Once upon a time it was difficult enough to be the kind of parent I wished to be for normal reasons - single parent, relationship issues, too much to do with full time school and work. But then just when I had the second chance to be an excellent parent - to actually parent with someone else, I had matured so much in the 15 years since the first one, "This is going to be great!" I thought. And then I got my first smart phone. I'm a compulsive person, easily addicted to anything that offers and endorphin rush that isn't going to incapacitate me. I have a pretty serious sugar issue. This tiny computer that I can hold in my hand is really giving me some trouble.
Today I promised my son that I would stay off the phone when I am with him unless necessary. I told him that he is WAY more important than the phone. He looks at me and starts telling me all the ways he feels about my phone use and about the things that I do. It appears that I am a terrible mother. I know that I am a good mother - take away the time I am looking at my phone - which at this point isn't really leaving a whole bunch of time to be doing my excellent parenting that I was so sure I was ready to do. Since my work is concentrated in my phone as this is where I advertise my business, conduct all of my emailing, texting and so on, I am looking at this thing a LOT.
Some history: I have been a full time waldorf teacher for some time. I have been my child's teacher for the past two years. Recently I stopped teaching and began working on Twelve Little Tales full time. This is very different. It occurs to me that all that structure and rhythm and outside time that is so important to the children was also something that was doing me a whole lot of good too and as soon as it wasn't built into my life and I was working very hard to create a successful business all of that went by the wayside and I dove, or really fell, into a deep, deep pool of random things that distract you while you are working via your phone. I also realized that while I had all this amazing time to do my work I was looking at my phone so much and getting sucked into all sorts of other things that I wasn't even getting my work done in the allotted time that my son was at school so I was still "working" all day and then into the late night just as I was when I was teaching full time.
Now, this isn't meant to discredit me and make me seem like a shameless hypocrite as I am simply a human being who obviously got a bit off track, but this certainly does strengthen my thoughts and resolve that first led me to create Twelve Little Tales in the beginning.
To make up stories one has no choice but to be 100% present. To create with one's child is as fulfilling as anything - for all parties involved. It only takes a few minutes to heal and nourish our selves that have often times been through kind of way too much by the time we are together again at the end of the day, or on the weekend.
And for all of us including the homeschooling families working to create rhythm in your day and weeks and year, storytelling is one of the very best ways to bring this into our lives.