So, over the Christmas holidays, my family and I began an experiment where we would go device-free for one day a week. In the beginning, I saw the withdrawal on my teenage children’s faces, and my husband was just as bad. A month later, we started to notice patterns within our activities on how so much of our lives actually revolved around the internet. (Stationary lists for the school were online.)
We’re now at the beginning of March 2019, and the experiment has gone completely awry!
I’m going insane!
Within New Zealand, the academic year starts early February. That wasn’t the issue. We got over the initial bumps in the road, where the stationary lists were only available online. It was the hell that started shortly after that, compromising my mental sanity.
Our weekly schedule is chaotic. Mom’s taxi is called into service five days a week, four of those days are for my daughter. She’s a dancer, and the dance lessons literally take over everything else.
Sorry, mom, you’re not allowed a life. Sigh.
I get a short window during the school day to myself, to work solely on my writing and editing, but lunchtime hits and it’s all go.
Four nights out of the week, dinner needs to be prepared early, so it’s ready to eat as people walk in the door. Hubby has Scouts on Mondays and Toastmasters on Tuesdays, both days needing dinner for 5:30pm. Daughter as dance lessons on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, starting at 4:30pm and going until 8:30pm (she eats somewhere in there during a break at the studio). Then the weekends are just nonstop taxi service around the city for both my daughter and son. There’s the grocery shopping, the visit to the veggie stand, and the list just goes on.
It is literally constant go with constant demands. And every week, I get to Friday, and I just want to kill the family. I’m sick of the cooking. Sick of the cleaning. Sick of doing it all.
Add the expectations of NO TV into the mix and you have a recipe for homicide.
Ironically, I’m not the one actually watching the TV. I’m normally hiding in the corner, reading a book, trying to pretend that the world doesn’t exist. Occasionally, I’ll be at the computer writing that murder scene that I so desperately want to commit. (My son has expressed his concerns for my mental health on more than one occasion. Books on poisons, improvised munitions, and homicide investigation procedures have not alleviated his fears.)
No, for MY sanity, I have given in and let my son play on his computer on Friday afternoons. My daughter has been allowed to watch whatever she wants (within reason) on the TV. And my husband will play on his phone at night, after pouring me that stiff drink before the weekend hell begins.
Where does the experiment stand?
For the moment, while I’m dealing with mom’s taxi hell, the device-free experiment has collapse into the black abyss known as “No way in hell!” I know I need to find a way to resurrect it, but why don’t I find a way to deal with my stress and borderline sanity first.
Perhaps, this will become a school holidays thing, when all the activities that demand the tight schedule are also on holiday. That sounds like a plan. That I can make work.
But for now, device-free days can go away.
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© Copyright, Judy L Mohr 2019