Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Amanda Lamb: Disconnecting

Posted September 18, 2011

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.


This blog post is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • boggy1 Sep 21, 2011

    "For what it's worth sat123, Amanda actually doesn't post these articles. I, as editor of Go Ask Mom, do. So I'm the one who put the kids to bed and got on the computer :)
    Sarah, Go Ask Mom editor"

    So Sarah, what you're saying is Amanda was using her computer before 8:39pm Sunday in order to send the article to you to post. She still broke the promise!

  • Boostershot Sep 20, 2011

    Amanda, you might want to re-think this. If they openly asked you for "the deal" that means that the two of them had already discussed it and it must be weighing on their minds to have to present you with the idea. Don't let this time slip away, they grow up way too fast and one day, they will not ask for your time any longer because they would have learned how to work things out while you were online. Just think about please.

  • snowl Sep 19, 2011

    I have a permanent disconnect from Facebook and Twitter, just to be honest. And I don't have kids at home anymore!! I think it is a waste of time, as you mentioned in this blog post. And I get tired of hearing from the media, yes, WRAL too, the almost constant mention of both of those... day in and day out. Not everyone needs to be connected in THAT way!!

  • chargernut69 Sep 19, 2011

    ....good point br549znc

  • shall6 Sep 19, 2011

    For what it's worth sat123, Amanda actually doesn't post these articles. I, as editor of Go Ask Mom, do. So I'm the one who put the kids to bed and got on the computer :)

    Sarah, Go Ask Mom editor

  • br549znc Sep 19, 2011

    Yes, they were sending a message that they want quality time with you, not your career.

  • carolinagirl28 Sep 19, 2011

    I agree with Boostershot and sat123 - your girls were clearly trying to send you a message and you missed it completely. If my own girls offered me the same deal, just the fact that they felt they needed to ask me that would have broken my heart enough to keep me off the computer for a long time. Be careful, pretty soon they will be used to disappointment and stop trying to spend time with you. Then you'll have plenty of time for the computer and the Blackberry.

  • Boostershot Sep 19, 2011

    That wasn't really fair Amanda, you still had your blackberry. What they were asking for was more time with you without you being tied to a blackberry or a laptop. Pre-approved or not, you didn't get their message. :-(

  • allen7 Sep 19, 2011

    After losing power for 8 days in Roanoke Rapids from Hurricane Irene, my family also..although forced into it, stopped with computers and tv for over a week. It was easy the first few days..but what we missed was news..IE WRAL. Regular tv was not hard to miss...but when you lose news and weather, you feel out of touch.

  • sat123 Sep 18, 2011

    "Posted 8:39pm today [Sunday]".

    With all due respect, Amanda, the blog post might be more effective if it was posted on Monday! Kind of seems like you put them to bed and went "Oh, my precious computer..." ;)