The deeper I delve into this blogging community, the more I realize that I belong here. 

But I have also discovered that this online world is a powerful vortex that is enticing and time-consuming.   And as much it enhances my real life, I cannot let it become my life.    

I need to blog. I need to write. I need to use my voice. But I do not want my children to remember being raised from behind my computer.   

This is the work I want to pursue. I decided recently I need “work hours.” I wrote down a schedule for allotted computer time. I posted the hours near my laptop as a constant reminder of my goals. It’s going to take some discipline but I’m giving myself an E for effort. 

In my journey, I’ve learned that many others struggle with finding the same balance. Pampering Beki issued an Unplugged challenge encouraging bloggers and readers to unplug one day a week. I decided to join in and rearranged my blog posting schedule to six days a week instead of seven. I’m encouraging our entire family to unplug all the screens in our house one day a week! 

And on the heels of that decision, I learned that Kimba declared Friday (tomorrow) a day to unplug and catch up on life. I’ll be joining her and turning off my computer for 24 hours starting tonight. Look for my DIY post late Friday night (it's a fun one!). 

I love the Internet. I think it is a valuable tool and it has taken this stay-at-home Mom on an amazing journey and I look forward to the future. But striking a balance is crucial to truly healthy living. 

How do you strike a balance? Do you ever feel the need to unplug?


nicole said...

I rarely use the computer on the weekends, or in the evenings when my husband is home. But, I am online too often during the day. I'm working on it though.

Emily B said...

My rule to keep it in balance is that I do not get on the computer while my children are awake and not engaged in an activity. Naptime is generally my computer time. I try to avoid being on when my hubby is home, too. The one exception is when he is watching a macho movie or playing a video game. Then I feel free to browse in the evening.

Anonymous said...

Balance sounds lovely - I just realized I've subscribed to over 160 blogs in the past 2 weeks... I'm spending so much time reading, I'm not writing, or cleaning, or anything else, really.
I'm going to join you in trimming, unplugging, and hopefully finding that balance as I try to figure out where (if anywhere) in the blogosphere I belong.

Donna @ Way More Homemade said...

I released myself in February from the need to post every day. Now, I'm posting 3 (maybe 4) times per week. My posts are more thoughtful because I have more time to spend on them. And I don't have the pressure of a self imposed deadline.

Becky said...

It's a constant challenge to find the right balance between everything, isn't it? One thing that helps me is to frequently ask myself a couple of questions:

"Is this the BEST use of my time right now?"
"In a year, or even a month or a day, will this activity have made a positive difference in my life?"

Of course the trick is to answer honestly and then make the actions suit the answer! But I'm a work in process and I just keep trying.

Enjoy your day off!

Living with Lindsay said...

I'm planning on joining you in being unplugged, but I gotta tell ya...with two crazy dogs and an insane 3 year old who won't nap, I gotta have some down time during the day so I can just ignore all of the insanity going on around me. :)

Staci said...

What a great idea. While I write 3 blogs I still only devote 4 days to blogging. I blog during naps or after the kids go to bed. I find that jotting things down I want to blog about as reminders help to get the posts done quicker because I am not trying to remember what I was going to blog about. (whoa major run n there)
I am a blogging addict and could easily sit and read or write all day every day but like your kids I am sure mine wouldn't like that.

Tammy said...

It's a hard balance and a lot of my friends always ask me "how do you find the time to blog??". I usually write my posts after my kids have gone to bed. I am not as creative as some of the more famous bloggers, so I continually think about "what would be a good topic to post about" and spend a while thinking about it.

My son also helps me, "Mom don't you think you should put that on the blog?"

Veronica said...

I'm usually not on during weekends and sometimes during the week I'm just too busy during the day to sting thoughts together and by the night I'm too tired. So I just do it whenever the mood strikes really. It can be a major time suck though, something that I need to remind myself of during those times where I become obsessive.

the BLAH BLAH BLAHger said...

I really need to join in on the blog vacation! Not only am I a blogger, but I have a full-time job and a blackberry permanently connected to my hip. This weekend is going to be all about family...I'm turning it off, too!

southerninspiration said...

i agree that it is a hard thing to balance.....there are so many great blogs out there and so many ideas to post.....but i can tell when I've had my fill, and I cut back. I am not usually on a lot during the weekend either, and I don't post everyday, though most weekdays I will. So since it will be a very busy day tomorrow for me anyway, it's not hard to unplug tomorrow.....I laughed when someone suggested that Kimba was turning off the internet tomorrow. She does rock this world, doesn't she???? LOL!


