The other day I was giving the usual schpeel (sp? who knows) to my daughter that I couldn’t do something for her that day, right then, because “mommy needs to work now and this is her paid work time”.  Since she’s 17 and pretty good at math (at least the adding and subtracting parts) and knows that my “paid jobs” amount to around 5 hours a day, she wondered what about the other 10 hours that I have the laptop sitting in my lap… what… about… them…. could…. I….. do……. something……………… then?

“Well mommy is working then too” I honestly and unapologetic-ally said to her all the while feeling like I deserve to have my face on a poster for the BAD MOTHER’S CLUB.

“You are just skyping with people and on twitter and stuff”

“Don’t say stuff, use words with meaning.” *fistbump – score one for the motherlode*

“This is about you not me – now can we GO?”

IN THEORY..I should be working i.e. glued to the laptop 8 hours per day not including weekends.  I have yet to figure that one out.  Take the 5*paid* hours a day and add time for bathroom, coffee runs, and OMG BILL O’REILLY IS ON THE VIEW and I’m hearing “what’s for dinner” already.  The 8 hours should but do not come close to taking care of the “paid by someone else” time and the “I’m doing this stuff to pad my resume” time and the “total time suck and I’ll never get those 3 hours back” time – or facebook and twitter as you might know them.

OK, if you came here via twitter or facebook I’m not talking directly about you, but sort of.  The problem with social media is that it never closes down.  It’s always social and it’s always *happenin’… I have become what I tell my kids YOU ARE NOT TO BECOME.  A slave to the internet.

Someone has to do the laundry and dishes and clean up after the dog, but there is no one in the house who wants to do that stuff… (I know, words with MEANING).  We get around to it eventually, usually before last coffee cup is used for the third time and we are digging into the plastic “silverware”.   And honestly at this point I’m not even sure my kids know who I am or what I look like, except for the eyes and top of my head which is only a good view on days I might shower.

Is social media taking over your life and making you a stranger in your own home?  When your kids grow up will this be the picture of mom in their heads?  …the one with the screen covering everything but the eyes…?

17 Comments on The Eight Hour Social Media Mommy “Workday” Undone

  1. Eve
    December 12, 2010 at 5:42 pm (7 years ago)

    I found your blog through Penseive Robin. I love this post because I think every single woman with a family who engages in any type of social media activity has to deal with this issue. It has been a constant struggle for me, and I continue to struggle with that balance every single day. I honestly feel as though my social media presence has suffered a little because of my family obligations. I had to decide how I was going to draw the line and not feel guilty about spending too much time on either area of my life. Every woman is different, and we all have to figure out what works best for us and not have to apologize for it.

    Reply
  2. lisa
    December 12, 2010 at 12:14 pm (7 years ago)

    I do most of my blogging while at my away from home job or after the boys go to bed. But i do tweet and facebook when i’m with my kids but on my phone so i fel like its easier for me to put it down then if i was on my laptop. When i have my laptop i require i big area of space to feel sfe but with my phone my kids can still jump on me etc and i can stick it in my pocket while i read a book etc until they run off again. I also take my phone out very little when we’re out in public. But my kids are littlre so i feel like i need to try really hard to be in the momment with them and enjoy this phase of life with them. I started blogging to share our life with family so i try to not let the blog take AWAY from our life

    Reply
  3. Chele
    December 11, 2010 at 10:31 am (7 years ago)

    I came over here from Robin’s links today. Wow Linda…. so eye opening. Again. I say again because all of us talk about this and it’s a never ending battle for us blogging/social media Moms. It’s kind of like my Dad who owned a business, actually a restaurant and bar all of my life. I never saw him growing up until I was old enough to work and/or drink. The business became his work… the liquor became his internet! Wow, I just came up with that and it’s pretty profound! I might just have a blog post right there on this topic… again! LOL. I love it and thank you for sharing to help open my eyes up AGAIN! It’s awesome how we as a community can keep helping each other with our downfalls! :)

    Reply
    • Linda
      December 11, 2010 at 10:48 pm (7 years ago)

      your reply is right on. my dad owned his own business too, and dinners out were really work. rides in the country were to check out a house he was insuring. and lets not even get started on golf. at the time I didnt realize that so much work was going on right under my youthful nose. but he did his best to include family in any way he could and for that i am grateful (and miss him terribly!)

