An Earnest Goodbye.

I would like to take a moment and let you all know. In this wild and wonderful journey in the blog-o-sphere that and I have grown as much as I feel I can in this space. I am so thankful for all of my earnest readers over the years. I am honored that you took time to read the words that have come from my heart and so grateful for all of the support I have received.

This will be my final post as Earnest Mom, for now. My heart is full of emotions as I write this and even though it is hard to say goodbye, it is also the best for me and my earnest family. Thank you for being a part of my online village and I hope and pray you can find or maybe start your own villages where you are, keep strong mamas – together we rise.

May God bless and keep you all.

Earnestly yours,

Rebecca, earnest mom.

NOLEO, An Earnest Review + Instagram Giveaway.

I recently had the privilege of sampling the NOLEO Baby Box (pictured above) on my littlest Earnest kiddo. Inside the Baby Box (which can be purchased one time or as a monthly subscription) includes one bag of NOLEO 150 Disposable Organic Cotton Pads,one 8 fluid ounce pump bottle of NOLEO Cleanser & Moisturizer and one NOLEO travel bottle.  https://www.noleocare.com/collections/noleo-organic-3-in-1-diaper-care-best-sellers/products/babybox-diaper-cleanser-moisturizer-organic-cotton-pads-travel-size-refill-bottle

The NOLEO Disposable Cotton Pads are large rectangles of buttery soft organic cotton. To test softness before applying to my earnest little’s bottom I used them on my face. Used with an organic rose water toner, the cotton pads cover a large area and are still usable when folded in half (great for wiping messes on bottoms). Their organic cotton pads are produced without insecticides or pesticides and free from all allergenic, carcinogenic and toxic chemical residue. When it comes to my littles’ skin – these factors are extremely important to me.  https://www.noleocare.com/collections/noleo-organic-3-in-1-diaper-care-best-sellers/products/organic-cotton-pads-150-count

The NOLEO Cleanser & Moisturizer comes in an easy and convenient pump bottle, making application a breeze. To use (with the cotton pads or dry reusable wipes, non-woven gauze, dry wash cloth) shake well before use (organic oils naturally separate), apply a pump or two to cotton pad and use to clean baby’s diaper area. Gentle and natural enough to use at each diaper change for optimal benefits and protection. The Cleanser and moisturizer does not require rinsing as it cleanses, moisturizes and protects by remaining on skin. One 8 ounce bottle of NOLEO Cleanser & Moisturizer on average lasts 4 weeks. Each bottle eliminates up to 150 non-biodegradable baby wipes and the countless other products (baby lotions, diaper rash creams, baby powders, corn starch, etc) manufactured for the diaper change. *love this* The cleanser has a light scent, it smells like oil – the smell is mild and I did not mind it at all. https://www.noleocare.com/collections/noleo-organic-3-in-1-diaper-care-best-sellers/products/diaper-cleanser-moisturizer-8-oz

The last item included in the NOLEO Baby Box is the NOLEO travel bottle. The travel bottle is meant to be filled for convenient on the go use. I love that they have included an easy way to make the NOLEO Cleanser & Moisturizer portable. It helps me to have my diaper bag prepped and ready to go and before NOLEO I would have an extra pack of wipes designated for the diaper bag so I would not go with out. I like having the travel bottle and 6-10 cotton pads in a reusable bag for quick on the go use. Trying to be more eco- friendly does not mean it has to be more work. https://www.noleocare.com/pages/how-noleo-works

If you are wanting to try NOLEO for yourself, check them out at http://noleo.refr.cc/rebeccaw and get $5 off of your first order.

Interested in our giveaway? Head on over to https://www.instagram.com/earnestmomblog/ and look for the NOLEO x earnestmomblog Giveaway Post and enter there.

x. earnest mom

It is Okay Not to Know How to Feel Right Now. We Are in This Together.

Today marks six weeks since the earnest kids’ school announced a two week closure. Three days later our entire state was in total lock down and under stay at home orders. Three days later earnest dad was informed his home inspection business was non-essential and since we have gone without any income. Six weeks ago, the world as I knew it changed; as it did for many. Since then I have not known what to write, what to say, or even what to feel.

Yesterday for the first time in a few weeks I went to the grocery store. Gloves, mask, hand sanitizer, paper list and trying to get out of the store as fast as possible. There were taped off line markers on the floors, safety “MUST WEAR A MASK” signs, one way aisles, one way only entrance and exit, Plexiglas separators, empty shelves and an unfriendly silence. It took me a few moments to process grocery shopping once I was done. I sat in my car, removing my mask, sanitizing my hands and feeling the relief of going home then, I cried. I cried because I felt this new “normal” to be so foreign, to be overwhelming uncomfortable.

