See, I've read her post "The Important Thing About Yelling, numerous times and am a huge fan of it. Because it's a very sound, logical, and resounding topic. But when the Hands Free Mama popped up in my newsfeed again this past week I was intrigued and delved into her site.
In the post I read she mentioned her "breakthrough breakdown" and I clicked the link to read her story, why she started parenting hands free, and what I read hit home. (Read more from her post here.)
WOW! Does that not hit you in your ego? In this technology obsessed culture we live in we often mention the phone-driven teenager, never not texting, gaming, or on social media. But we often overlook ourselves. The adults, the parents, who hold their phone in higher regard than most other things/people.
That might offend some of you, but take a good hard look at yourselves. We are always on our phones or computers. Our children want us, need us, and we're busy. We're playing Candy Crush, or Facebooking. Or Instagramming adorable photos and videos of our kids, instead of just living those moments with them.
Hurts doesn't it?
It hurts because it's so true. It's so painfully true.
This society is so tragic. Our children and teenagers are already so messed up because of various other travesties, can you imagine the generation of children resenting their parents and the technology that stole their childhoods? The self esteem issues? The need to feel validated on the internet?
I don't want that for my daughter. I hate that thought so much it hurts, way down deep inside.
On her blog post "How To Miss A Childhood," Rachel writes the recipe for missing out on your child's life:
Ouch. How do you think that child/toddler/baby feels? I would feel hated and neglected. Unwanted and unimportant.
Rachel goes on to write just what will happen when you live life according to that recipe. Go check it out. It'll break your heart. It broke mine.
The Hands Free Mama wrote another awesome post that goes along with this perfectly, "The Children Have Spoken," which shares some quotes exposing just how children feel about their parents and technology.
Read the rest of that post and feel your eyes and heart open. The writer is correct. Kids do not sugar coat things. It's so sad!
What's even more sad is I've seen that in my daughter's eyes and it hurts me so deeply that I've already allowed that to take root, when my daughter is only 14 months old. I've seen that look when I go on the computer, go on Facebook. The hurt in her eyes when I get exasperated cleaning out my email and she wants to play. I feel so so horrible that I've let technology come between our relationship. Kids aren't around long before they become teenagers, babyhood/toddlerhood expires even faster.
I've decided I'm going to try the "hands free" lifestyle. And I know it won't be easy, it never is when you break a bad habit.
But my daughter is more important that a phone or computer. My moments with her are more valuable than any game or social network. Our relationship means more than technology.
If you want to read more about this topic, and maybe take that step yourself, I highly suggest checking Hands Free Mama out. It may be your saving grace.
"It is not easy to consider the possibility that the distractions of the modern age have taken an undeserved priority over the people who matter in your life. In fact, when I admitted this difficult truth to myself almost two years ago, I experienced an emotional breakdown. However, that breakdown became a breakthrough that propelled me to begin my life-changing 'Hands Free' journey." -The Hands Free Mama