      Reply
      • Chele
        December 12, 2010 at 7:56 am (7 years ago)

        I’m sorry if my comment made you miss your Dad. I dread the day :( Don’t get me wrong, my Dad and I now have a great relationship since he is 8 years sober. He is making up for it ten-fold! However, you made me realize that I don’t want to become where my work is taking from my family. I don’t want my children to wonder if I love them b/c I’m stuck like glue on my computer. I thank you for that!

        Reply
  4. Robin ~ PENSIEVE
    December 11, 2010 at 9:12 am (7 years ago)

    Linda, you raise valid questions, ones I’ve wondered a lot over the past few years and asked in conversation among friends. In seeking online balance, I gave up some important things to me, but the most important thing–my family!–trumped online friendships. It’s hard because I DO miss being more engaged w/my online community.

    The internet is a jealous beast–she’d stea ALL your time if you let her thanks to smart phones & laptops!

    GOOD for you for tackling this sensitive subject!! :)

    (I’m linking this in Around/About today, been meaning to for a while but kept forgetting!!)

    :)

    Reply
  5. Shaina
    November 9, 2010 at 5:03 pm (7 years ago)

    I have worked from home for 7 years, so my kids are used to me sitting at the computer, unfortunately. And also unfortunate (except it pays our bills), is that I tend to take 40-50 hours of freelance work a week, so many more hours of actual work in addition to me sitting here and playing the social media game. I sit at a desk, though, so they see a lot of the back of my head. Perhaps I’ll try sitting off to the side to see if they like a profile view… ;)

    Reply
  6. smilinggreenmom
    November 7, 2010 at 8:39 am (7 years ago)

    Oh Linda – you must have written this post just for me and my family!! LOL – we have been having some serious “discussions” about mommy always on the computer. Hubs wants me to have a regular work schedule and when that time is done, it’s family time. It’s hard to shut the laptop huh? I am afraid that your photo is the image of mommy in our house, sigh. So I am hoping to get more organized and productive – but is it truly possible to have an online job that ends at 5pm? I don’t believe so – but I do think it will come down to willpower and boundaries for the sake of sacred family time :) And I am on board with a Skype Christmas party!!! Let’s do it!!! :D

    Reply
    • Linda
      November 8, 2010 at 12:19 am (7 years ago)

      i know! too fun huh? I haven’t been to an office party in YEARS..

      Reply
  7. Kat
    November 6, 2010 at 9:58 am (7 years ago)

    *slowly raise hand* Guilty as charged. Even worse – I work out of the home too. sigh

    Reply
    • Linda
      November 6, 2010 at 1:16 pm (7 years ago)

      ALTHOUGH…sort of worried that skype might collapse too if we aren’t there to keep it going. I tell myself that anywhooo.

      Reply
  8. Erica Mueller
    November 5, 2010 at 10:43 pm (7 years ago)

    Best. Post. Ever.

    Really. I struggle with this too. I don’t want to feel guilty when I have to say “not now” to my little one. I’m trying so hard to schedule play time so he knows when he has my full attention. But, he still begs me hourly not to work, and to come play.

    Reply
    • Linda
      November 5, 2010 at 10:58 pm (7 years ago)

      It’s hard. We have to work and if work is at home there is no leaving at 5pm. No office Christmas Party either…we should do something about that over on skype :)

      Reply
  9. Alli Worthington
    November 5, 2010 at 8:45 pm (7 years ago)

    You spying on my house again?

    Reply
    • Linda
      November 5, 2010 at 8:50 pm (7 years ago)

      I’ll just move across the street so I can get a better view :)

      Reply
  10. Mary @ The Writer's Block
    November 5, 2010 at 8:22 pm (7 years ago)

    I really like this post, Linda. After having a day “working at home” where I got nothing done, I can relate. I work outside the home 3 days/week and generally confine “work” to those hours now. Honestly, I know I’m more productive while at work AND I think I’m more present at home when I’m home.

    Reply
    • Linda
      November 5, 2010 at 8:49 pm (7 years ago)

      there are so many days I “dream” of leaving the home to work with people who’s heads are larger than a twitter avatar.

      Reply

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