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#1 of 48 Old 02-16-2009, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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so in the spirit of being more waldorfy (because we agree with the principles) i have tried to wrangle my use of the computer while dd is around. this is a bit tricky for me because i feel that a lot of my support comes in an email format. it seems the best way to keep in touch with friends, family, like-mindeds, etc. but i don't want her to think i value it more than her....there is a balance. ideally i'd like to keep playsilks over the computer when she is awake and only use it at night or during naps....which sounds easier than i think it'd be.

so how do you deal with this in your home??? tia!

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#2 of 48 Old 02-16-2009, 04:41 PM
 
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Thanks for bringing this up. It's something that's been on my mind a lot lately. Our computers are in DH's office just down the hall from the kids bedroom and playroom so I do try to pop on whenever they are playing well and by themselves (I realize this is trickier with only one child). I have started just turning off the computer for long chunks of the day so I can't get sucked in and shutting the office door.

It's a real struggle for me since I do find so much support online (thank you MDC moms!). But I've also made a concerted effort these past few weeks to schedule playdates and braving the weather outdoors so my entire life isn't just online.

Thanks again for posting this, I'm really looking forward to reading others responses!

Marina, married to one really great guy : and mama to three magical boys- Matteo 8/05, Nico 11/06 and Luca Bean 11/08
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#3 of 48 Old 02-16-2009, 05:21 PM
 
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Well, ideally I would limit my PC use to when they are in bed/resting/napping/busy with Dad or at school. Of course that doesn't always happen.
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#4 of 48 Old 02-16-2009, 06:11 PM
 
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i struggle with this a LOT!!

it's even harder for me because we live in a town of about 150, many of whom are much older and staunch republicans. there are exactly 6 kids in out town and only 1 who is ds's age. she comes from a very traditionally disciplined family and it just breaks my heart.

there is one neighboring town of about 500 and other than that it's almost 2 hours to the next big town. i love the quiet, and the small town thing, folks are "neighborly", and we share things with each other because who'd want to go all the way to reno to get a plumbing piece?, and everyone in town knows my children by name and the local cop will always stop to talk to us and ask us if we need water when we're out walking.

i guess i'm bringing this up because for me the computer is my _only_ way to connect with people that have the same sort of ideals and values regarding children as i do. it's really my only way to be exposed to new ideas about things (food, nutrition, gd, waldorfy stuff). when i cut down on computer time i start to feel really isolated.

BUT when i tune out in front of it i'm totally not present with my children. and that doesn't serve us either.

it's a really hard balance. i think turning it off is HUGE! our wireless was down for a week and my house was clean and my children were happy and we did projects left and right.... it's hard if the temptation is always there.
of course, i did miss several good co-op deals but my dh would debate me about that being a bad thing .

i'll be watching for tips too!

eh. who needs a signature?
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#5 of 48 Old 02-16-2009, 06:20 PM
 
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yeah no tips, but i am an addict.

I NEED to check my email constantly and im on messenger so i get that little white envelope at the bottom of the screen adn I cant help it I HAVE to check

I have the computer (laptop) in the kitchen/ play room area, so im on during meals mostly, she feeds herself or makes a mess while i check things online usually its facebook, this site, email and maybe news or weather or something. O and messenger with friends or work stuff..... yeah it turns into a lot

I've tried closing the screen but i feel very isolated with it. We don't leave the house for days and days though and I have no friends or family or support system really so the computer has become all that for me and i argue that it keeps me sane.

I am really working on getting on less. Maybe I should try to turn it off during the day for a week and see what happens? Im worried I will have hundreds of emails by the end of the day though... yes this does happen with all the digests and lists both for work and for mothering.....

just saying youre not alone
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#6 of 48 Old 02-16-2009, 07:02 PM
 
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You're definitely not alone, but unfortunately I don't have any tips. I have really good intentions that I will confine my computer time to naptime and maybe half an hour or so in the evening when my husband is home. That I will spend more time doing housework and hobbies and paying attention to my son. Because I've found, more often than not, I'm a lot happier when I don't fritter my day away online, and I don't want my son thinking the computer is more important to me than he is. Yet here I sit, on the computer, while he entertains himself nearby. I don't think I can cut it out entirely, because I use the computer for paying bills/updating Quicken, and my sisters and I communicate primarily by e-mail. But I intend to see how it goes if I restrict myself to getting on maybe every other day, or for a brief, set time each day (like 2 to 2:30 p.m., for example).
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#7 of 48 Old 02-16-2009, 10:08 PM
 
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: this is a HUGE struggle for me too!

