Focused Moms Challenge Week One Results

Here we are at the end of Week One of the Focused Moms Challenge. Wow, this week has flown by!  Our challenge was to Look Left, Right, Left, and I don’t know about you, but I did just that!  And what an eye opener it was.  We had three steps to follow this week in our challenge.  At my house, here’s how they played out.  The successes and the struggles!

Admit you have a problem.  Well, this one wasn’t so hard for me.  I had already admitted that I had a problem when I started the Focused Moms Challenge to anyone and everyone who follows my blog.  My husband reads my posts, so he knew all about it.  So, I had to get creative.  I decided to admit I had a problem to my eleven year old daughter.  Of my 4 kids, she’s the one who notices what’s going on the most and is usually the one most vocal about my addiction to technology.  I knew she’d be a good one to call me out when I got distracted, and boy was I right.  I can’t tell you how many times she would look at me and say “Focus Mom” to get me back on track.

Plaster yourself with Mr. Yuk stickers. Here’s where I started to have some fun.  I put the Focused Moms digital picture everywhere.  Our family laptop.  My iPad.  My cell phone.  And of course, my Facebook profile picture.  That helped.  Every time I tried to get distracted with my technology, I saw that stinking picture and reminded myself not to!  It made me pause and that’s just what I needed to get focused.  Coincidentally, this week was crosswalk safety week in my community, so there were literally signs and alerts about crosswalk safety all over my town.  I got a good laugh out of it, as I’m sure the rest of the Focused Moms in my community did!

Despite my reminder images on all of my digital devices, I still found myself picking them up out of habit.  A lot more often than I’d care to admit.  I didn’t have any gold stars handy, so I decided instead to order up a bunch of wallet sized pictures of our Focused Moms image.  I was able to get 4 wallets for 99 cents at Walgreens to tape up wherever I thought I needed a reminder.  They were small enough to not be obnoxious or get in the way, but just the right size to get my attention.

My favorite creation of all was my new key chain (pictured).  One of my biggest problems is not being focused on my children when we’re in the car.  I talk on the phone WAY TOO MUCH when they are in the car with me.  I’m trying to be better.  Honestly I am.  But this is like breaking a nicotine habit or something.  Anyway, for $1.50 I bought a clear wallet size photo holding key chain (also at Walgreens) and put my Focused Moms picture in it.  That way from the moment I’m getting ready to even get in the car I’m reminded to focus on my kids, not on my phone!

Bury your Kindle in the backyard.  I put up a few obstacles to getting distracted this week that I don’t normally do and in general they worked.  I tried to keep my cell phone in my purse as much as possible so that it was not with me at all times.  I also turned the ringer off for most of the week and left the phone on vibrate.  I didn’t answer my home phone much either, I just let it go to voicemail.  And I tried to keep my portable electronic devices attached to their chargers  when I could to make them more contrary for me to use.  It was harder for me to actually shut down the computer when I was done using it.  I think the children might have staged a revolt.  But I did at least try to log off of Facebook when I was finished!

What did I learn?

  • I say “in a minute” a lot more than I want to.
  • When I’m not getting distracted by technology, I get a lot more done around the house, which makes me in general less overwhelmed.
  • I am less irritable with my kids when I’m not trying to multi-task ALL THE TIME!
  • Reading stories to my kids at bedtime in their rooms is down right dreamy for them and for me when my cell phone is on the kitchen counter.
  • I had no idea how distracted I actually was until I started paying attention to it this week.

Now, it’s your turn!  I’ve opened up about my successes and struggles and now the Focused Moms community wants to hear from you.  Here’s how it works:

  • Comment below about what worked and what didn’t for you in Week One.
  • If you’re a blogger, link up a blog post below that you wrote about Week One of the Focused Moms Challenge.
  • Have a picture to share?  Upload it to the Focused Moms Challenge Facebook wall or Flickr group for us to see.
  • Check back over the weekend to see how other Focused Moms did on the challenge and get ideas from their comments, blog posts, and pictures.
  • Share the Focused Moms Challenge!  It’s not too late for new friends to join.  Just direct them to to get started.