Stephanie said...

I don't write as much as I would like, but I read way more than I would I too will unplug tomorrow. That will be hard b/c Friday is the day I give myself to browse...but it can wait till next Friday. I am sure I can find something to replace the time.

I like the idea of posting times by the computer. I may use that for myself if you don't mind.

hyperactive lu said...

I also have been trying to seek balance when it comes to my online world of blogging, emails and Facebooking! It gets overwhelming and controls your day sometimes. I think a day unplugged is a GREAT idea! :) I need to have this discussion with my husband and maybe we will make every Sunday a day of unplugging! :)

P.S.He loves you.. said...

if I weren't on "bed rest"/ low activity I would totally agree..but then I'd be totally bored right now. I'm so glad to have all of your blogs to read!

However you speak words that ring truth and a little pang of regret..I'm always thinking of how my children must view me?!.

Janelle said...

I feel like this everyday! It is so hard to be disciplined and follow through. I would love to join in on this challenge-I vow to unplug TWO days a week-as my kids really need me now!

Thanks for reminding me where my priorities need to be! I don't even blog that much on my site, I just love reading everyone else's!

Tami said...

Wow! There are a lot of us thinking the same thing, aren't there? I'm working on a compromise between my family and housecleaning and the computer as well. I've got to figure something out but I haven't come up with anything yet. Wish me luck!

Manic Mother said...

Good for you! I don't blog on the weekends, it is our family time.

The Vance's said...

I sooooo understand. When I was on leave my husband said that I spent more time on the computer reading blogs than spending time with our 4yr old and the new baby. ouch! I tried to disagree.

Now he spends more time on the computer then I do. Stupid facebook farming!!!! I try not to say too much about it thought. I know that I don't touch the computer until the kids are in bed and we are sitting down to watch t.v. (I have to be doing something while I watch t.v.)

The balance of the computer and family time can be difficult.

Joan said...

I've recently made a decision to have a "chore list" and I have to do them all before I can do "fun stuff", just like I make my kids do. It's time I practice what I preach.


Tracey said...

Another blogger looking for balance! I haven't actually been blogging for long, but I have been reading blogs for months and find myself spending too much time on both things. I like your idea of posting a schedule by the computer. I also need to regulate how often I check my e-mail, as I can sit down to do that for "just a minute" and end up getting pulled into other things. Thanks for your post!

Jenni said...

Thank you for this post. It really hit me hard when you said you didn't want your kids remembering you raising them from behind a computer screen. That really hit home. I am going to take your challenge. I am going to pick a day to unplug also.


Stephanie said...

I love how you described blogging as a "powerful vortex." That's so true! It just sucks you in! Blogging and reading blogs and twittering and working with PR people and...hours pass by in a flash.

I do like the idea of having one day to "unplug." I may have to follow your lead.

Bailey's Leaf said...

A wonderful challenge! Great idea for the schedule! I'll take it, too!

Thanks for suggesting it!

Rachel said...

Amen and Amen. I gave up facebook for Lent and realized it's not a facebook problem it's a computer problem. Or maybe a self-control problem.

Thanks for being real!

MomE said...

It's good to make some rules for yourself...good for you. Mine are only one blog, per blog, per day AND only while the kids are asleep or being watched by Daddy...AND no blogging on weekend (Saturday and Sunday). The exception has been if I have something cool...especially spiritual it can be put on a Saturday but must be scheduled to post...meaning the fingers still don't touch the keyboard on Saturday or Sunday. It works for me...hope you find something that works for you too!

jen@odbt said...

Wow. I was just thinking about this. I did the "mom interview" with my kids and all 3 referenced me being on the computer. Yikes! I need to set limits.

Amanda said...

I use Sunday as my unplugged day. I agree that it is so important to keep limits on the computer use. It's hard to live life and create meaningful memories and experiences for my family if I'm always just sitting behind the computer screen.

grammy said...

I am proud of you. As a Grammy, I find myself spending to much time on here and I worry about YOU...the young moms. My hubby told me he felt like a widower when I spend to much time on the computer...that prompted me to change some things. Hope it works for all of you to unplug.

Muthering Heights said...

