Social Media is so fun. And addicting. And overwhelming. Aaand frustrating. About a year ago, I became completely burnt out on social media. As a blogger, it drove me crazy. As a wife and mom, it became a huge distraction from what I felt God wanted me spending my time on. So today, I’m sharing how I’m limiting social media to be a better wife and mom.
I’m not an extrovert, but not quite an introvert either. I like to keep up with friends and family, especially those who are in different states than me. I love being able to join groups and support causes that are near and dear to my heart, I love all the ministries that are present online and social media has become one of the main ways I keep up with news and current events. BUT…
I just can’t give so much of my time to it anymore.
Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook- I was checking in every day. Blogging, of course, takes time. Add Messenger, DM, groups and Group boards to the mix and I could easily spend HOURS on either my phone or the computer! It was pulling me away from my kids, my spouse, my home and my ministry- yikes! I was drained and stressed from all of it.
I’m still in the process of working out the right balance for me, but I have found that a few things are helping me to limit the time I give:
First and foremost, I reevaluated my priorities. I know I sound like a broken record on this one, but this truth always remains: You spend your time on what YOU value. Would you want someone looking at your life and saying “Social media is THE most important thing in the world to her? She just loves it SO much!” or “That girl is ON FIRE for her technology- her smart phone, her laptop, her tablet, You tube is her happy place” ???
No? Me either.
I love the LORD. I LOVE my family. I’m passionate about ministering to others and homeschooling my kids. I love tea time with my little miss and baking cookies with my boys. Reading a good book and writing something that matters is important to me. I love being the person my neighbors and friends call when they need a helping hand or someone to pray with. This war that’s happening to steal my focus and energy away from what truly matters is REAL and God placed the power within me to CHOOSE.
This war that’s happening to steal my focus and energy away from from truly matters is REAL and God placed the power within me to CHOOSE.
So, I’m striving to choose the “better”. I’m making sure that my priorities are what they should be and then…
NEXT, I’m lining up my choices, actions, and schedule to reflect those priorities.
I want God to be the first one I visit in the morning. My heart should become pliable in His Hands before I hand it over to anyone else for the taking. I want my thinking to be aligned to His Word before I let anyone else try to pour into it. Really, I just want to love on Him and receive His Love before anything else happens because y’ all, the world isn’t getting any prettier and I NEED Him.
My husband needs a wife who isn’t rushing to leave his side so she can get to her messages. My kids deserve an attentive, smiling mother to wake up to each morning. Our home atmosphere needs me to be on the ball with daily tasks.
In short, if I say I love them, it’s not enough- I must demonstrate it.
“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:18
Another way to say that you spend your time on what you value is to say that you spend your time on what you LOVE. So, I’ve been asking myself often, what and who do I love? If someone were to “place” your love and passions by your actions– what would those actions and passions reveal??? It’s hard to look at ourselves with a critical, honest eye, but if we want our lives to count for something, I think it’s time to get real about what we are really doing with it.
If, for example, you call yourself a home keeper like I do, but you spend every day, all day watching tv and spending time on the computer, talking on the phone/texting and running errands outside of the home… chances are your not really keeping the home, are you?
I know, because I’ve fallen into the same unproductive patterns at different times in my life. And I have had to face the fact that I’m just not always as committed as I should be. A little over a year ago, I just had to get honest about it, maybe you do too?
Be honest about your struggles and excuses and how social media might be getting in the way.
That pile of laundry that has been sitting there for over a week is a testimony of all the excuses that I gave in to. It stings to admit that, but it is the truth. If my child is acting out and doing things they shouldn’t be and I wonder why… it could be that if I examine myself, I might find that I haven’t been truly paying attention to them as I should be and I haven’t been spending the time I ought to be in order to train their character and fill their soul so that they don’t feel the need to act out.
I know… ouch!
Over 20 years of mothering and you would think I would have a handle on such things, but friend, temptation and distraction are always at your heart’s door. And social media has been quite the temptation and distraction of far too many moms in this era.
The bottom line is this- if you want a better quality life, you’ve got to be willing to cut out some weeds and sow the good seeds to produce the harvest you want.
You’ve got to be willing to choose the better things and let go of the things that just don’t matter as much. One of the hardest, yet easiest weeds to pull has been social media.
Here are some practical tips that have been helping me limit social media:
- Making a schedule that aligns with my priorities- and sticking to it. My very first priority is my relationship with the Lord. Therefore, I don’t allow myself to do anything until I have spent some time with Him every morning. If I do have interuptions from the children or husband, I quickly tend to those needs and come right back to my time with the Lord. I pray, journal, read scripture and allow the Lord to speak to me. Next, is my relationship with my husband- I try to plan or do something that nourishes our marriage every day. Often, he is at work at this time, so, I may send him a text telling him I love him, or that am praying for his day (& I make sure that I DO pray for him). If I know that I can do something here at home that will bless him, I work on that. Throwing in a load of his laundry or making a favorite food of his. Putting away some of his work items, whatever. Just something so he knows that I am thinking of him. And so on it goes through each of my priorities. Scheduling my days this way ensures that I spend my time on what truly matters and I no longer go to bed at night feeling guilty or frustrated that I didn’t take care of what was needed most.
- Install an app like Offtime to block social media for set hours on your phone. I love this app! I can set it for specific times when I need to be distraction free. It blocks all social media from 8 am to 3 pm. This allows me to focus on homeschooling and tending the house without getting pulled into picking up my phone by notifications. You can also disable all notifications on your phone.
- Choose 2 times a day that you will check messages. For me, I quickly glance at my phone around noon to see if I have any missed calls. I also check my email. I usually do this while lunch is cooking and I only give myself about 10 minutes or so. If it seems urgent, I will make a phone call or answer and email while the kids eat. But more often than not, it can wait. I check again around 3 pm, and I will make a list of anyone who needs to hear back from me and it gets scheduled into my personal work hours for me to handle.
- Lastly, I communicate with my family members and those outside of my family how my schedule works. I’ve only had a few people thru the years get bent out of shape that I am not available on demand. (Emergencies are an exception of course) For those people, Lord bless them, I just stayed true to my convictions. Most people, thankfully, have been very supportive of my boundaries and can see the value in how I have chosen to schedule our home and family. They know that Monday-Friday, I am unavailable most of the time. I homeschool, plus have early evening work hours. Any extra time I have usually gets consumed by family or other projects. This is okay. Once a month, I do try to meet up with a friend or two, but it isn’t a priority for me to do that several times a week. Weekends are a little laxer, but you get my point.
- If you are a blogger, like me, learn to automate as much as you can. Blogging can steal HOURS from your schedule! This is, obviously, counter-productive to my goals as a wife, mom, and homekeeper. So I automate where I can. I schedule posts like these. You’re reading this post, but I wrote it a month ago during one of my scheduled work sessions. The beauty of technology!
Choosing where you spend you time is one of the most powerful things you can do. It will maximize your productivity and nurture the relationships that are most important to you.
Social media, while good in a lot of ways, can be a harmful time waster if we are not careful.
I want to be the very best wife and mother I can be. I know you do too. Limiting social media in one way that we can set ourselves up for success in this area.
Do you limit social media? What are some helpful tips that have helped you put first things first and become the wife and mom you should be?