Back away from the mouse

Mothers addicted to their computers are causing serious damage to themselves and their family. Here are some tips on how and why to dump the addiction.

Back away from the mouse

Mothers addicted to their computers are causing serious damage to themselves and their family. Here are some tips on how and why to dump the addiction.
  • If your computer has become your escape from the pressures of motherhood then you need to reconsider what really matters. During an August 2013 broadcast, Katie Couric interviewed women who were addicted to their computers. It was alarming to see the number of hours these women spent at their keyboards, glued to their screens, shushing and ignoring their kids and other important motherhood duties. It showed one desperate little child climbing up on a chair and putting his face directly in front of his mother’s in an effort to get her attention. Even that didn’t seem to work. No wonder it’s being referred to by some as “electronic cocaine.”

  • So what constitutes a sensible dose of time to spend on the computer? A lot of parents are deeply concerned about the amount of time their children spend on their electronic devices and have found it helpful to set limits on how much time they can use them. That’s your clue.

  • Here are a few suggestions that may help

  • 1. Set a limit

  • Seriously examine how much time you spend on the computer doing social media or just scanning sites. Be honest. Set yourself a limit. Write it down on a sticky note and put it on your computer. Let it stare you in the face as a reminder until this limited time becomes your habit.

  • 2. Look around your house

  • What do you see that’s being neglected because of your excessive time on the computer? Make a list of undone tasks. Of course, not every task needs to be completed before you take a break from the mundane, but the most important ones certainly should be well on the way. Tasks like making sure dinner is ready for your family, laundry is in the process, the house is basically picked up. A lot of peace will come into your life when you maintain these basics.

  • 3. Consider your children

  • Most important, look at the time you spend with your children. The mothers on Katie Couric’s show who had made a change and were no longer giving their life over to their computers told of the joy they were experiencing with their children. Spending time with your kids will be one of the greatest gifts you can give to them. When a child knows his or her parents care enough to actually play with them, teach them skills, or help them with homework, their whole world changes for the better. They know they are valued, and that’s a huge blessing for children.

  • 4. Give some time to your husband

  • Examine the time you spend on the computer instead of spending time with your honey. Do you give him your undivided attention when he comes home? Are you all his for at least a portion of the evening or are you married to your computer? If he’s not getting some of your time, make it happen. It’s no fun for a spouse to see his wife caring more about Mac or Dell than him. (Of course, this goes both ways, but for now we’re just talking about moms and wives.)

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  • Take time to enjoy your family

  • Do whatever it takes to cut yourself loose from the stranglehold of your computer and start enjoying your family. Enjoy making your home a welcome place for your children and spouse. You will find much more joy in your own life if you do this. Start today.

Gary Lundberg is a licensed marriage and family therapist. Joy is a writer. Together they author books on relationships.


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