Just checkin' in

If you're like me, at some point you've found yourself lying in bed at 12 am staring at your smartphone.



If you're like me, at some point (or maybe many times this week) you've found yourself lying in bed at 12 am staring at your smartphone. And maybe you've even dropped your phone on your face like I have. (Please tell me you have.) I'll just check in with Facebook, you've thought, only to realize 40 minutes later that you're knee-deep in birthday-party pictures of a tertiary acquaintance. We just can't help ourselves sometimes, I guess. And this, many contend, is a huge problem, for us as individuals and for society as
a whole. 

As Rebecca Jackson points out in her article, "Addicted to Social Media?" this compulsion to be connected at all hours not only affects our kids' sleep, it's affecting their thinking, their moods, and, ultimately, their mental health. Her case study in which a teen found clarity in deciding to "shut off" is a lesson for all of us. 

Deep cultural conversation aside, I can tell you for myself that this addiction absolutely affects me. Like a teenager, I sleep with my phone on the nightstand, checking in with texts and tweets whenever I turn over. I'm frazzled. I'm tired. And, even while I curse myself for doing this, I worry about my own kids, just 5 and 2, who have somehow learned how to operate my iPhone by osmosis. I cringe when my 5-year-old asks, "Mommy, I'm in the app store, can you tell me your code?" Whaaa? Gah! 

When my wee ones display tech-focused behaviors that alarm me, all I can do is bear their tears while I refuse to accommodate their own flegling addiction. For now, I try to keep their focus on more tactile things, like sand, and dirt, and snow. But, sure, they can watch a LEGO YouTube video now and again.

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There's nothing artificial in these blog posts from New Jersey's hardest-working women. Where to go, what to do, and how to do it—with kids—are all part of the mix.

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Essex County Real Mom Anna Sandler lives happily ever after with her Jersey-raised husband and three NYC-born children in the land of jug handles and disco fries. She loves baking and crafting with her kids, even if everything they make doesn't turns out Pinterest-perfect. Anna has never met a holiday she doesn't want to celebrate, and enjoys sharing ideas for everyday fun (indoor beach party, anyone?), as well as how to commemorate bigger moments from birthdays to first days of school.

Mercer County Real Mom Lauren Kim is a writer and the editor of mom blog and home décor website, MomHomeGuide.com. When she is not spending time with her children and spouse, she loves crafting and tackling various DIY projects around the house. To see more of Lauren Kim’s favorite pins, visit her Mom Home Guide Pinterest Board. Follow her on Facebook for more on her favorite craft and home décor finds.

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