Waldorf mama to Autumn DD 9/05 and my Spring DD 4/08 Winter baby due 2/11
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#8 of 48 Old 02-16-2009, 11:16 PM
 
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This is a huge problem for me. Since I run a business online I think it gets even harder to balance computer time. I really need to re evaluate how my time is spent because I know too much gets allotted for computer usage.
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#9 of 48 Old 02-16-2009, 11:19 PM
 
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I made myself a rule: no computer when they're awake. That said, my two children, do take an hour long rest time during the day, which allows me to check my email. I came to this hard and fast rule when I struggled with telling my 4 year old that she couldn't play the computer games we had been doing (this happened during our transition to Waldorf ways). I realized that I needed to be an example to her.

I find that if I do try to do something really quick while they're awake, I just get irrirated when they interrupt me and they quickly seem to "need" me. I feel they can sense that I've "left the house" so to speek, and they want me back! And, yes, I get more done and have more fun with them too, by following this rule. Since my kids go to sleep at 7pm, I still have lots of time to catch up and connect...

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#10 of 48 Old 02-17-2009, 12:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I made myself a rule: no computer when they're awake. That said, my two children, do take an hour long rest time during the day, which allows me to check my email. I came to this hard and fast rule when I struggled with telling my 4 year old that she couldn't play the computer games we had been doing (this happened during our transition to Waldorf ways). I realized that I needed to be an example to her.

I find that if I do try to do something really quick while they're awake, I just get irrirated when they interrupt me and they quickly seem to "need" me. I feel they can sense that I've "left the house" so to speek, and they want me back! And, yes, I get more done and have more fun with them too, by following this rule. Since my kids go to sleep at 7pm, I still have lots of time to catch up and connect...

Rachel
thanks rachel. many of your points resonate with me (like the part about getting irritated during interruptions). it is good to hear that you have created boundaries. i guess that is really what i am striving for.

when i step outside of myself for a moment and take a look at what i am doing, me at the computer and dd playing or vying for my attention, it saddens me. i know she is learning by imitation and when i really take a look at what i am teaching her, i know it's not in line with my values.

so i'll strive to do better. it is kind knowing i am not alone in this struggle. i wish peace to you all in wrestling with this while simultaneously working to create peace in my life too.

i will love to continue hearing ideas, thought and suggestions in this realm as well as just plain commiserations.

: blogging about life, beauty, crafting, healing, waldorf...

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#11 of 48 Old 02-17-2009, 02:24 AM
 
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That last part that Rachel wrote really echos the problem I've had. I *do* check out when I'm on the computer and get very short with the kids if they interrupt me. I've recently begun another effort (b/c I've fallen off the wagon in the past) to seriously limit my computer time - for the sake of my kids, myself, my family, my house. Everything falls apart when I fall into the habit of being here all day long. But like many of you, this is where I find the bulk of my support. It's very hard.

Anyway, my new routine - I typically check my email/new posts first thing in the morning, usually while the kids are eating their breakfast. Then I turn off the computer. I probably check it again around lunch time (same routine) but since I already checked in in the morning, it tends to be a very quick check. Once everyone is asleep at night I can have time to really be online. I am, however, being very careful not to spend too much time online regardless. I've come to realize that I need to actually LIVE my life more and not just daydream it away online. So now I'm following a chore chart and staying offline for the most part and finding that I'm enjoying my kids, my house looks great, and I feel so.much.better! When I think about going back to my old ways I tell myself, "you're a MUCH better mom when you're not online" and that helps a lot. After all, that's what I want - to be the best I can be for them.

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#12 of 48 Old 02-17-2009, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've come to realize that I need to actually LIVE my life more and not just daydream it away online. So now I'm following a chore chart and staying offline for the most part and finding that I'm enjoying my kids, my house looks great, and I feel so.much.better! When I think about going back to my old ways I tell myself, "you're a MUCH better mom when you're not online" and that helps a lot. After all, that's what I want - to be the best I can be for them.


yes...me too, me too. i just have had this image in my mind the last couple of days of dd being 15 and wanting to be on the computer all of the time and me sitting and wanting her to play. i know if i keep on this...that is what is coming. would i want to be in her shoes, no....so thus....i implement changes .

better go and finish up my online stuff before my sweet tot wakes up.

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#13 of 48 Old 02-17-2009, 03:59 PM
 
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Another mama struggling with this issue.

My DD is almost five and recently started asking to use the computer to do her writing and check her e-mail ("Like you do mama.") which bothers me on many levels.

