A Different Way

girl on the floor playing with toys

I spend too much of my day scrolling Instagram and TikTok. 
Anxiety fills my heart and my mind pounds from the headache
that comes from looking at a screen for hours and hours and hours

I glance at Von
She’s been watching a show on the iPad for nearly as long as I’ve been staring at a screen.
This is not the life I want for us.

I know we need to change. I know I need to change

But I’m frozen
paralyzed by fear

What will the first day be like? 
Can I mentally handle the tantrums from her and my own feelings that are bound to come up when I put a limit on screentime?
What will we do?

Last winter was so mind-numbing.
The clocks changed and I slipped into depression.
dark and lonely and foggy

We came out alive on the other side, but with a new problem
We relyed on screens a little too much.
They made life easy.

If I need a few minutes in bed? She can watch a show
But one show turns into all morning
slipping into the whole day

And I wonder if I’m still a little depressed and numb

Winter is coming and I don’t want to be
locked behind screens

I want to live

I don’t know how to start.
The idea of letting go of our screens, or even just cutting down
fills me with a new layer of fear.

How will we fill our time?
Will there be tears?
What if I have a PTSD episode and can’t get out of bed? What then? Will I have one bad day and will it all go back to what it was before.
What it is right now?

It feels like I’m peeling away fears—uncovering more.
And we haven’t even started yet.

In the past, this is when I’d walk away. I’d throw in the towel before I even made the change.
Not this time.
This time I want to be brave

Even if there are tears (hers and mine)
Even if it’s hard
Even if we get bored
Even if we do watch a movie once 3:00 rolls around

I have to change 
I want to change this
I’m so tired of living the way that I am
So today I’m taking the first step

Even though it kind of feels like jumping off a building

But I’m holding onto hope that instead of falling,
We’ll fly.


This post is part of a blog hop with Exhale—an online community of women pursuing creativity alongside motherhood, led by the writing team behind Coffee + Crumbs. Click here to view the next post in the series “Unmasking Fears”.

5 Comments

  1. This is so beautiful! I am struggling with managing screen time for my daughter as well. It’s so hard to get out of that rut of the easy option but I’m committed to doing better too. Winter is always the hardest season, but glad to know I’m not alone!

    1. Thank you! It really is a struggle, and you’re definitely not alone! We’re all in this together 🙂 I hope that we’re both able to find a better balance this winter, even if it’s tough.

  2. Taylor! This is beautiful and oh so relatable!! I struggle with similar feelings of ‘what will the first day look like?’ I worry I won’t have the energy to get through it! Or I’ll get cranky from being tired! I love love love this thank you so much for writing it. ❤️

  3. I agree, this is a beautiful post! I’m going through the same thing with my kids – the pandemic has made it so easy to just let them have their screens but I desperately want to change it!

  4. I don’t if this helps, but some devices have timers where the device “turns off” after a certain amount of time. We started using this feature for our 2 yr old and tell him the iPad died and we have to charge it. At first he didn’t understand but after a few days he got it and it’s been easier. Then I put the iPad away in a cabinet and it’s out of sight out of mind. I’ve also removed batteries from the remote and said uh oh! Daddy has to get more on his way home and this has made it easier too. I hope you find your balance. It will be ok

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