I am one who enjoys smiling, saying hi and complementing the people I see at the grocery store, I would try to be a light in their day. Instead we are all just rushing to get out, to take of our masks and feel safe at home. I tried to be kind and thank every grocery worker that I passed for working, but I found myself trying to yell through my mask just so they could hear me.

I do not know about you, but there are days where I feel like things are okay and that we can handle corona-schooling our earnest littles, our favorite places (parks, church, libraries, zoos and museums) being closed, staying home as much as possible, and being limited to shopping for essentials. Then there is a sudden moment, a realization that we are in a stay home order, there is a constant threat of an invisible virus and I am overwhelmed.

When I hop on video calls with my mom groups and church groups or friends and they ask how I am, there are times where the honest answer is ‘I do not know.’ I am all things at once sometimes. I am happy to be safe, sad to feel stuck, frustrated for being overwhelmed and tired from keeping my house up, children fed, children schooled and children entertained. Sometimes I simply do not how to feel, and I have come to recognize that feeling unsure in these strange and unfamiliar times is an okay feeling to have.

I am writing this for all of us out there, when we feel those moments of laughing, crying and screaming all at the same time. It is okay to be there, and it is okay to not be there. I have found so much freedom from these confusing emotions by telling someone how I am feeling. Oftentimes they respond to me that they feel the same way. It is not an understatement to say “we are in this together, separate but together.” Whether we are working from home or showing up on the front lines everyday; together we are all going through this. Moms and dads, husbands and wives, sons and daughters, grandmothers and grandfathers, aunts and uncles; to your family and friends you are totally life-essential. You are not alone even when you feel alone, reach out, call out and even cry out if you need. Just as much as we are in this together, be encouraged – we will get through this together.

Sincerely yours from quarantine,

earnest mom.

Did Disney Give us Frozen 2 to Help Cope with COVID-19?! Maybe Not, But There Are Ways We Can Cope Together.

IMAGE COURTESY OF MOVIES.DISNEY.COM

God bless Disney+, they released Frozen 2 this past Sunday – a whopping three months early just so we could have some extra entertainment during our quarantined situations. As I sat through the movie for the 14th time by Wednesday, I actually started listening to the lyrics that I had been singing for the past few days. Then I noticed something, were these songs Disney was preparing us for the current state we would be in? Whether you are in complete lock down, shelter in place or have simply been urged to stay home; social distancing is now the new normal.

Is something coming? I’m not sure I want things to change at all. These days are precious, can’t let them slip away I can’t freeze this moment, but I can still go out and seize this day…

Some things never change
Turn around, and the time has flown
Some things stay the same
Though the future remains unknown

Music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez

This will all make sense when I am older
Someday I will see that this makes sense
One day, when I’m old and wise
I’ll think back and realize
That these were all completely normal events

I’ll have all the answers when I’m older
Like why we’re in this dark, enchanted wood
I know in a couple years these will seem like childish fears
And so I know this isn’t bad; it’s good

Music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez

Every day’s a little harder, as I feel my power grow
Don’t you know there’s part of me that longs to go

Into the unknown
Into the unknown
Into the unknown

Music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez

I won’t look too far ahead
It’s too much for me to take
But break it down to this next breath, this next step
This next choice is one that I can make

So I’ll walk through this night
Stumbling blindly toward the light
And do the next right thing
And with the dawn what comes then?
When it’s clear that everything will never be the same again
Then I’ll make the choice to hear that voice
And do the next right thing

Music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez

So maybe I am just seeking comfort and reason in the everyday things around me (like a Disney movie that plays several times daily), I will give you that. I feel like that is an okay place to be. I earnestly want to slow the roar of the news reports, the re-sharing of the under reporting, and quiet the worry monsters that build daily. I have chosen to scroll minimally, not read the news or listen to every single live update and keep my husband my news giver – unless it is urgent and pressing I want a small debrief once or twice a day.

Some ways of focus and redirection that has helped me are praying/finding moments of quiet and focused breathing; Alexa is a great DJ and she plays my favorite worship songs that we can belt out and dance to. I have also found that getting outside in our yard or a brisk walk AWAY from people can revive my worried and tired soul. This morning we slowly drove through our neighborhood with our windows down, our favorite Rend Co Kids songs on full blast as we belted them out at the top of our lungs.

