Brace yourselves, the holiday season has finally run its course.
As I type this on the early morning of 4th January 2016, thousands of blurry-eyed students should be preparing (some eagerly, some with dread) for the first day of school. Another thousands of parents (all eagerly) will most probably also be frantically re-checking their kids’ school bags, preparing breakfast, and for those with kids going on the first day of Primary School – you are probably going through your self-made checklist of 12,000 items for the first day of school.
And that will be my exact scenario in 3 years.
For now I will enjoy the cherubic state of my kids and the simplicity that comes with it.
Anyhow, inspired by a book I just completed (here if anyone is interested), I decided on a whim yesterday that I will NOT be bringing in my mobile phone to the bedroom after 9 p.m., when the kids are just preparing for bed.
I have always been guilty of over-checking my phone – stemming from my previous job where emails and WhatsApp messages ran late into the night, but ever since I switched jobs the bad habit still remained, but emails/WhatsApp were replaced by Facebook and soccer news.
And I have always rationalised it by convincing myself that it was a ruse to ‘ignore’ my kids while they prepare to fall asleep. That is, rephrasing it in my view, Papa is busy – time to stop talking and go to sleep. While it usually works, a part of me is usually eaten up by guilt. What if my kids just want to tell me about their dreams and how their day went? Am I shutting them out when I check Facebook for the 5th time in 2 hours?
So I went phone-less last night.
And like all scientific/social experiments, results are only valid after a large enough sample size, so I can only comment conclusively after a month or so. But based on last night’s experience, whilst it took longer for the kids to fall asleep, Summer suddenly confided in us that she cannot wait to go to Primary School (whoever wants to enter the stress-cycle asap?!), and that makes it all worth it – to be there as a listening ear for your kids when they need you.
As an added bonus, mega phone-addict Mama Toh also decided to go without her phone for the night. It was a good night.