want to learn how to balance it better, if not for my own sake then for LM’s.
Do you feel like you spend too much time on Facebook? How do you curb your habit?