Monday, November 7, 2011

Because sometimes Mommies need discipline too...

I've joked around about it a time or two, but last week I came to the realization that I ABSOLUTELY have a real life addiction to the computer, and a real life addiction to food. Sure, a lot of moms love a chocolaty snack and a little computer time... but I seem to be incapable of controlling my need for both. Let me give you an un-exaggerated, true example:

The situation? The other day I woke up, stayed in my PJ's, gave my kiddos yogurt and grapes, plugged them into the TV, and then sat and surfed Pinterest and Facebook for 3 hours! When I finally realized how much time I had wasted and how long my kids had been watching TV, I decided to FINALLY get myself and my kids out of our PJ's and attempt making a recipe from pinterest rather than just staring at one. So we all got dressed and then made some of the most amazing cookies on the planet earth... but then what? Well, then we all ate a cookie and some lunch, Lily went down for a nap, Brooklyn went up to her room to color for quiet time, and I sat back down at the computer desk and ate 15 cookies BY MYSELF whilst wasting my time (and simultaneously storing extra calories) checking, and rechecking my email and facebook to see if anything new happened in the last 30 seconds. Its sad but true. I thought long and hard about this situation (that happens more than I'd like to admit) and decided I would put an end to it. I threw away all the yummy snacks in my cupboards and turned off the computer in hopes of having more productive and meaningful days.

The problem? I still had ingredients to make snacks when a craving hit (and I did). Also, my kids are very independent and easily entertained, so I had too much time on my hands and chose to use it playing around on the computer since I still had the power to turn the computer on. Every time I passed the darn thing I turned it on and compulsively checked my emails and my favorite blogs... and every time I passed the kitchen, something new and yummy entered my mouth, and incidentally, my already full belly.

Moral of the story? Sometimes mommies need discipline too, and sometimes they can't give it to themselves. I realized I actually needed help. I identified the root of the problem: I often feel lonely in the stay-at-home mom universe and I turn to food and the computer to fill the void. Then I asked for help! I asked my wonderful and always supportive husband to take ALL the Halloween candy to work and only bring home one piece per child each day. I made him throw away all the cookies, cake, and frosting in our fridge and on our counters. And then I had him do the unthinkable! I made him lock the computer. That's right! Last week every morning before he left to work, my husband locked our computer so I could not access it. Then when he got home he unlocked it.

Why so extreme? Well, I recognized my need for purpose and motivation when trying to overcome a problem, and I needed to see my role as a stay-at-home mom as a job that starts at 8 am and ends at 5 pm. After that, parenting is a joint effort shared between my wonderful husband and myself. But during those hours it is my responsibility to teach and care for my children. And like many work places, the employee (me) should not be allowed to waste work hours on websites like pinterest and facebook.

The result? Last week was the funnest and most tiring week I've ever had with my children! When they colored, I colored with them. When they ate, I ate with them. When they ran around outside, I ran with them. I did not merely sit and observe their activities, I became an itrigul part of them, teaching along the way. I had so much fun and so did they. On top of that, my house was clean each night when my husband came home from work, and dinner was on the stove! And our whole family slept better than ever at the end of each active and productive day!

The point? If you are struggling with an addiction yourself, ASK FOR HELP. Sometimes we just can't do everything by ourselves. And sometimes we just need a little discipline enforced by people we love, and who we know love us as well. Obviously I am still using the computer, but I am learning moderation. For the next 3 days my husband is out of town for work and he left the computer unlocked for me. After a week of going without, I am trying to catch up on blogging, but still trying to remember to use moderation and to play with my kids. I think this will be a long process but one that will really make a difference in my life and the lives of my family members. All addictions, no matter how harmless they seem, cause damage to the addicted person and those they love. But I will overcome my vices! Wish me luck!



  1. *checks clock* And just what are you doing on your blog at this hour, Missy?

    *laughs* Seriously, I have no right or reason to poke at you. I'm just as bad. But I'm trying!

  2. I almost stopped reading in the middle of this post because I thought, "I know. I get it. No more computer!" I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I made a goal (yesterday) to read the Book of Mormon by the end of the year. I figure if I sit down to read the book as much as I sit at the computer, I could probably be done in a couple of weeks. I hit weak moment and saw your post on FB because I was creating an event to invite everyone to Thanksgiving dinner... that's how it always happens right? Okay, I'm with you Naomi, I'm turning off the computer now and it's not coming on again until the kids are in bed. If you see FB activity from me, scold me, that means I failed. :)

  3. Very cool Naomi! I think I have the same weakness. I'm not a mommy but dads can have the same problem. Technology has allowed access to the cyber world with such ease that we can do it almost anywhere at anytime. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to being a better more involved dad with my boys.

  4. Forgot to add that your post reminded me of what Elder Bednard spoke about the last conference. Our generation has been raised in technology that can allow us to use our skills to accomplish so much online (family history was the focus). But we must be careful not to get too caught up in the all of the other time consuming media that goes on online. It's a tough balance that each of us have to search out for ourselves.

  5. I can totally relate to everything you said...that sounds a lot like how most of my days go. I've found that if I don't have a specific project or to-do list of things I end up doing those same things. Good for you for finding a solution and taking responsibility for your actions and doing something about it for the're my inspiration this week!

  6. Good for you Naomi! You are so smart to be able to analyze and identify the root cause. I figured it out half-way through your narrative. I thought "She is lonely and misses her family". That't why you kept going back and checking to see if there was any more news from anyone. In my generation we wrote letters and it took forever. It's different today. We aren't used to waiting for contact. We get it immediately for the most part. It's hard when you were raised with 4 other sisters and 3 brothers. There was always a friend around. Love and miss you! Hang in there. It's hard but worth it. Your family will be the better for it and will thank you in the end.

  7. I am in the same boat. I have a couple of solutions that I need to implement better and thought I might share them with you since we are sinking in the same boat. I am trying to find something to do "instead" of these two items. One is working with my hands or doing things that are on my never ending TO DO list. I have also tried to figure out what I really NEED to do instead of being on the computer. I am not perfect at this but the couple of days I did this I found myself feeling better about myself and finding that I yelled less at my children.
    Lastly I am in the process of figuring out how to get an internet nanny program set up on my computer that can give me an idea of how long I am on the computer. The idea here is that I will probably be shocked at how much time I waste on Pininterest and looking at other peoples blogs. I haven't done this yet but I know once I know I am being monitored I will be less likely to spend aimless time on the internet. I could go on and on about the things I want to do. Mainly it is just finding things to replace the loneliness we feel and find things that cause us joy. Our greatest job is to be a mother and although it can bring about the worst in us it also can be one of the most rewarding things we do.

    Think about getting a blessing from your spouse. I asked for one weeks ago and it had words of counsel for me and also LOVE from someone who knows you better then yourself. Anyway, I am good at rambling. Please call me and come over sometime. Maybe we can get together and work on a sewing project or craft project together. I love our Book of Mormon club and I am grateful for your inspiration to put it together. THANKS. You will get through this. And so will I!!!

  8. I am the same way - only with my phone! I got hooked when I was on it constantly for work and now I can't go 10 minutes without checking it for something. Great post, great goal. I think I'll join you! :)

  9. This is such an awesome post Gomie. We've talked about this many times so you know very well how I often I fall into the internet trap. It's so hard!! But I really admire you for 1) being so honest in the post and 2) accepting that it's a challenge and finding solutions to overcome it. You're a great example and a better person than me because if Taber locked my computer I would cry! lol!