Mamas (and papas too because this stress is real for all of us), we are entering uncharted territory, all of us together into the unknown. Knowing that we are together, this connection can help in the tough times too. Reach out to those you have not heard from in a while and if you need to talk, reach out even more. Community will be so important right now, even if it is online. Find an online moms group, or community group (Erie currently has a Facebook group called We’re In This Together, where they focus on uplifting and sharing kindness), or even starting a messenger thread with some of your closest friends where the goal is to share inspiring and uplifting quotes daily. Any little bit will help.

Know this, we truly are in this together and focusing on the things we can control like what our children read or watch online, what we can eat for meals, whether or not we can walk or drive to get out of the house can help. Making a point to look at those things or other things that we can actually control will help to move the focus on the great big unknown that is changing hourly. And if that is still too much, put on the Frozen 2 soundtrack and sing along, there is some comfort in singing about just doing the “next right thing.” Hang in there mamas, and stay safe!

x. earnest mom.

Earnest Mental Health Break + Rend Co Kids GIVEAWAY!

Yesterday, amid the constant update of my whole world changing so rapidly combined with COVID19 everything I was earnestly on overload. I could not help but give in to that annoying worry monster.

We feel we are prepared, we have always tried to keep a stocked pantry and with a toilet paper subscription it is not the worry of the material items that hit me – it was the financial ones. That ended with me being in the middle of a long dark teary tunnel of fear. Once I got there, it took some time to get out of that funk. One thing that helped me was music.

We have a current favorite in our home, SPARKLE POP RAMPAGE the new album from REND CO KIDS (AKA Rend Collective) and the lyric that we sing to our daughter when she is scared of the dark “I am not afraid ’cause your heart is shining bright at me. Be bold, be strong, be brave, hold on. I am not afraid anymore, Your love glows in the dark.” As these lyrics flowed into my mind I was quickly reminded where my comfort and my strength is and I felt renewed.

When I looked into why Rend Collective decided to put out a children’s album I found this little note on the CD: To every parent who is trying to teach their kids the beauty of life even though the days are long and chaotic. We see you and understand – you got this! We made this album for more than the kids so come on, stop tidying and sing along, enjoy the mayhem and get your dancing shoes on! Um, hello – I needed this today, and truly this is a great reminder everyday. Put those dancing shoes on and let the world melt away a little – it will be okay to dance for a while.

Today I have decided to take a break from all of the news, it was too much yesterday and just for today I want to focus here at home. With all my earnest littles around me in the chaos that is what this current world wide situation is – I want to just be here with them. I know that is not possible for all but even limiting exposure to news and media to only once or twice a day can help to alleviate the stress, anxiety and worry that is being experienced in the world right now. Currently, we have SPARKLE POP RAMPAGE playing on Alexa and even though I do not allow shoes in the house *HE HE* we will be dancing our cares away to the upbeat songs of Rend Co Kids! C’mon, join us!!

GIVEAWAY: Head on over to my Facebook and Instagram pages to find out how to win your own copy of SPARKLE POP RAMPAGE by REND CO KIDS.

x. earnest mom

Enjoy the Wow, Earnest Advice from Daniel Tiger

I am not sure about you but two main shows watched in the earnest home are Mister Roger’s Neighborhood and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, at least once a day. I have to admit, watching Mister Rogers with my children strikes such a nostalgic cord especially when our family values line up so perfectly with his. Needless to say, we are big big fans. A current song that is sung here is “Groo-own ups come back,” since separation anxiety is alive and well with our littlest one. If you watch Daniel Tiger, you know the tune. 🙂 Matter of fact, you may have sung it out loud just now – no worries, I did too. I get it.

Well this weekend came to a chaotic end with the craziness that is caused by the dreaded Spring Forward time change. The earnest littles did not fall asleep until 1.5 hours passed their normal bedtime, which is something we rarely have to deal with. Our kids are typically in bed by 8 and sleeping by 8:30, I truly cannot complain about my children and their sleep since they go down and stay down from 10-11 hours…”hashtag blessed,” and I know it!

This weekend was something different, something we were not quite prepared for. The struggle, the exhaustion only amplified by the time change. Earnest Dad and I have this unspoken agreement where we alternate who gets up with kids while the other gets to snooze a little longer. This Sunday morning was my day and 5:04 am my alarm clock toddler came-a-calling. (Which was actually 4:04 am real time lol). I was exhausted, but somehow we pulled them together and made it to church with ten minutes to spare! It was intense and busy – but it worked out.