I've cut back my online time significantly. And I now do all my blog updates on the weekend when DH is home and then schedule them to post during the week so I'm not trying to do that during the day. And I also have two days a week that my kids are in childcare when I work (writing) from home.

These things have all helped but I still find myself struggling with my relationship with the computer and what I am teaching my children about it.

Yesterday we did pick up a used typewriter from the thrift store for DD to play around with. All she really likes to do on the computer is type letters so I'd prefer if she did that without staring at a screen.

Speaking of which, time for me to sign off.

THanks for this discussion.
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#14 of 48 Old 02-17-2009, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yesterday we did pick up a used typewriter from the thrift store for DD to play around with. All she really likes to do on the computer is type letters so I'd prefer if she did that without staring at a screen.

Speaking of which, time for me to sign off.

THanks for this discussion.
i have mulled over the idea of a typewriter. i'd like to know how it goes for you. it is probably not age appropriate for my tot yet, but i have it in the back of my mind as a possibility for later.

so today i have only been on the computer when dd has been asleep....early this am before she woke and now during nap. and i am having fun watching myself and how i am choosing to spend my time instead of popping in to take a peek at my inbox. i've done quite a lot in a little amount of time! it feels good to increase my productivity!

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#15 of 48 Old 02-17-2009, 04:12 PM
 
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I keep my laptop in the middle of our living space. I do my main email checking during naptime, but definitely take advantage of any free time I have. Sometimes our house gets more messy than I like it b/c I choose computer over picking up, but like op's have said: the computer is a huge part of my networking/inspiration/friends etc. I think the positive outweighs the negative.

That being said, whenever I find myself getting frustrated with my kids when I am trying to do something online I take it as a reminder to reassess and rearrange. Sometimes I will take a whole day/weekend off or I won't turn it on until after lunch. That helps and I feel good about maintaining balance.
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#16 of 48 Old 02-17-2009, 04:15 PM
 
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Thinking about the same things.

:

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#17 of 48 Old 02-17-2009, 09:05 PM
 
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That last part that Rachel wrote really echos the problem I've had. I *do* check out when I'm on the computer and get very short with the kids if they interrupt me. I've recently begun another effort (b/c I've fallen off the wagon in the past) to seriously limit my computer time - for the sake of my kids, myself, my family, my house. Everything falls apart when I fall into the habit of being here all day long. But like many of you, this is where I find the bulk of my support. It's very hard.

Anyway, my new routine - I typically check my email/new posts first thing in the morning, usually while the kids are eating their breakfast. Then I turn off the computer. ... Once everyone is asleep at night I can have time to really be online. I am, however, being very careful not to spend too much time online regardless. I've come to realize that I need to actually LIVE my life more and not just daydream it away online. So now I'm following a chore chart and staying offline for the most part and finding that I'm enjoying my kids, my house looks great, and I feel so.much.better! When I think about going back to my old ways I tell myself, "you're a MUCH better mom when you're not online" and that helps a lot. After all, that's what I want - to be the best I can be for them.
This, pretty much exactly. I go online with my morning tea, turn the thing OFF and then online again at naptime.

Which has just ended. Excuse me!
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#18 of 48 Old 02-17-2009, 10:21 PM
 
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That last part that Rachel wrote really echos the problem I've had. I *do* check out when I'm on the computer and get very short with the kids if they interrupt me. I've recently begun another effort (b/c I've fallen off the wagon in the past) to seriously limit my computer time - for the sake of my kids, myself, my family, my house. Everything falls apart when I fall into the habit of being here all day long. But like many of you, this is where I find the bulk of my support. It's very hard.

Anyway, my new routine - I typically check my email/new posts first thing in the morning, usually while the kids are eating their breakfast. Then I turn off the computer. I probably check it again around lunch time (same routine) but since I already checked in in the morning, it tends to be a very quick check. Once everyone is asleep at night I can have time to really be online. I am, however, being very careful not to spend too much time online regardless. I've come to realize that I need to actually LIVE my life more and not just daydream it away online. So now I'm following a chore chart and staying offline for the most part and finding that I'm enjoying my kids, my house looks great, and I feel so.much.better! When I think about going back to my old ways I tell myself, "you're a MUCH better mom when you're not online" and that helps a lot. After all, that's what I want - to be the best I can be for them.
thats me 100% minus the new routine, i need to figure one out still.