This weekend, put the finishing touches on Week One.  Use the ideas you picked up here and from your week at home to get good at our three steps from this week.  Then, I’ll see you back here on Monday for Week Two of the Focused Moms Challenge!


    • Polly says

      Way to go Alanna! You are off to a good start. Use the weekend to print out some pictures or stickers for reminders. Next week we’re going to talk more about that will power problem that we all struggle with, so don’t worry. Right now just focus on setting up your reminders and obstacles. Just like with any change it takes time! If we said we wanted to go on a diet and lose 50 pounds it wouldn’t happen overnight. Same with getting focused. We’re all in this together and by the end of the month I feel certain we’ll all be more Focused Moms!

      I LOVED your blog post, and I know your readers did too. I added it to the linky list for this post so that all of the other Focused Moms could check out your blog. Thanks for sharing!

  1. Anne says

    It just so happens that the Memphis wind storm disconnected our Comcast cable on Monday – which meant no TV & no Internet at home. It was a good – cold turkey – way to start this new adventure!! I never realized how much time and what a habit those two things had become. I literally found myself sitting down on the couch to fold clothes and watch tv & of course it would not come on. So instead I would fold clothes and talk to my husband (horror!!) or JUST fold clothes, alone with my thoughts… (I never do ONLY one thing at once – so this is strange for me). It was so peaceful. I also put my phone away from my bed on a bookcase so that I did not got to bed and wake up looking at it. Who cares if Kroger and Amazon sent me emails while I slept? Also to find out who gets kicked off of American Idol – I did not have to watch the WHOLE show -but just google a 5 minute blip. Much quicker!! Lastly – when I went to my oldest son’s baseball game – insted of sitting on the bleachers with the other moms and constantly chasing my 4-year old around, I took a blanket and had a picnic with him and sat with him and taught him a few baseball rules & shared an apple. It was lovely! It just takes a small effort with MUCH reward! I call it MAKING MEMORIES! Thanks Polly!!

    • Polly says

      LOVE LOVE LOVE that you moved your phone from your bedside to a bookcase. I have my phone by my bed and when I wake up I check my emails. Why on earth do we need to know about the latest Kroger special when we wake up? I want to move mine, but haven’t had the will power to do it yet. Baby steps! And I got a good chuckle out of your comment about having to fold the clothes and talk to the hubby. And what a great idea about spending some quality time with your four year old instead of chasing him around while trying to socialize and watch the older son’s game. Just doing one thing at a time is so much more peaceful and rewarding for you and your kids! So glad you’re in the challenge and appreciate your comments and ideas! Hopefully no more wind storms, but a good way to kick you into gear for week one for sure!

  2. Robin says

    Well, I made it! Talk about tough. I felt like such an inept mother when I realized I was catching up on my life via my iPad while simultaneously “helping” my daughter with her homework. I’m thankful for this challenge as it opened my eyes to how I can change. We often look around pointing out how others can change, but this time it all falls upon me…and I welcome it.

    As a result of this challenge, I have put my iPad down until my daughter is asleep. My daughter is much more important than knowing via FaceBook what my 7th grade friend living in California had for lunch. I’m doing as you said and will not be giving up FaceBook, but I will be more mindful of when I check it.

    Because of all of my “free” time, I was able to ride my bicycle with my daugther yesterday after work when she asked if I could play with her. I also managed to get to her to bed on time 2 of the 4 nights this week. While it seems trivial, the few minutes of texting, the checking of FaceBook and emails and the quick game of Words With Friends totals a lot of minutes that could be better well spent on my daughter.

    Thank you for the challenge! I am looking forward to seeing what next week brings and am looking forwarding to hearing ideas from the other parents involved in this.

    • Robin says

      Oh…and I got to bed on time the nights that my daughter got to be on time. A rested mom and a rested child equals happiness!

    • Polly says

      Great idea Robin to put away the iPad until your daughter is asleep. I agree, it’s so addictive. And those minutes do add up. It was really interesting for me too to see how when I stopped getting distracted that my household was better managed. The kids went to bed on time, the dishes got done, dinner was prepared, and even the laundry got washed (not all of it, but a lot more than usual!). Also, I went outside and played with my kids (without bringing my cell phone along) instead of me sitting on the computer while they played outside OR me going outside and taking my cell phone with me! And you know what, we had a great time! Thanks so much for your ideas and your comments. Glad you’re a part of our challenge!

