I look at my 3 year old lying on the couch with his iPad and have mixed thoughts. First the Mummy Guilt, that he shouldn’t spend so much time on the iPad and I should be doing something with him instead. Then the opposite thought that he needs to learn to use technology as it’s going to be a HUGE part of his life and learning. You know that never-ending internal chatter that sometimes you wish would just shut up!
How much iPad is too much?
To be honest with you, he’s not on the iPad that much, I think! One or two afternoons after kindy and about an hour on Friday while my youngest has his nap.
So for me, the Mummy Guilt comes from the fact that iPad time should be time with me.
How often do you get one-on-one time with your kids? I know it’s VERY rare with each of my boys.
Our weekday afternoons look something like this: I pick him up from kindy (and his brother from daycare) just after 3pm. We come home and it’s straight into chores.
Between arriving home and the bathtime/bedtime routine, I cook dinner that he’s probably not going to eat, fold a HUGE mountain of washing that comes from having two active boys, entertain his little brother who wants to ‘help’ with everything and if I’m lucky, I get to sit down for five minutes before getting everything ready for the next day.
In an ideal world I would have a maid and cook to do all chores and cooking, and I would pick him up from kindy, bring him home and we’d do a craft activity, or something, together before dinner. That’s not going to happen any time soon!
Getting rid of the iPad Mummy Guilt
In the meantime, I have decided I need to reduce this iPad Mummy Guilt by doing a craft activity with him once a week after kindy.
I think that’s manageable and to be honest, it’s more for me than for him as I LOVE getting creative and making things. I know my biggest challenge will be my youngest – he’ll want to do what we are doing, naturally!
Our first activity is with the seashells he gathered with Grandad the other week.
“Mum, look! I got you all these shells from Grandad’s beach!”
When really I was thinking, ‘what the heck are we going to do with these?’
Then ding! We can do an art/craft activity with them.
So I jumped on Pinterest, my favourite place for ideas on anything, and decided to start simple. He is only 3 after all.
I settled with a seashell picture frame that he can put a photo of him and Grandad in. Cute!
Happy Mum = Happy Home
It’s taken some time but I’ve finally decided to be a bit easier on myself and be realistic.
Him being on the iPad for half an hour a few days a week is not a bad thing – for all of us!
I’m a happier mum because I can get stuff done and I can sit down for longer than 5 minutes and actually have break.
He’s happier because he’s actually having a rest – he honestly doesn’t stop from the moment he wakes till the time he falls asleep! And he enjoys it.
It drives me nuts – “Daddy finger, daddy finger, where are you? Daddy finger, daddy finger, how do you do?” But it keeps him still and quiet. And sometimes, you’ve just got to do what works.