When I agreed to it, I wasn't sure I could really keep my promise. But it was a promise after all, a deal of sorts made with my children. To children, unlike adults, a promise is not made to be broken. It is etched in stone, taken to heart, counted on ...
My daughters came up with the idea: "Mommy, if you don't use your computer this weekend, we won't watch TV."
At first, I balked at the idea. Not use my computer? What is this, 1986? While I really liked the concept of a TV-free weekend for my kids, I wasn't sure I could hold up my end of the deal. Then, I looked down at my BlackBerry and they knew exactly what I was thinking. I had all the power right here. I didn't need to use my computer.
"And you can only be on your BlackBerry for a really short time, a couple times over the weekend, or the deal is off," my eight-year-old said with the bravado of a mobster who might break my legs if I didn't comply.
"You're on," I said shakily, picturing myself being thrown in a river weighted down by cinder blocks.
And guess what, we did it, all of us. Believe it or not, the world didn't end. In fact, it felt good not to be tied to the compulsion to go online and "check" my email, which often turns in to an hour or more of wasted time. It felt good to be disconnected, albeit with the pre-approved BlackBerry breaks. I might even try it again sometime...
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including two on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.