  3. Emily says

    This week has definitely been an eye opener for me. I have come to realize how much “control” some of these things have on me! I had a good week. Started off by shutting down my computer each time I used it…then putting the computer away as opposed to just leaving it easily accessible. That has really made a difference. I am not saying that I didn’t fall back once or twice or seven or eight times, but it’s a start, right? I am also curbing my cell phone use in the car for emergencies only…although, I did find that I had too many “emergencies” pop up. I am glad to be participating in this, and to know that it is a work in progress. Looking forward to next week!

    • Polly says

      It is a work in progress, and I’m so glad you’re along for the ride! I have been trying to curb my cell phone use too, especially in the car. But I agree I have given myself permission more times than I would like to admit this week to have an “emergency!” Don’t worry, in the next three weeks we’re going to be tackling how to get some of these distractions under our control. This week it has been more about being more aware or mindful of how they are influencing our lives (and parenting). Sounds like you’ve figured that one out pretty well! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Amanda says

    The main lesson I have learned this week is that I want to take “in a min.” out of my vocab!!!! I had no idea how many times I said that a day until I started paying attention. I also noticed to my horror that all three children (and hubby) say it all the time too! Wonder where they picked it up?????? I didnt bury my kindle…couldnt do it, i NEED it!! =) BUT I did give myself a list of “restrictions” that worked very well for me.
    1. I will not be reading my kindle when my children get off the bus from school
    2.I can not sit down to read if my dishes are dirty or my house is a wreck
    3.I will not read if dinner has not been planned/cooked (& i cooked dinner 5 nights this week~i dont know how Zaxbys will stay in business)
    4.I will not read while helping my children with homework or studying
    5.While reading, I will never again “just a min.” my children so that i can finish the sentence/page/paragraph.(the handy thing about a kindle is you can leave it and it keeps your place for you!!!)
    6.If my children/husband come into the room, I put the kindle away.
    7.I will try not to ever miss an opportunity to spend time with my children just to find out wht happens next in a James Patterson book!

    • Elizabeth says

      I have also been noticing how much my little one says “in a minute” to me and it drives me crazy! I have realized that she picked it up from me and that I can’t expect her to drop whatever she is doing for me if I don’t do the same for her!

      • Polly says

        I had NO IDEA how often I said “in a minute” until I started this challenge. It’s actually quite sad. I seem to say it when I just want to buy some more time with my distractions and sometimes I even forget what I said “in a minute” about and then don’t follow through. Don’t worry, we’ll be addressing this more in the coming weeks. Right now it’s just about awareness! But I am shocked at some of the things I’m becoming aware of about my parenting!! Maybe Mommy needs some sassy spray when she says “in a minute!” LOL!

    • Polly says

      I love your restrictions! We all could learn from them. Substitute cell phone, laptop, iPad, whatever for the Kindle and you’ve got yourself a good list of rules to follow. And then best of all, you can reward yourself with reading your Kindle at other times. You’re catching on fast that it’s okay to have some indulgences and distractions as long as they are used in moderation and don’t get in the way of your time with other people or household tasks (LIKE MAKING DINNER!). I got a good laugh out of Zaxby’s taking a hit from the Focused Moms Challenge! Glad you’re a part of our challenge and thanks for commenting!

    • Emily says

      I SO know what you mean! I didn’t even realize that I said it until the other morning, my youngest ran up to me and asked if it has been longer than a minute…I was confused until I said, “yes”, and he promptly popped a piece of gum in his mouth! I don’t even remember him coming up to me the first time to ask! That was an eye opener for me!

    • Polly says

      I love the idea of closing your laptop! It was harder for me to shut it entirely down, because I’m not the only one in the family that uses it. But, closing it would work. Also just seeing it closed would probably be a good reminder for me to go get focused on my kiddos or other people activities! I loved your blog post. Your successes were amazing. The things you’ve already learned in one week! Awesome! And the struggles are to be expected. Any type of change is hard and this one is a big one (I know, it’s been hard for me too!). Thanks for sharing with us and for being a part of the Focused Moms Challenge!

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