Before church, I sat on the couch in the dark at 5:30 am hoping my little guy and I could nap a little before church; when he started singing and calling out “Mama, Dada” just to hear his voice echo, I knew we were up for good. Trying to keep us from waking the whole household I turned on the trusty show that is, Daniel Tiger. As I am snuggled up with my squishy little guy and wishing he would take a snooze so I could catch some Z’s Daniel Tiger threw this song at me. “Enjoy the wow that’s happening now.” Instantly my mama heart was convicted – it was true, I needed to enjoy the wow that was happening now. In comparison, Daniel Tiger’s ice treat was melting while he was wishing he could try all the other ice flavors and he was missing the chance to enjoy the flavor he currently had. Where, here I was sitting with my precious last baby whilst wishing for a moment of extra rest.

It is all about perspective mamas, it makes all the difference and I hear that all the time but it is in these moments when I need to hear it again and again. Trying to see the day is so imperative versus trying to seize the day, or wishing and hoping for different days ahead. I do not want to miss one single delicious moment with my children especially while I still have one home with me. Our last few hours of the day when all of us have eaten dinner together in the crazy tailspin that happens from full little bellies; the early dark hours of the morning that give way to the coziest snuggles; the laughter that comes when I catch splashes from the bathtub; the songs being sung in our loudest voices as we drive; and the sleepy prayers we say together before we say goodnight…please Lord let me hold on to these moments just a little bit longer.

Maybe take a moment today to breathe and then look at the small blessings before you; I am slowly learning that not everything has to be perfect before I can enjoy it!

x. earnest mom.

How to Take the Price and Tension Out of Traveling. A Guest Blog from DadSolo.

Daniel Sherwin is a single dad raising two children, a 9 y/o daughter and 6 y/o son.  He created DadSolo.com, aiming to provide other single dads with information and resources to help them better equip themselves on the journey that is parenthood.

PHOTO BY RAWPIXEL.

Hey Parents, Here’s How to Take the Price and Tension Out of Traveling.

As a parent about to travel with kids, chances are you’re trying to figure out how to make it to the destination without experiencing the tantrum of the century that results in forking over money for an airport stuffed animal. It’s true, children add a unique challenge to the traveling experience, but seeing their smiling faces makes it all worth it! Here’s how parents can take the tension out of traveling and avoid unnecessary spending for a more seamless experience.

Don’t Stress Over Booking

Rather than have a gazillion Internet browser windows open trying to find the cheapest price on hotels, flights, and/or car rentals, use a travel site like Priceline. Combine that with cashback options and online promotions for Priceline, and you can increase your savings even further. It’s easy to book, easy to compare prices, and easy to save. Plus, you’ll find that travel sites are able to predict price changes so that you can book at just the right time.

Choose Kid-Friendly Accommodations

Not all accommodations are created equal on the kid front, and you shouldn’t have to pay extra for a kid-friendly experience. As far as airlines go, opt for those that offer pre-boarding for younger children, discounted child fares, stroller/car seat gate checks, WiFi, and special accommodations like changing tables and bassinets. When looking for kid-friendly hotels, pinpoint specific amenities such as large or connecting rooms for big families, family rates, pools, playgrounds, and easy food options via an attached restaurant or room service.

Pack Travel Food and Snacks

Children are snack experts, and it never fails that they want one at the most inopportune times, such as when the plane is taking off or your only option is an overpriced candy bar. Save money, prevent meltdowns, and stop hunger pangs by packing food and snacks not only while traveling but once you arrive at your destination as well. Use containers with labels to keep things organized, and only bring things you know your child enjoys. Once you get where you’re going, find the nearest grocery store so that you can save on lunch and perhaps prevent a meltdown when a restaurant has nothing your child likes. Stick to the staples such as fruits, veggies, bread, deli meat, and mess-free snacks.

Don’t Forget the Basics

Whether you’re traveling to a tourist destination or not, it’s likely you’ll have to pay higher prices for the basics, so bring them yourself. Create a comprehensive packing list that includes everything you and your kids might possibly need including medications, Band-Aids, earplugs, toiletries, and anything your child absolutely can’t function without, such as their favorite stuffed animal, pillow, sheets, tear-free shampoo, etc. Add to the savings by shopping at your favorite stores like Target, searching for coupons, and taking advantage of price-match guarantees. If you’re flying, take a look at the checked-bag policy for each airline to find one that offers the most bang for your buck. For example, your first two bags on Southwest are free, while most other airlines charge $30 to $40 for each checked bag.

