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 ChildPsychMom.com/FocusedMoms 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!