Waldorf mama to Autumn DD 9/05 and my Spring DD 4/08 Winter baby due 2/11
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#19 of 48 Old 02-17-2009, 10:48 PM
 
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I'm struggling with the same thing, and I totally understand what the previous poster said about being short with DD while I'm on the computer. DD has recently given up her daily nap, and so I don't have those two hours to spend online - which is where I get my support, like others have mentioned. So it's harder for me, but I'm making an effort to get up after DD goes to sleep (not falling asleep with her as I usually do) and take that extra hour to myself so that I can catch up on things online so I'm not getting on at all hours of the day.

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#20 of 48 Old 02-18-2009, 12:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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gosh wouldn't this all be easier if we just lived closer. then we wouldn't have to be online and could let the kids have adventures together while we have a cup of tea, knit and discuss steiner.

oh in an ideal world....i'd have you all over for pancakes in pajamas. there i put a magical spell in the air...maybe it will all come true (well i am a girl with dreams, can't help it, ha!).

hillary

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#21 of 48 Old 02-18-2009, 12:26 AM
 
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Wow, what a great thread. I struggle with this issue as well. I've recently noticed that I use checking my e-mail or this forum really quick as a type of stress release. I was a smoker for 17 years and didn't finally quit for good till almost 2 years ago :. Anyway, I tend to run up to our loft and hop on the computer for a few seconds when I need a sanity break or when I'm frustrated with my littles - the exact way that I used to step out and smoke a cigarette.

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#22 of 48 Old 02-18-2009, 12:33 AM
 
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Wow, what a great thread. I struggle with this issue as well. I've recently noticed that I use checking my e-mail or this forum really quick as a type of stress release. I was a smoker for 17 years and didn't finally quit for good till almost 2 years ago :. Anyway, I tend to run up to our loft and hop on the computer for a few seconds when I need a sanity break or when I'm frustrated with my littles - the exact way that I used to step out and smoke a cigarette.
first, many kudos to you for quitting! I'm so glad you did so you can be around longer

That's exactly how I've been feeling... the kids start driving me batty and I come here, check email ... look for some kind of connection to take me away for a bit. My folks were here all day today (always stressful for me) to play with the boys so I hid upstairs and on the computer to keep from exploding, though my time probably would have been better spent using the opportunity to put away laundry or organize our closets

Marina, married to one really great guy : and mama to three magical boys- Matteo 8/05, Nico 11/06 and Luca Bean 11/08
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#23 of 48 Old 02-18-2009, 02:15 AM
 
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I only come online when dd is asleep. And even then, during her naps, I prefer to do housework or crafts instead of spend time online. DD goes to bed at nine, dh goes to bed around 11, and I go to bed around 2, so there is plenty of time for me to come online at night! If I didn't have the nighttime, I'd be on more during naps, but since I know I can be online as long as I like after dh goes to bed, it is easy for me not to log on during the day.

For reference, our computer is upstairs in the computer/game room. DD's toys are downstairs in the living room. That makes it hard to nip on "just to check something," lol!

Oh, AND, my best friend is a weirdo like me and lives w/ in walking distance, and I'm an only child. This means that while the internet is awesome for getting ideas, I don't *need* it socially. I am used to spending a lot of time alone, so, to me, spending time w/ my baby IS social, haha!

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#24 of 48 Old 02-18-2009, 11:04 AM
 
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I made myself a rule: no computer when they're awake. That said, my two children, do take an hour long rest time during the day, which allows me to check my email.
Rachel
This is what I have to do too. I have a laptop so when my children are awake it stays in its bag. It comes out during their nap at lunch (they both nap at the same time) and for about half and hour early evening as soon as they are in bed. Otherwise, with my personality, my whole day would go very quickly to pot, as i would be constantly distracted. The few occasions the children have seen me on my laptop I quickly realised it just wasn't worth it as they were always trying to 'claim' me back. I am in a different situation from some of you though as I go to two toddler groups a week and also drop my toddler to pre-school two days a week so I have lots of regular contact with people so I am not too lonely at the moment. I can see that it can be a very important thread to the outside world.

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#25 of 48 Old 02-18-2009, 02:58 PM
 
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gosh wouldn't this all be easier if we just lived closer. then we wouldn't have to be online and could let the kids have adventures together while we have a cup of tea, knit and discuss steiner.

oh in an ideal world....i'd have you all over for pancakes in pajamas. there i put a magical spell in the air...maybe it will all come true (well i am a girl with dreams, can't help it, ha!).

hillary
: wouldn't it be nice if we were all near each other???

Like everyone else, this is something I've been struggling with too. I just find so much inspiration and great ideas from all you mamas.

