Confirmed: my computer is a big ‘ole trigger

280 days without yelling, 85 days of loving more to go!

Dear Dell,

I hate to inform you but having you back in my life after two weeks has proved to me that that you are indeed, a trigger for my desire to yell.  Bummer. I do love you. But I love my kids more so…I think you might need to go or at least go to a new location in my house. Permanently. Sigh. Separation will be hard but we can handle it. I know we can. We have to!

xoxo,
The Orange Rhino

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Ever since we got power back my kids have been driving me nuts. Which is totally backwards right? One would think that without power – without easy access to TV and heat and food that the kids would have driven me nuts. But that wasn’t the case. Sure we had our moments when they did but as a whole, no, they didn’t bother me as much as I anticipated given all the chaos, uncertainty and um moodiness that I brought to the house. They actually did pretty gosh darn well. I will toot their rhino horns for them!

I keep asking myself why? How? How did I go so long under the circumstances and stay calm (besides the part that I have grown and changed since I started the Challenge and truly have less desire to yell now)? How did my boys go so long and stay so relatively calm? Especially given all their personal triggers?

This morning when I was on the computer AGAIN, and they were “annoying” me, AGAIN, a light bulb went off as to one of the reasons I was able to not yell the last two weeks. (Nice pun, eh?!)

I was completely utterly absorbed in people.com as I thought they were all playing nicely and that I could take a breather after the great cereal debacle of November 14, 2012. Then one kid started poking me asking me innocent questions. Then another started crying. And another started yelling. I turned abruptly from my computer screen and opened my mouth ready to scream “WHAT DO YOU WANT, LEAVE MY ALONE?!”

This is how I looked Monday (if I were blonde and looked like her, anyway) when my computer showed me a black screen. Again. Now if you turned the head away from the screen that is how I have acted for the past few days at least once an hour. sigh.

I was so beyond bothered to have been interrupted (a huge trigger).

I was so beyond bothered that my kids needed me, no WANTED ME. Really? REALLY!!! Writing that makes me cringe. I hadn’t felt that in two weeks and yet this week, since power came back on, I have felt it at least ten times a day. If not more.  And I really think my computer is largely to blame.

I was simply more engaged the last two weeks because I didn’t have a computer to run to for a break when I wanted one, or when I wanted to hide from the chaos by searching aimlessly on yahoo.com, people.com and facebook.com. Yes, I need breaks. Breaks are good. But I see now that I took them much too much when my computer was around. Because it was an easy escape.

Without a computer, there was no easy escape. I had no choice but to listen more attentively, to help resolve problems.  I couldn’t run from the madness by reading about The Bachelorette Jef and Emily. AND without a computer to entertain me, I had more opportunities to stop and play because what else was there to do? Without a computer I was “forced” to connect with my family first. Without a computer my kiddos remained my focus – I didn’t get distracted by the allure of the small portable black box that is actually a big black hole that sucks me in and doesn’t want to let me out.

Free of distraction, I was able to be more engaged and present with my boys which is exactly what I NEEDED to be. I needed to focus on helping them handle the situation anyway that I could. I needed to be focused on them to keep their behavior, and mine, in check with minimal meltdowns because the last thing I needed amidst all the insanity was an epic meltdown. What I didn’t need was to know if Emily was with Ari or not.

I liked myself better the last two weeks. I thoroughly enjoyed feeling less snappy and less bothered AND I thoroughly enjoyed hanging with my boys distraction free. All and all it was much more peaceful, fun, interesting and easy…EVEN under the circumstances!

So starting tonight, the computer is going UPSTAIRS, out of sight. It can no longer be the first thing I see when I walk in the door. Nope, I need to remove the temptation to escape to it when the going gets tough. I’ve tried but before but this time it is even more clear to me that the change is necessary, no not necessary, desired. It is going to be an adjustment. But it has to be done. I can do it. I have to do it.

Note: I am trying to move on from talking about no power as I am sure it is over done at this point! That said, if it isn’t and you do want to know about other lessons learned the last two weeks, let me know and I’ll share them!

 

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3 thoughts on “Confirmed: my computer is a big ‘ole trigger

  1. Kudos to you OR! I applaud that you recognized this! I should give up the recreational computer for LENT! Business only! But I won’t because scrabble and words with friends is just too fun…but your post does make me realize that mommyhood is a JOB and like any job, if I take too many breaks, the bosses get upset! Thank you for sharing!

    • LOL. Yes, the bosses do get upset! I feel like separating with my computer will be harder than not yelling because I did use it for so many breaks and escapes from the madness. BUT I know that doing so will actually make me want less breaks and escapes. Have a great day with your kiddos!

  2. Yup, me, too. The allure of my digital world is constantly in conflict with my desire to be a certain kind of parent. One thing that works for me is not to remove the computer from the family room (because I’m just simply too busy to not have the convenience of snatching a second to look up a recipe, etc.. when there is a free moment,) but to treat myself as I treat my kids- meaning, carefully measure and limit “screen time” when they are awake. If I want to spend from 7:30-9:30pm messing around online, it’s a victimless crime. But during the day, I try to ensure that I limit the technology to the essentials only.

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