The Amish Project

February 10th, 2012 | Posted by Sara in Being a mum | Life - (8 Comments)

I was watching Sunrise the other morning when they were interviewing a man from Chicago about ‘The Amish Project’. This man completely disconnected himself from his phone, email & social media for 90 days in an attempt to begin to ‘live’ again.

It has me thinking. What would I do without technology. Would I cope? I have at least 3 separate systems within hands reach of me right now. All set up to access the Internet, Twitter, Facebook. My friends are text message away. My 6 month old child already reaches for my phone when she thinks I’m not being interesting enough or if I’m chatting to someone rather than playing with her.

What kind of example am I setting her? She is growing up in an age where technology surrounds us 24/7. So her need & desire for connection will be engrained in her DNA instantly.

I mentioned in my 30 by 30 that I wanted to have 30 tech free days this year. I honestly thought this would be easy, it has been far from it. Sure I’ve had days with minimal tech, days when we are out of the house, chatting to real people. The month before Christmas when I was in Sydney & surrounded by real people was fantastic. Sure I blogged & tweeted but at a much lower rate than usual.

I am a stay at home mum in a small country town, I have friends here & I enjoy catching up with them however the hours where I am trapped inside my house with a baby who can’t hold a conversation yet. The hours when I should be cleaning, cooking or trying to make my home a better place. These hours are the hardest. When my husband goes to work and I am all alone.

Some days I’m so jealous of the Farmer for getting to leave the house, he stresses about providing for the family, he stresses about paying the bills, keeping his job, developing the business, keeping me happy. I have no stress, my only job is to keep the baby safe, happy & healthy, yet there are days I struggle. Some days it feels like the only contact I have with the outside world is via social media networks. I know I am exaggerating a little here – I can pick up the phone and arrange a walk with friends, I can call real people for a chat, however sometimes the best friends that a stay at home mum can have actually live on the other side of the country.

But what example is this?! I need to focus more on the moments I am experiencing. Focusing more on the child I am raising, not on how bored I am sitting at home. I need to encourage her to be more active, to help her develop, to play & to learn.

So I am making a commitment to my child. I commit to locking up my phone (in the freezer, car, or whatever it takes), for at least 2 hours each day. I will do this when she is awake, limiting my technology access times to when she is sleeping. This is the minimum commitment, it can’t hurt. I will read more books, tidy my garden, play with her during her awake time. This is my commitment.

Do you have ‘rules’ regarding your technology access time?