Today though, I made a point of not turning the computer on till naptime! I admit, I'm pretty proud of myself. And because I wasn't online this morning, we got out and did our errands earlier than usual-- which went so much smoother because DD wasn't a tired, hungry, cranky little thing.

Rebecca, wife to a hardworking PhD student DH and mama to one sweet girl (3), four angels in heaven, and joyfully welcomed our baby boy January 2010! blog link in profile
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#26 of 48 Old 02-18-2009, 05:13 PM
 
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gosh wouldn't this all be easier if we just lived closer. then we wouldn't have to be online and could let the kids have adventures together while we have a cup of tea, knit and discuss steiner.

oh in an ideal world....i'd have you all over for pancakes in pajamas. there i put a magical spell in the air...maybe it will all come true (well i am a girl with dreams, can't help it, ha!).

hillary
Ya know...this is what I keep coming back to everytime I reflect on this. Seriously. We were just not meant to raise kids in isolation like many of us are doing.
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#27 of 48 Old 02-18-2009, 05:20 PM
 
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This is exactly why I haven't been able to spend as much time on MDC as I would like. My son can occupy himself now for a few minutes at a time so I can check my email more often, but I just can't spend much time online when he is around. My hubby is addicted to Facebook and I have to constantly remind him that his family is here and needs him I would love to be more immersed in this wonderful community of online mamas but just don't have the time!

hh2.gif Proud Mama to DS1 09/07 ribboncesarean.gif, DD 07/09 hbac.gif, and DS2 06/11 uc.jpg.  Feeling more and more blessed with each day!

 

 
 
 
  

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#28 of 48 Old 02-18-2009, 06:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ya know...this is what I keep coming back to everytime I reflect on this. Seriously. We were just not meant to raise kids in isolation like many of us are doing.
i completely agree. i come back to that same thought...i just try not to get too frustrated when i have that thought, which sometimes is a bit of a challenge. maybe i should wave my magic wand about that too!

: blogging about life, beauty, crafting, healing, waldorf...

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#29 of 48 Old 02-20-2009, 03:33 AM
 
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This is what I have to do too. I have a laptop so when my children are awake it stays in its bag. It comes out during their nap at lunch (they both nap at the same time) and for about half and hour early evening as soon as they are in bed. Otherwise, with my personality, my whole day would go very quickly to pot, as i would be constantly distracted.
So true! Many days I do not even go into the computer room even if dd is asleep! Otherwise I will want to come online & then hours will be gone. It's just too tempting

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Today though, I made a point of not turning the computer on till naptime! I admit, I'm pretty proud of myself.
Good for you! It is amazing how much happier I feel when I do not get online during the day.

A new kink in the works for me is that dd has changed her sleeping pattern. She *was* going to bed at nine, now it's midnight : This severely cuts into my "me time", haha! I was planning on starting to go to bed earlier b/c dd wants to get up earlier, but now if I do that, ZERO internet time, eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! I LOVE reading my blogs and researching different things. Well, I'm sure I'll figure something out

Yes, it would be nice if more of us could get together irl, but I've only even checked out one existing mom's groups in my area. I love being around other people, but I'm not motivated enough b/c I don't mind being alone a lot. Maybe this summer, when dd is walking, I'll attempt to be more social, heehee.

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DD (4.25.08)  DD (4.23.10)  DD (10.13.12)

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#30 of 48 Old 02-20-2009, 09:46 AM
 
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So true! Many days I do not even go into the computer room even if dd is asleep! Otherwise I will want to come online & then hours will be gone. It's just too tempting

...................

... I LOVE reading my blogs and researching different things. Well, I'm sure I'll figure something out

.
i find the internet very tempting and wondering if it is infact sucking too much of my time away........I'm not crafting right now b/c of the internet. if the children nap for as long as two hours i can spend the whole nap time on line. i am not particularly happy with this too be honest with you but i feel a bit 'addicted' . seriously, is it possible to be addicted to being on line? Now, after my first LO i spent all my free time crafting, it was wonderful, i did lino-printing and had an Etsy shop and everything and i used to make and sew bags and sell them on e.bay! That was three and a half years ago. You could say i was a bit obsessed with Etsy and it kept depression at bay for me and kept me busy and happy. well now i do no crafting. absolutely none. and yet i can sometimes spend twp hours a day on line. so its not a time thing.


I also love researching things (all too often it is nice toys to buy) and i loved finding out all about Waldorf and reading blogs. and being on here!

so do i have a problem b/c it's got in the way of other things in my life....? like crafting?

A UK Waldorf blogging mama!
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