All I wanted for Mother's Day was a weekend with my family. I wanted to drop everything and just be for a weekend. No cell phone. No worries. Nothing to do but just reconnect. Parenting in a digital world has really opened up my eyes to realize that technology can consume us all. We connect through screens, comments, words...but in reality nothing can recreate that connection we make in person. In real time. Living in the moment. And soemtimes all we need is a place to start so we can remember that the true value of just being together and how much we all really need it.
We checked into the Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach for a weekend where we could try just that- reconnecting. They have a new package we checked out for the weekend. It was the perfect Mother's Day gift. Really a gift I would love to give anyone that needs a break. Their Reconnected package encourages families to totally disconnect. By taking a break from all of the little distractions we could focus on just being us. Being together. Living in the moment. Enjoying each other.
We recieved a little lock box that would hold our phones and devices. This was the best idea I have ever seen any hotel do for families. In the digital age where we are all connected and what would seem to be over connected, we kind of need the nudge to really put away the phone and truly connect with the people who are right infront of us. Even the little distractions can turn our focus away from the moment.
I felt so free without my phone. I didn't want to "check in." I really wanted to check out. Let my brain just relax. I didn't have to worry if someone got to soccer practice. Or if my daughter could stay longer at a friends house. Or if my husband needed me for something. We were all right here. Together. And I know these days are fleeting. My oldest will be in college in a few years and then high school will take over with more desires to be with friends. How much longer will be always ALL be together?
So how did we connect? I have 40 of these ACTUAL printed pictures and a boat load of memories. We built forts, sandcastles and s'mores. We played dice games, read bedtime stories and ate as a family. Without any interuptions. We laughed, played and were able to just live in the moment. Yes, it was only a weekend, and our lives went back to "normal" in the weeks after. But we will be doing this more. We will be disconnecting on the weekends- even at home. We will be disconnecting on vacations. I've already went ahead an bought the lock box too.
Marisa Langford is That Mom of Four, who is busy from sun up to sun down and makes the most out of every moment each day. Four kids, one husband, one dog and one cat can have most people asking how she manages it all. (She's not even sure either.) Having traveled to every state in the continental US in her younger years, she now enjoys traveling with kids in tow and helping other parents navigate their travels on an airplane, on a road trip or on a vacation with kids in tow. Living permanently on vacation in Florida with her family, you can also find her volunteering as a Girl Scout Leader to raise her three strong girls or at the baseball field with her son playing catch. She blogs at TampaMama.com and runs Kids On Vacation too.
This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.