I usually stay away from the computer for most of the day on Sundays...I will maybe check my reader once when my kids are napping (since my husband likes to exercise during that time anyway), and in the evening. If I post, it's usually a Scripture, quote, or something prepared ahead of time. Otherwise, it's church/family day!

Anonymous said...

When you triple your screen time working at the computer, homeschooling (sometimes at computers) AND blogging... crazy. Balance is so very crucial - blogging, fun as it is, is somewhere down the line of life-priorities and we probably can all use the reminder for that once in awhile!
Good luck to you!

Anonymous said...

Good idea! I'm new to blogging and so it hasn't started taking that much time yet. But I am already looking for balance and considering making Sundays computer free days. My husband does (since his work is online) and it is great to have him really free!

Michelle said...

I find balance by alotting a set time to family, work, and me. I own my own business and work from home, but my kids still go to a day care as if I worked in an office. I get more done and then when they are home I can focus entirely on them and they never compete for my attention. I have the flexibility to attend all their school programs and pick them up 'early' usually two if not three times a week. I hold the time from when they get home until bed time as sacred family time. We still sit down and eat together every night as a family. I work alot after they go to bed and once or twice a week I carve out 'me' time after they hit the sack. Usually if something gives its the amount of sleep I get.

Amber, That's Me! said...

I have come across a few blogs who are taking breaks for the reason of wanting more time with their families etc. I can handle one day without you though! Seriously, nothing is more important than family. I think the work hours are a great way for you to keep you computer time vs. family time in perspective

Dave @ Home School Dad said...

I didn't participate in WFMW last week because my wife and I were going on a pre anniversary trip sans kids. I could have found a way to get on a computer for the almost 48 hours we were gone. I did not think it was worth it. I have also developed hours I will not blog and especially things I will do before I blog. Balance is the key. I did not go back into the archives of this week's wfmw when I came back and have no plans to do so. If you just catch up on everthing you missed while you were gone, it's almost like you didn't leave. And what's the point of that?

Blue Castle said...

I'm joining in with Kimba. I'm not proud of how hard this is going to be. I really like how you put it: "But I do not want my children to remember being raised from behind my computer." Ouch. That really hit home. After this challenge I'm going to do some rearranging too. I like your idea of having a set computer schedule. The world doesn't stop if I'm not on twitter 12/7 :)

Becca said...

My mom has been in network marketing for over 20 years. She has written many articles about having set work hours. She works really hard to follow her own advice and not fall into the trap of always working, because she works from home. I don't know if I'm allowed to say her name here but if anyone is interested in any of her articles, just ask.

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

I'm unplugging too! It's 5 minutes before midnight my time and I'm doing the last bit of blog reading before I unplug and will not get back on until Saturday morning.

Glad you are participating!

Not only that, but for most of next week, I'm taking a break and having guest posters. I realize as I approach my 1 year of blogging that just as you take vacations from your jobs to refresh and renew, you should take a blog break to do the same. I am so excited about it!

"See" you later - not on Friday! :)

Audrey said...

I am on the computer a LOT. It's a little ridiculous. But my daughter is only 20 months old, she goes to bed at 8 pm and gets up at 9 am, then takes a 3 hour nap from 12-3. Soooo I have a lot of down time!
But come October, I will give birth to our second child, and in the weeks approaching this, I will be scaling back my online commitments tremendously.
But in the meantime....

Alexia said...

Unplugging is necessary in this house - I generally take *most* of Saturday and all of Sunday off from the internet because I need to just spend time with my boys.

Jodi said...

I think it's a great idea. I usually get on early in the morning before everyone is up, and only snippets as necessary throughout the day. I started tweeting from my cell so that I don't get sucked in online, and once the dear husband is home, I stay OFF! Also, on the weekends, I will only get on early in the morning til everyone wakes up, then I am off for the day, I try to stay off most of the weekend. I know my husband and kids appreciate it!

kirwin said...

I am trying to find more of a balance online. I've been getting up an hour earlier than everyone else, but that only gives me so much time. And my kids have started to give up their naps. (Well, the 5-year old dropped his a long time ago.) Anyhow, it's difficult. I'm working on it.

Why can't someone just invent a secret 25th hour of the day, reserved just for moms?!

Mrs.Naz@BecomingMe said...

I too struggle with this!

Amanda said...

