We were in Mystic, Connecticut this weekend on a family trip. It was actually a press trip that was arranged through multiple channels. I haven’t had a chance to blog about it yet, but there will soon be featured articles on our trip here, on Traveling Mom, A Child Grows, CBS.com and possibly Project You Magazine. It was a marvelous weekend, and every time I had a chance and Wifi availability, I tweeted about it. I tweeted from the Mystic Aquarium, I tweeted from Mystic Sea Port, I tweeted from Mystic Pizza, I tweeted from all the fabulous restaurants and shops we visited. I was in a state of bliss and marvel over the charm of Mystic and enjoyed our trip so much that I took pleasure in tweeting out information I gathered as I went along.
But aside from that, I see tweeting as part of the package. When I agree to review a place, I don’t just blog it. I tweet. I Facebook. It’s the whole package. Asa blogger, you want to get information out to as many people as you can virally. It takes work. It takes time, sometimes time away from the family. I thought I had explained this all to my kids, but they’re young, and as much as blogging has become an important part of their life in the last two years as it has in mine, they don’t understand completely. My daughter asked me to stop tweeting several times this weekend, and I obliged. But believe me, it wasn’t enough to ruin the good time we were having. I’m not the type of person to tweet when I’m in the company of other people, but when I am reviewing a place or event, tweeting is part of my work and I take it seriously.
Fast forward to our arrival back home. We got home late yesterday. I spent the evening unpacking our new pottery (picked up at Olde Mystic Village) and our belongings. I realized my house was, once again, filled with clutter and went around trying to de-clutter. Our microwave wasn’t working, so I had to deal with that. And my daughter had a sleep-over. Do you really think I spent the evening on my computer?! Plus, it’s Labor Day and I take it seriously that it’s our last summer weekend. So, today we spent the day at the beach. That was always the plan.
Before we left for the beach, I did a bit of work, but my company has an amazing sale and I wanted to check in on that. I was on the computer for a bit, but my kids were watching TV and they weren’t being ignored in the slightest. They seemed to be enjoying themselves.
At one point, just as I was going out for a run, my 6 year old son asked me to give him lunch. Then he asked me to sit with him to go over a birthday catalog to choose items for his birthday party (which is in two months). I acquiesced and sat with him, made him lunch and gave him my attention.
Then I picked up my phone. It was disabled for five minutes. I couldn’t imagine why.
I waited five minutes and tried to get in again. It was then disabled for 60 minutes.
Needless to say, this went on all day. Fortunately, I went to the beach. Took a long swim in the Long Island Sound, watched my daughter bury her friends in sand, gazed into the distance to see the sailboats go by….all for the last time this summer. The beach closes today.
Meanwhile, my son innocently had watched my husband and I try to figure out what was wrong with my phone all day. He was silent. Didn’t say a word.
So, tonight, just as the sky was falling and everything was going wrong in my house, he confessed. Here is what he said:
“Mom, you know how you were ignoring me when we were in Mystic because you were on your phone the whole time…tweeting? Well, I got tired of that and decided to change the password. Only I don’t remember it.”
There’s so much at play here. First of all, it’s kind of sweet and kind of horrible. Do I win the Worst Mom of the Year award? I’ve done a lot of things wrong in my time, made a lot of parenting mistakes. But tweeting? Mom bloggers get flack for not paying attention to their children when they’re writing and doing their thing, but I’ve never agreed with that stereotype. For me, social media has parlayed into opportunities and new skills. How am I ignoring them when I’m planting seeds for a new business and more?
But that’s not important right now, is it? What’s important is that my son feels ignored. So ignored that he had to take serious action and lie about it all day.
I have never pretended to be mom of the year. I do my best. Mothering has come natural at times, and not at other times. I don’t use this blog as a platform to promote my angst as a mother, but believe me, there is much of it. I want the best for my children, but I want the best for me, too.
While we were in Mystic, I needed a break. I stepped away and went to the movies. I know what’s good for me, what makes me a better mother. Taking a small break did the world of good to me. My family didn’t want me to go, but I went and I have no regrets. I was a better mom the next day. Who can fault me for that?
How would you feel? Has your child ever taken a criminal action against you for not paying as much attention as you should be?