A few months ago, I wrote a post about deleting all of the apps from my iPhone in an effort to be more present with my children. I’m sure none of you will be surprised to learn that those apps are back.
Here’s what happened. In the first few days after I removed the apps, I became intensely aware of all of the ways in which I had been using my phone. I was unable to share pictures of my girls with their grandparents and great-grandparents, and I missed reading the status updates from friends and family members. I couldn’t check the news or the weather or any of the blogs I read regularly. As we only have one TV, and it’s rarely on during the day, and my computer is up in our office, I felt quite disconnected. I quickly found myself using the internet app (which I hadn’t removed) to access everything online, which was fine, but certainly less convenient.
And here’s the thing: deleting the apps on my iPhone didn’t fundamentally change my parenting style or the extent to which I am present with my children. What really mattered was whether or not I chose to engage my awareness, to truly be with my kids. The reality is that sometimes my girls need my presence and my connection, and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes I have it to give, and sometimes I don’t. And sometimes I just get it wrong.