Here's my issue. I'm a stay at home mom and a double work at home mom. I'm doing my Wildtree (all natural foods business) but I'm also a manager and accountant of a family company. I do this at home.

I don't want to live behind the computer, but it almost gets to that point, because after I'm done working I'm ready to start blogging or socializing online.

I need to become unplugged - I need 1 day of not even touching this computer. It's not like I'm far from it, I have a blackberry - I'm not going to miss a major email or funny comment on facebook, because it will go straight to my phone, but it's almost an addiction.

I wish I could join in with you today, but it's my tasting launch this weekend for Wildtree so I'll probably be researching a million things online to ensure I do everything right.

Great post, Kristen

Erin said...

There was a great article about moms and the internet in a recent issue of BabyTalk. Not sure which one, I read it in the waiting room of the doctor's office the other day.
Anyway, it talked about the same thing you are talking about. basically, moms, especially stay at home moms, are spending a lot of time on the internet.

Sandy said...

I'm down here in Palm Springs on vacation, so it's easy to unplug this week. I appreciate your post and I think we all struggle at times. ENJOY your unplugging day ... :)

Joy said...

Totally agree, Kristen! There are days when I can't even touch the computer... I also don't want my kids to remember me sitting here all the day long. So I save this time for naptime and sometimes in the evening when they're in bed!

Organizing Mommy said...

Great idea. Thanks.

Vintage Dutch Girl said...

Sunday is my day of rest...including the bloggy world.

PamperingBeki said...

Thank you for mentioning this!

It really was so eye opening for me and our family to unplug just one day a week.

Surprisingly, it actually gave me MORE blog fodder though! Our unplug day seemed to be a day when I snapped lots of photos, had adventures with the family, etc. Then I couldn't wait to get back and share them with my readers!

I will admit that as a small business owner (jewelry designer) even on our unplug day I sometimes sneak in to check my email ONCE in the morning and ONCE at night. The kids don't know that I'm "cheating" and I don't allow myself to click ANYTHING other than important emails from customers.

So yes, it's definitely a tough balancing act... But so worth it to take a day off once a week.

Anonymous said...

I more or less unplug on the weekend. I don't blog, I rarely twitter, and I could care less about FB on the weekend. I need it to recharge!

Traci said...

I get all motivated by reading the blogs that I just keep reading...and then am too tired to get up and do I, too, need to take a break....I'm setting a timer by the computer and doing 15 min. slots....then do something else for and hour...and that will give me 15 minutes more on the, for every hour I do something else...I "earn" 15 min. on the for me!!!

Hope said...

I usually unplug on Saturday due to the family being home..and well, there's karate, soccer, bowling, etc. This whole week has been pretty much unplugged since we've added my niece and nephew to our already large family! I'm not sure how I'll find the balance, but I'm working on it!

Christie O. said...

Oh I agree. I find that there is a lot of computering and phone-ing going on these days and it's time to slow it down a little. I took last Friday and Saturday off for some much-needed family time and LOVED IT. I try to work it in when the kids are sleeping (naps or at night). But if I'm not careful I'll miss out on some hubby snuggle time if the laptop's open too long. Like now. Balance is good.

MB said...

Okay, I'm late getting to this post and also new to blogging, but I can totally relate. I was just talking to my husband about it. I came up with a plan for this week and decided to do something easy on Saturdays, like a link love type of thing and not to post on Sundays. I definitely need to work on the writing hours thing though. I feel myself working on the blog every night and neglecting my hubby too!

Sarah said...

Amazingly I think God heard my prayers. I knew that the internet was a distraction of immense proportions and prayed for discipline which I never seemed to do on my own. Well, I have now been without my home computer for a week and I have taught with much more interest *we homeschool* and I have also finally started my sewing projects I have had on my list to do for 3 weeks now! SO I will say it is helping me. But I am anxious to get my computer fixed at home and not have to hit the library to check my account and do my banking!!
I love your approach and I am with you all the way! :)

Musings of a Housewife said...

I know I'm online too much. Sometimes I do walk away and ignore it, but not often enough. I do it when I need it, but I don't do it enough for my family, kwim?

I love your line - "I don't want my children to remember being raised from behind the computer." I need to remember this. Thanks for this encouragement!

Amy said...

bloggers: First Fridays at Scribble ink Cafe links to your funny stories.

Read more:

Anonymous said...