The use of technology has improved throughout the years, and although every day more parents are allowing their children to interact with these tools, there are parents that feel it can hurt family time. In this segment of MomViews, writer, life coach and family strategist, Crystal Horton, shares her thoughts on being a busy mom and making time for her family, sans technology.
MomViews: Technology is a big part of our lives. From making coffee on a Keurig, to catching up with your latest shows on a tablet, there is really no way to escape it. How do you manage to put all the tech gadgets aside and really have a great time with your family?
Crystal Horton: Parenting in today’s technology-driven world can be challenging. There are so many high tech options available — some brilliant, some addictive, some seem to serve no purpose at all. The fact of the matter is we have a choice. We can choose to utilize this high tech world as a teaching tool.
For example: Through experience, I have learned when my children are acting obnoxious and yelling at each other for reasons beyond my understanding this is something they are acting out from a television show they watched. From one television show the girls learned that sisters argue and compare. That is how they began to treat each other. I often found myself acting like the nanny on TV as the referee. As I became aware of the patterns happening in our home, based upon the influence from the TV series we watched, we made a decision to limit our high tech influence in the home. Today as parents we are now very selective regarding the quality of television shows we watch.
MV: For children, it is important to just be present. With three small children, how do you find the time to be available for them individually and run your business?
CH: I find that when the kids are not happy, I’m working in a flustered state of mind. The word “balance” is often used when describing a peaceful mindset. When I think of the word balance, I think of a peaceful yoga instructor sitting in a rain forest with no bugs, eyes closed, breathing deep breaths with no interruptions. As a MomPreneur this fantasy is far from my reality. A peaceful balanced mindset to me is children giggling, playing and running around creating a brilliant mosaic. The key to finding balance lies in my ability to make decisions. For me creating and maintaining balance in our home is being prepared, through time management, and staying connected to my environment.
MV: How does your husband help emphasize the importance of family time?
CH: As a couple, we are a team. We have created a family affirmation that serves as the core purpose in our decisions: “A family that plays together stays together.” This helps emphasize the importance of family that he and I work together to achieve.
After recognizing the negative path technology had taken in our family we realized that ultimately our decision came down to knowing we have a choice. Technology could be our families influence or we, as parents, could be. It took about one month to wean our children from negative shows on television and playing games on the iPad. After just a short while we recognized a difference in our home, the kids played differently with each other, the respect and caring for each other returned, our family became active; we purchased bikes and joined the YMCA. Today our choices reflect our lifestyle. We believe that these choices will continue to have a positive impact on our family.
MV: Are there moments you have trouble putting any of your gadgets down and focusing on one of your children’s needs? If so, how do you control the urge to hold off giving them the attention the demand?
CH: Yes! In the world of a MomPreneur my mindset is my most valuable asset. Keeping my mindset clear and focused brings clarity to both my business and families well being. When I am with my children I strive to be unplugged from technology giving complete focus and undivided attention to them. This can be difficult at times, but knowing I am their role model setting the example of how to be a responsible adult keeps me grounded.
There are times when deadlines are due and the kids are also demanding my attention. When working and raising children at the same time, I must be creative. What’s a creative alternative? I like to pack up the swim bag and drive to the YMCA. The kids are happy and entertained in the pool, and I get a couple hours of good work done. Win, win. Remembering that my office can be anywhere equates to a happy family, happy me and happy mind.
MV: What advice would you offer a mom that’s in your position, running her own business and raising her child(ren)?
CH: Live an inspired life. Be balanced. Don’t make it all work, take time to play. Most importantly be YOU!
As a MomPreneur, we are constantly discovering new, creative time saving tips to implement them which awaken new opportunities. As this is happening the family bond becomes clear and amazingly fun, because things are getting done efficiently. Keep moving forward until you get there.
Thank you for stopping and reading this MomViews segment. If you or someone you know would like to share their story and/or tips on motherhood, feel free to reach out via email: firstname.lastname@example.org