Hands Free Sundays

When I had my son, I promised myself and the little baby sucking his thumb in my arms that I will be the best mummy there ever was to him. I will love him so hard, he would never doubt that he is loved. I will always be there for him; there to hold his hands when he’s afraid, there to do his homework, there to hang out and share laughter with, there so that nobody ever ever hurts him. He would be my bestest friend.
I promised always have time for his excesses, always have time to listen to what he has to say, always encourage him to be the best child he could be….

I had/have plans on how to raise my children.
There will be love…but there will be discipline too.
There would be chaos…but there would be order too.
There will be deadlines…but there will be time for open days.
These promises, I made five years ago. Most of the time, I have failed to keep them…to myself and to my children. My job gets the best of me; my phone the rest. The little time I squeeze out, I spend it scowling at my husband and shouting at the kids. All of a sudden, their excesses, the childhood have become irritating to my drained body & soul.      
I want to make memories, not to-do-lists. I want to feel the squeeze of my daughter’s arms, not the pressure of over-commitment. I want to get lost in conversation with my spouse, not consumed by a sea of unimportant emails. I want to be overwhelmed by the sunsets that give me hope, not by extracurricular commitments that steal my joy. I want the noise of my life to be a mixture of laughter and gratitude, not the intrusive buzz of cell phones and text messages […and chats and tweets!!!!]. I am letting go of distraction, disconnection and perfection to live a life that simply, so very simply, consist of what really matters. I am going Hands Free….                                                                                 
                                                                    Rachel Macy Stafford (www.handsfreemama.com)
So simple. So difficult. Then i read this piece...
There was something to be said for the old-fashioned landline, with a handset so bulky, you had to tuck it between your neck and shoulder to get your hands free. They didn’t — couldn’t — go everywhere with us. Now we’re tethered to our mobiles — addicted, even. They’ve become handy tools for avoidance, and it’s our children who are getting the bad end of the deal.
All around me, I see parents with their babies and toddlers and young kids — but not with them. The grownups are on the phone. The dad pushing his son on the swing set while hands-free on his mobile isn’t really with his child. The mom pushing her baby in a pram while she’s yakking on the phone isn’t really with her child.
The kids aren’t too happy about it. They’re pulling on their parents’ clothes. They’re yanking on their arms. They’re acting out to get attention. I’ve heard them begging their parents to stop, disconnect. I’ve watched children start to whimper the minute the mobile is picked up — off the dinner table. During dinner. The son of a friend of mine recently announced, at age 10, that he hates cell phones. Actually, he will tell you he hates technology. IPads don’t fool him. Neither does texting. He understands that his father can never get away from his work — and the office won’t get away from his father. He sees the phone, and he thinks, I’ve lost my dad’s attention. And that’s what children crave: attention. We all do.
Is being a parent boring? Sometimes. Lots of times. And guess what. Those boring moments are what you will miss the most once your children are grown. Carpool is when you should be hanging on every word. Walks are when the world unfolds at a child’s feet, in the safety of your company. The parent is the genius who gives names to things and encourages a child’s attention to detail on the path. The tiny accretion of daily routines is dull and divine. Of course there’s always plenty of time for a phone call, or 10 of them. Children are always slowly walking, slowly eating, slowly looking, slowly reading, slowly going nowhere, until suddenly they’re gone.
And giving the kids their own phones in the name of fair play doesn’t cut it. That’s happening all too often; families are together, but each person is in her own bubble of technology. Some of us worry about radiation and the developing brain. But we should be worried about disconnectedness and the developing mind.
One day, sooner than you realize, you will be with your child, wanting to talk. But she’ll be too busy. Talking to someone who isn’t there. And why not? You weren’t there when she was.

I obviously cannot throw away my mobile phone. This is 2012. Everything is done on the phone these days. But bearing in mind that the future of my country is my responsibility in raising amazing, responsible and emotionally stable kids, i say Let’s Do This! Baby steps though...

Here’s to Hands Free Sundays.

No calls, no text messages, no chats, no tweets via Ubersocial or Twitter for Blackberry, no Facebook, no mobile phones on Sunday. If it’s not life-threatening important, i’ll get back to you on Monday. Sundays i dedicated solely to my kids...without interruption. These kids WILL KNOW they are absolutely important to me!

Here’s to Hands Free Sundays.

Is anybody with me? Share this post to other parents you know. Share with your loved ones. Family is the future of the country. If we raise responsible kids, how can we complain about corruption in the future? Family is everything!


funmi said...

Hummmmm! ... sounds like a bit of my life history. ... Food for Thought.

Ngoo2kii said...

I agree with u babes! These kids grow so fast we dont realise it....my number one is off to boarding skool in Sept and am still in awe.. Hands free Sundays it is!

Jennifer Abayowa said...

Truth! We really need to invest in kids. They are the future.

abimpymoschino said...

Way to go Zee.. God help u with ur decision and i pray our kids appreciate d things we sacrificed to ensure their happiness. Abimpymoschino

@ilola said...

Sounds like a very nice plan. I pray you are able to keep up with it.

yujubee said...

I would say sounds like a plan to me except I am the one who needs the Sunday for myself.in between a job,giving baths ,meals,school runs ,settle quarrels a dozen times an hr and be a wife too.mostimes I don't get to look at my phone or even a computer till I'm in bed. To kids free Sunday's to me oh.

yujubee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nigerian Movies said...

You have spoken well babes, these kids are the future of tomorrow. We need to invest in them and pray to get the best out of them.
They are the future of Nigeria tomorrow. Good luck to you all.

Anonymous said...

Guess some people would wait to see this "hands free Sunday" come to play. No phones? No pings? No blogs? No . We can go on and on hmmmmmm

Fluffycutething said...

How's handS free sun going?