Drop Your Expectations

It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling with four kids, one toddler, or solo, having travel expectations is a sure-fire way to result in a letdown. Why? The unexpected happens, and if you have this magical idea in your head of what your trip will look like, then you’ve set the bar high. Let it be what it is. There will be mishaps, maybe even a few tears, but ultimately this trip will be something the entire family remembers.

Regardless of whether this is your first time traveling with children or you’re a seasoned pro, it can still be stressful. Plus, there’s that expectation that it has to be expensive. Hey parents, travel doesn’t have to make your hair fall out or break the bank! A little planning and zero expectations are all it takes for a trip the whole family can enjoy!

Earnestly Seeing the Moment. The Overwhelming Moments of a SAHM.

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Let me set the scene, it is after dinner and usually the dishes wait until after the kids go to bed…or sometimes until the following morning. Anyway, it is after dinner, we have full bellies, family conversations have ended and next we watch a show or two then start bedtime routines. We head into the TV room, earnest dad kicks up his feet the in recliner and I am in my usual corner of the sectional. All of the sudden I cannot breathe – all three earnest littles are on top of me. Literally two on my lap and another snuggled so close next to me it almost hurts! To be honest, I get overwhelmed.

I am the type of person who likes her own space, I am a snuggler but after being home with the kids all day while earnest dad works – my love tank is full. I am ready for the littles to be all over daddy and let this mama breathe. I look over to earnest dad, reclined, relaxed and maybe even dozing a bit and I get overwhelmed.

There are times in the day, when the kids are running and screaming, fighting and crying, trying to pull me away from cooking dinner to “watch this” or they are too quiet and in a massive panic I rush in to see what is going on. In these moments I am desperate for earnest dad to walk through the door so I can pee alone or at least without children crying and banging down the door. Again, I find myself feeling overwhelmed.

That chaotic hour between home from school and dinner time, when I have to focus of chopping, boiling, tossing and cooking (food not my kids lol) are sometimes the craziest moments of the day. I have to be mom, tutor, playmate, personal chef, or heaven forbid the business phone rings and I have to toss all my hats off to wear the self employed secretary and scheduling hat. I am trying to keep it all together and sound professional, I get overwhelmed.

A few nights ago, kiddos all tucked up in bed and earnest dad working on his reports I was able to sit with my book and some tea, then I started reflecting on my day. It is such an incredible, blessed, exhausting, confidence testing, love never ending, over the top kind of ride, this wild ride that is motherhood. As I sat in my peace, my quiet, my still I start to already miss those squishy little feet tucked under my thigh, the warmth of the toddler and preschool bodies resting heavily on my lap and the arms of love intertwined on my arm as my nine year old lays his head on my shoulder. I got overwhelmed, I missed them and my love for then made me want to cry. My perspective shifted and I remembered the line from the brilliant Lisa Jo Baker’s latest book The Middle Matters,

“I am not asking you to seize the day, just to make sure you actually see it.” – The Middle Matters

So many times I allow the sense of overwhelm take over and I cannot wait to get out of the moments I am in. I cannot wait until, the kids are settled, sleeping, older, quieter or even gone to school. I realize I waste so much of my current moments getting sucked into wishing for different times and I completely forget to see the precious and delicious moments I am currently in.

As we get older we look back on the ‘good ol’times’ with nostalgia and desire to go back. Right now, today I am in the good old days I will look back on, (Hopefully when I am surrounded by my grandchildren and reminding myself they get to go home with their parents, lol). Nonetheless I needed to get out of the rut of longing for a different time and see the moments I am in, before I miss them altogether.

I have the amazing privilege to stay home with my little ones and I have started to make that effort to start earnestly seeing the moments laid before me. It is okay to feel a bit overwhelmed from time to time, but I am working diligently to stop wishing for something different and start finding joy in the moment I am in. Being present is one of the best gifts I can give my children and I know I have a lot more I can give.

x. earnest mom.

Body Safety. An Earnest Effort.

Trigger Warning. This article will be discussing Body Safety as a Preventative to childhood abuse.

Coming from a family and culture that has direct ties to Native American Residential School and the effects that it has had on generations known to me – teaching accurate and honest body safety to my children is a crucial tool for me to exercise as a mom. Our children are innocent and a vulnerable population – something I hope to share with other moms to help prevent our children being hurt or taken advantage of sexually.

