“If I had more time I’d cook food for the kids’ lunch boxes.
If I had more time I’d like to blow-dry my hair once a week.
If I had more time I’d get to the gym.
If I had more time I’d call my girlfriends back.”
These are the types of chats I find myself having with complete strangers at the park, almost daily. It seems like the easy conversation to have with any tired mum. A typical mum is crying out for more ‘me time’ to be able to take just as good care of herself as she does her kids. But you know what, I reckon that with one simple change she could have all the time she needs and I’m getting a little sick of biting my tongue about it.
The time you want to do all these things is sitting in the palm of your hand: it’s called Facebook.
Two out of three Aussie mums are on Facebook every single day and on average Australians check their social media 14 times a day. I am not sure all this ‘connecting’ is making us very happy. Sure we saw great photos of our friends’ kids, found a few new food ideas, maybe laughed at a meme or two, but what did we really get from it?
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t find enjoyment in writing a to-do-list and marking things off, I’m just not that gal. But I do feel like an absolute rockstar when I have the time to put mascara on every morning and happily vacuum my floor more than once a fortnight. It makes me way happier than any Facebook scroll ever could. Maybe it would make you happier too?
So how can you get there? Well, I’ve got a few ideas:
- Write it down. Write a list of all the things you actually, like truthfully, want to get done – I know, I know I said I wasn’t a list gal and this task isn’t to turn us into one, it’s more to take stock and see what really makes us happy. If you want to be the mum who cooks a new meal each week for the family, write it down. Want to chat with your friends from OS? Jot it down and find a time. Sometimes having these things written down helps us remember how we really want to spend our time.
- Delete Facebook. Like properly delete Facebook from your phone. Keep your account, I ain’t that crazy. But log on to it like the good old days; when it was a considered a task done on your desktop computer. When you use Facebook this way, you have to sit down and log onto your computer first. It becomes less of a distraction and more of a task so it’s a lot less likely that you’ll lose precious spare minutes mindlessly scrolling just because it’s there.
- Install an app that limits your use. I came across this great app called Forest that allows you to ‘plant a tree’ and it starts to grow, flower and then slot into a forest. The coolest thing is it only grows when you’re off social media. Sure, it’s gimmicky but I reckon if it gets you one day off social media and hanging out with your kids more, it’s a win. There are plenty of other apps out there that will lock you out of Facebook for a set amount of time. Try Offtime, Moment and AppDetox. For a gentle reminder to stay on task when you are working online, try Stay on Task.
Mums, it’s time to reclaim our time. Ditch Facebook and I promise you that what you get up to will be so much cooler than watching a video about a cat learning how to type could ever be.