Look, as a self employed, I am on my phone all the time. I get several inquiries each day that demand my full attention. I am constantly blogging, emailing, researching the best views, best locations to hike and explore with my couples. I also get tagged on facebook and instagram for post requesting a Colorado Wedding Videographer. I know that my couples are waiting for my responses.
I also have two small kiddos. My oldest, Harper, is 3 going on 15. She is my wild child. Full of life, bold, and smarter than me. She has two imaginative friends, a wild tiger and a random seal. She also loves to ride her pretend horse, Sox. My son, Nathaniel, is 13 months and is one very sneaky little stinker. If I turn my back for one second, he will throw cellphones, toys, utensils and camera equipment into the toilet. Needless to say, they need a lot of attention. And yet, I am also a stay at home mom. We do not do childcare. I work a full time job as a Wedding Videographer and I also work a full time job as a mom.
Photo by Monetnicole.com
My amazing husband leaves his full time job as a school teacher, goes to night class as he is pursuing his masters degree, and still comes home with enough love and energy to give to his crazy wife and two kiddos.
Needless to say, we are busy. How do we find rest? How do we tend our marriage? How do we give more energy to our kids when work, lack of sleep, etc take so much from us?
I recently did a poll on facebook asking people to share what was some of their marriages deepest struggles. As a wedding videographer, I see people…well…get married…every week. I see usually young, inspired, well rested souls…professing their love. And yet found that regardless….one common struggle that both newlyweds and those married for years had was this: Our cell phones are in the middle of our relationship.
I come from a very work driven home. My mother was our breadwinner and a true entrepreneur. I have this same drive and love making things grow! Sometimes, it is hard for me to not quickly respond to that ding on my phone. Sometimes, out of habit, we both will be checking our phones at the dinner table! Sound familiar? And then the worse…Oftentimes, right before bed, we find ourselves on our phones working, researching, or even just scrolling through facebook. Then I find it takes me hours to go to sleep.
At times, I find myself wanting to throw my cell phone out of the house! I hate it! I miss the old days with my flip phone that allowed me to only use a phone when it was truly necessary. But how can I run a business as a Colorado Wedding Videographer without a phone? AND yet… how can I tend my sanity and my marriage with one?
So here it is. ONE Marriage app that I can truly say has the power to improve your marriage, sex life, your parenting, your sleep, your sanity.
OFFTIME. Offtime is an app ( I call the marriage app) and there are many like it… that allows you to schedule times off that blocks certain apps on your phone for certain hours. SO for example, I set my OFFTIME app to turn on at 7PM until 6AM. During this time, I cannot receive an email, facebook, pinterest, instagram, or other social media notification. If I attempt it barks at me LOL.
I will confess I was embarrassed how many times I attempted to check, even when I did not need it.
I also use this marriage app during the day to help me to remember to stay present with my kids. I consider myself a more gentle parenter. AND yet, I find myself the most angry and frustrated with my kids when I am trying to do something else other than being fully present with them. I need or want to respond to something on my phone and Harper wants to play poneys or she wants a snack. So I get upset. I SWEAR— since using this app—we have less meltdowns ( myself included). I set various times where I give my full attention and face to my kids. I get no dings or notifications on my phone and that hour is hers. Then, I set a timer on my phone and tell them its my time for the next 30 mins to clean or email or whatnot. This sets everyone at ease. They know they have time each day that is all about them and us. And I know with my sanity– I get a break. Totally try it.
The thing I noticed is though I am a stay at home mom— I find that I can go an entire day without truly seeing my family. I can get so busy with stuff, my phone, my chores, the needs of snacks, baths, naps and cleanup—that I will tuck them into bed and realize I did not stop once today and SEE them. I did not look at their eyes, I did not smile without rushing on to the next thing…. Full attention wasnt given Since using this app, I have seen a huge difference in me—as I feel so much more grateful when I truly stop and see my children and I also have less anxiety as I know it allows me to actually get more work done when there are set times for me to work and to not.
Now… my marriage. This app has helped my marriage too. We have been married for 8 years. I have had two babes. I am still breastfeeding and changing diapers. Intimacy is something we have to fight for. And I got to say, I truly believe that our phones can RUIN SEX LIVES. There is something about eye contact, and silence that can truly stir intimacy in a marriage. When we do not have a phone in between us at the dinner table. OR a TV with us on the couch, or a tablet with us in the living room…. Then we have to see each other. Not much different than what I was writing about with our kids—we too need to be seen. When we are seen…. When we have to be vulnerable— allow silence—allow words— allow eye contact— intimacy is born. Believe it or not, getting rid of your cell phone as a buffer in your relationship will increase your sex lives and intimacy.
Our Wedding Photo from 2010
I recently talked to a woman who confided that her husband is always on his phone. Always. When they eat dinner. When they are on the couch. If it’s not the phone, its tv. And yet he also complains she doesn’t want sex enough. Hmmm…. I can’t help but wonder. What would happen if you removed the electronics from the home for a week. I imagine at first they both would feel very exposed, and vulnerable… even awkward! What to do with this silence? And yet…this could stir a new anticipation and nervousness like a first date— an invitation to see and to know….that could potentially give that sexual energy he has been asking for. Perhaps, try this marriage app or one like it!
We live in a world now that is very lonely. Everything is done through online. Very little connection. Very little of being seen. Turn on the OFFTIME app ( or something similar) and see and connect.
I am a wedding videographer based in Denver, Colorado. I love documenting couples’ wedding day…and I am passionate about seeing marriages thrive. Follow my blog as David and I both share our experiences with deepening marriage, life and parenting. Write today if you want to connect!