In an effort to earnestly teach my children about body safety and appropriate behavior a few years back, I stumbled across an excellent video and resources about children and their bodies staying safe. As a parent I worry about SO many things including the people my children may come into contact with. Teaching body safety can equip children to report or avoid being taken advantage of straightaway. The following information is from https://e2epublishing.info/ an organization that has free posters/printables and literature all about children and empowering body safety. Body Safety Poster is attached at the end of the article.

Check out this video below; it was and is a great tool that I have used to teach my children about their bodies and body safety. It is succinct and super kid friendly. https://youtu.be/u03EHVf-7vI

It is statistically proven that using anatomically correct terms for all body parts can be a prevention to sexual abuse. This is something we have done since we began speaking to our first born as a new born.

Recent research shows that knowing the correct anatomical terms enhances kids’ body imageself-confidence, and openness. It also discourages their susceptibility to molesters. When children are abused, having the correct language helps both the child and adults deal with disclosure and—if necessary—the forensic interview process.

According to Laura Palumbo of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, “We need all adults to be partners in teaching healthy childhood sexual development, and square one is body parts. Educators and parents should communicate accurately, without stigma or shame.” 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/going-beyond-intelligence/201703/call-children-s-private-body-parts-what-they-are

In addtion, we practice a “family code word.” Our family code word is a word that our children know so if there is ever an emergency and earnest dad or I need to send someone to pick them up, that designated person will know our code word. When they hear that word, they will know that this person is a safe person sent by mommy or daddy to take care of them. We actually used it when my oldest was in Kindy, my mom was in town and she and my sister went to pick him up. He knows them and loves them but when he saw it was not me picking him up, he immediately asked for our code word; when they told him the right word, knew he was good to go with them.

Also in the earnest home, we press that there are no secrets between us. None. Surprises are okay, especially if at least one adult in the home knows about them but secrets we do not keep. We try to keep a safe and open relationship with our earnest littles, always pressing that we will love them no matter what. If someone is pressuring them to keep a secret from us, we need to know to be safe for everyone.

Remember, it is never to early to teach about body safety with your children (staying age appropriate in information and practices). Doing so empowers them to be the boss of their own bodies and can help in preventing them being taken advantage of. This is an extremely sensitive topic for some and I want to acknowledge the hurt or pain that may come from reading this and let you know, moms and dads you are seen, loved and not alone; teaching safety can help and heal.

x. earnest mom.

Body Safety Poster mentioned above, from https://e2epublishing.info/posters#postersus:

Earnestly Breaking Up With Facebook.

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Facebook, it’s not you it is me…wait no, it is totally you.

Confession, I am a Facebook user however, it is one of those things in my life that has been causing more annoyance than anything. The rants, the politics, the over dramatized version of lives that I really can see through immediately and truly never care to know SO MUCH about. My least favorite are the posts that post some super hot topic as a question as right or wrong and says, “going to get popcorn and sit back and read.” Ugh.

Another confession, before Christmas I deleted Facebook off of my phone and really wanted to focus on the people around me versus those on a screen. Would you believe my screen time average dropped by 75%?! What was I doing on Facebook that much?! Who knows; but whatever it was made it enough that I decided to break up with it.

Do not get me wrong, Facebook can be used for good – it can, and I am not here to say that it is bad all around – just no longer something I want to have so much of in my life. I mean, I had become someone that says to my friends “well did you see my Facebook post?” Expecting them to be SO interested in my life that they would want to constantly see everything about me. When I realized that I decided – no more. I am now being intentional on sharing PERSONAL messages and pictures with family and friends in actual messages to them. Mind you, I still really enjoy seeing my friends and their children when they post – honestly, I do and I will continue to hit the virtual heart when I see them. I just need to reevaluate what Facebook means to me in my earnest life.

It was an amicable break. Clean, thoughtful and a beneficial one. Now I allow myself a few minutes where I intentionally get on my laptop, sign on and visit Facebook for a few moments a day. It has been more than a month and my average screen time is about 22-33 minutes a day (which includes the Pokemon Go we play as a family for fun).

I have had less opinions (well err gossip if I am being honest) of other peoples lives because I am not reading all about everyone every single day. I still text, reach and talk to people – a lot actually but my friendship cannot not measured by whether I choose to thumbs up or heart specific posts. And honestly I am a better and more intentional friend for it.

Sorry Facebook, it was kinda good while it lasted but I am moving on. I need less Facebook and more face time with the people in my life, including my husband, children and friends. They are SO worth it!