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Moms Are Wired and It's Not From Coffee

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Has the Internet taken over your life? Here's how to "get off the grid."

Internet Addictions Morgan

We all do it. We check our email while the kids play on the floor -- we IM while watching a movie with our kids. We discuss, vent, rant on message boards and chat rooms. The Internet has become such an integral part of our lives that some moms even have time for the 3D virtual world "Second Life."

According to CNN, a recent survey found that "14% of Internet users find it hard to stay away from it for several days at a time." More like minutes.

The latest demographic to succumb to the Internet addiction is good old mom. Only she's not so old anymore and she navigates through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter with the agility of a 14-year-old boy.

Some moms are dealing with the solitude of SAHM parenting by joining communities of like-minded moms online -- sometime to the detriment of family and friends and yes, even their own children.

"I'm always online,"says one mom, "I spend all day on the computer at work. Then I get home and I'm back on the computer. I check my emails, Facebook, Twitter. My kids are more like adults, telling me to get off of the computer."

"Modern technology is definitely robbing us of quality time for ourselves and our loved ones," says psychotherapist Jill Spivack, We have to fight back or it will continue to take over our precious moments and lead us down a path to depression and despair."

Here are Jill's tips on how to be "present" when we spend the precious little time we get with our kids.

Make a kid date, and stick to it: Make a commitment to being fully present with your kids at least twice a day for 30 minutes. During these times you'll need to turn off your phone, BlackBerry, computer, etc. and fully focus on your child.

Set work boundaries: Let friends or co-workers know that once 6 PM hits, your phone and computer are turned off until your child goes to bed. Insist on uninterrupted time with your child during these special times.

Get organized: Set up your schedule in a very organized way. Assign certain days and times for work, time to return emails/calls and time to focus on your kids, yourself and your marriage. You may have to make a color-coded schedule and once you do -- stick to it! Set boundaries in writing, and when you're with your kids during focused time, pretend you don't even have a phone or BlackBerry!

Don't try to be a SuperMom: Watch your own overload. Moms try to be superwomen these days and think if they can just run fast enough, all will be well. Try, as much as possible, to get rid of things that don't matter or overwhelm you. You may need to scale back on volunteering for every job at school or doing an extra project at work if it means you won't be able to focus enough on your children.

Make housework a family affair: Involve your kids in doing things around the house with you rather than doing it all yourself. If you can do chores together, it gives you time to accomplish a task and still spend quality time. Chores also help children feel a sense of responsibility and help them to feel like an important part of their family community.

Are you addicted to the Internet -- tell us in the momlogic community -- then turn off your computer!


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4 comments so far | Post a comment now
MommaKiss April 15, 2009, 11:08 AM

Wow.

Just struck a chord w/ me.

Apparently, since I checked this link from twitter, I have a blog and I do facebook on my blackberry - I am 100% wired.

Need to step off a bit. Well, a lot.

Ms.V April 15, 2009, 11:37 AM

I’m totally hooked. Thanks for the tips.

Anonymous April 15, 2009, 2:07 PM

I go to school online and also like to play around with facebook I would say I’m wired.. My oldest son keeps asking me to turn the computer off and play! I need to get into a better routine, but I just don’t want to be up all night doing homework…

Jill April 15, 2009, 3:48 PM

Since I sit in front a computer all day at work, I cancelled my home internet subscription. One day, my daughter will need it for school (she’s only in Kindergarten) and I’ll have to subscribe. But for now, there is a great satisfaction by taking away the distraction of Facebook, online gams, chatrooms, etc.


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