A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about how to limit screen time. Ironically after hitting publish, I immediately felt guilty. I didn’t even want to share the post on social media.
I felt like such a hypocrite!
Who was I to tell people how to limit their child’s screen time when I couldn’t even enforce those boundaries myself? I had the best intentions. But somehow I had lost all motivation to be creative with my kids. I lost the energy to put up a fight when they pushed back.
Somehow my kids had gone from getting a few hours of screen time a day to me letting them pretty much have as much as they wanted.
I felt like the world’s worst mom.
Don’t get me wrong. I knew that it was ok to bend the rules right now. We’re all stuck at home and we can’t see our friends. But the amount of screen time my kids were getting was making me feel sick.
On top of that, when I was able to gather enough energy to make my kids turn off their devices they didn’t understand why. My 8-year-old started talking back. Taking away all the limits made them think they were completely in control.
But since we’ve been dealing with this pandemic, I’ve been trying really hard to give myself self-compassion.
That means forgiving myself. It means letting go of all the mom guilt. It means not holding myself to a higher standard than I would hold others.
If one of my mom friends called me and told me how horrible she was feeling about letting her kids have too much screen time while we’re in the middle of quarantine, I would tell her not to. I would tell her all the reasons she shouldn’t feel guilty and remind her that she’s doing the best she can.
WHAT IS SELF-COMPASSION?
Self-compassion is defined as extending compassion to one’s self in instances of perceived inadequacy, failure, or general suffering. It’s being kind to yourself and understanding that we’re all human and we make mistakes. No one is perfect and super mom doesn’t exist.
There will be days when I don’t get to the dishes until 10:00 at night and the breakfast crumbs will still be on the table.
It’s ok if we don’t get through all of the assigned school work every day. That won’t make me any less of a mom.
Sometimes we all just need a break. We need time to work through all the mixed up emotions we’re dealing with. We need time to ride out the storm. If letting our kids watch tv or play video games for 4 hours is the only way we can get through the day, it will be ok.
It’s ok if we eat breakfast at 10 am, have donuts for lunch, and pizza for dinner. We might even top it off with ice cream for dessert.
Because it’s not always going to be this way.
And tomorrow’s a new day. Just because 1 or 2, or even 4 or 5 days go by where my kids have what feels like way too much screen time, that doesn’t mean we can’t get out and do something awesome the next day. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I’m doing tons of fun stuff with them too.
There’s always tomorrow to go for a hike or a walk around the block. We can try the Pinterest craft or Youtube drawing tutorial another day. We always have the weekend to try a new recipe or play a never ending game of Monopoly.
What would giving yourself more self-compassion look like for you? I’d love for you to share in the comments.
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