Saturday, September 28, 2013

Pulling the plug

Yesterday my family and I took a trip to Austin for the day. We needed to get copies of my daughters' birth certificates, and we needed them right away. We did not have time to wait for them to come in the mail, so we all piled in the car and took a day trip. Only it was different than the last few times we've had to take trips. This time, neither Robbie nor I had access to the internet on our phones anymore. You see, we've unplugged. We are back to using regular ole flip phones. I've been wanting to unplug for awhile, but I have also been too to. I'm not sure what my fear was about. I tried to use regular old-fashioned discipline to use my phone less, but it really didn't work. Finally, I was able to gather up the courage to let go of the iPhone. We spent the entire day unplugged. We had to get directions to where we were going before we left home and write them down on paper. Can you believe that? And we made it! Our only entertainment was each other. We talked. Robbie and I reminisced about when we first starting dating, and it made me fall in love with him all over again. He's just the sweetest guy ever. I love him. 

Our girls did such a good job for being cooped up in the car all day. We sang songs with them. We listened to the radio. We had conversations with Lily. We laughed and made funny sounds and made funny faces at people we passed on the road. We bonded as a family. We used to read articles off the internet as entertainment during long road trips. We couldn't do that this time. We were happy all day long! It was a great day.

We came home around bedtime. Lily was pretty easy to put to bed. I tried to put Kimberly to bed our usual way, but she needed time to "baby around" as Robbie likes to put it. We allowed her to do that, and that was when I decided to play "catch up" on my email and Facebook. Suddenly I began to feel angry. Facebook makes me angry! I had such a good day being unplugged, and then I just couldn't help myself. Scrolling through my news feed allows ickiness in my life. Blegh.

I sometimes think about why I got addicted to Facebook, especially the app. It's hard to read books like I used to because my nurslings tend to try to kick the books out of my hand. Plus I get interrupted every 2-3 minutes. How can I comprehend anything I read that way? I have always struggled with reading comprehension in the first place, and being interrupted so much makes it nearly impossible to do something that I used to really enjoy. 

So I needed something to entertain me during those 2-3 minutes where I wasn't being interrupted. Something that was easy to put down. Something that I could complete in 2-3 minutes. Enter Facebook. Enter blogs. Enter the iPhone. Also, the fact that I stay home alone all day with no contact with other adults makes a perfect recipe for a lonely mama. It was the perfect illusion. It sort of seemed like I wasn't alone all day. It sort of seemed like I had friends. It sort of seemed like I was getting to know people. And we all know what the reality of social media is. Everyone is presenting the very best picture of themselves, and there I was comparing everyone's public bests to my private worsts. For some reason it always made me feel like a crappy mom, a crappy wife, and a crappy human being while I was on Facebook, but I would always run to Facebook to try to escape feeling like a crappy mom, a crappy wife, and a crappy human being. It was really very strange. 

So I am glad that I have taken a huge step to unplug. This may help me with my phone phobia. I'm not sure what the proper name is, but I hate talking on the phone. I feel awkward and weird when I have to actually have a conversation with someone over the phone. When I have to make a call, I have to spend hours building up the courage to dial the number. It's such a far cry from high school. My mom used to have to limit my phone use to 30 minutes a day because I would talk on it so much.

There have been a few articles and videos that reaffirmed my desire to unplug, but the biggest source of encouragement has been from the Hands Free Mama. I love her blog and everything she writes. If you are in that in-between place of wanting to unplug but are not quite ready, I would encourage you to take a look at her blog. 

On another note....

A little more catching up....

MOPS started up again this month, and I couldn't be happier. I love love love MOPS. It is so rejuvenating to my soul to be able to spend time with other mothers of young children. I get to spend about 2.5 hours socializing with other moms while my children are playing with other children their age. It's so great! I love it! I started going around March, and I am looking forward to a great year. 

I also managed to survive September. I wasn't sure that I would. I attended four births and encapsulated one placenta this month. The mama whose placenta I encapsulated was referred to me by my midwife, which means so much to me. She actually referred her to me to be her doula, but I just didn't have the room for her. I wish she would have contacted me sooner. This is a good problem to have, but right now, moms need to contact me a few months in advance in order to have a space. I have three moms due in November, and I already have a mom booked for January. I may be able to squeeze another in at the end of December, but I really need the time to work on my study guide and reading for my Birth Boot Camp training in February. I am so happy to have been so very busy with my doula business this summer. It really enriches my life to serve women during their pregnancies and births. I have the best clients!

I am still a flutist in the middle of all this doula stuff. I have concerts in October and December, and I have twice as many students as I did last year. Things are just slowly but surely growing for me, and I couldn't be happier about that. 

Me and Kimberly (8 months)
Now, can I gush about my girls? I love them like I never thought I would be able to. It's so silly how I worried about my ability to "love another." But Kimberly is just the cutest, squishiest, sweetest little 8 month old baby. She's so beautiful, and she is so smart. She has been standing unassisted for the past several days, and she took her first step this week. We didn't help her or coax her. In fact, she had no idea we were watching her. She's just a determined little thing. I love her. She's very different than Lily in that she loves being worn. Lily didn't. She refuses to sleep anywhere but right next to Mommy. Lily probably would have been that way too, but we're being a little more lenient with Kimberly. Lily loved to breastfeed for food and comfort, but Kimberly seems to only want it for nourishment. She doesn't want it for comfort. If she hurts herself, she actually gets mad if I try to nurse her. It's like she's saying, "Don't try to hush me! You're going to hear about how I just hurt myself." 

Lily is talking better every day. She has a great memory and has a few books memorized. She's such a generous little girl. She loves to share. I don't really make her share. I probably have weird views on the whole sharing issue, but she does it on her own. I'm so impressed with that. She's such a little social butterfly and loves people. She never meets a stranger. I suppose that can be both good and bad, but as long as I am right there with her, I don't really mind her meeting new people. I really admire so many qualities about her, and she does at least one thing to impress me every day just by being Lily. And on top of being a pretty impressive kid, she is hilarious. We have an inside joke- "little poopoos." She always makes me laugh with that. Always.