Taking a Social Media Hiatus Helped Me Become a Better Mom


One of the BEST things I did for myself last year was taking a social media hiatus.

For me, the pull of social media is strong. I blame this primarily on being a stay-at-home momma. My main source of interaction comes from my kids and, don’t get me wrong, they are great kids and I am right where I want to be in life, but sometimes, I just need to connect with other adults. I turn to my phone to help fill that void, but then I get pulled in. It’s easy to let a few minutes turn into far too many.

I’m not fully present when I’m on my phone and the short pockets of quiet allow me to get sucked into a meaningless void. Sure, I may have used that time productively by finding a new book to read or discovering a little boutique having a sale, but is my life really more complete because of that?

A woman on her phone.

I had thought about cutting back on my phone use for a while; however, when Lent approached last year it gave me extra motivation. Typically, I try to give up something like candy or cut back on my coffee consumption. Those benefit me physically; however, last year I was looking for more of a mental challenge. I figured social media would be hard and rationalized this probably meant it would be healthy for me in the long run.

Going cold turkey wouldn’t quite work though because there were some Facebook groups I needed to keep up with for my kids’ social activities and school. I decided to suspend my access during the hours when my kids were awake and check in on those groups after my kids went to bed. For me, this meant my social media break was basically from sun up to sun down each day.

Here’s what I observed during my social media hiatus:

1. I became more focused.

About a week into my break, I realized how much I let the little notification dings of my phone draw me in. Once I began ignoring them, I was able to concentrate for longer periods and found it easier to focus on what I wanted to do. This focus led to me being more present with my family since I wasn’t distracted by something that was virtually pulling my attention away.

2. I read more than usual.

A woman reading.

I started placing a book on my kitchen counter in the place where I normally kept my phone. This became a visual reminder to read rather than mindlessly scroll. What a difference! The number of books I read during Lent grew and having something I enjoyed doing as a replacement for my phone was a good motivator.

3. My kitchen was a (little) more organized.

It’s really easy for me to let things pile up and my kitchen counters often pay the price. Since I didn’t have an extra distraction during my social media haitus, it was simpler to stay on top of all those piles. I never realized how much visual clutter I had until I was able to find a home for all the random things that seemed to find their way into the kitchen.

4. I saved money.

Basically, I’m a marketer’s dream. Cute packaging? Count me in. Seasonal coffee cups? Yep, I need those, too! The same applies to my social media feeds. I frequently stumble across a good deal from a boutique selling darling dresses or an influencer who is trying to convince me to sign up to take her class. You guys, I’ve fallen into the rabbit hole of these so many times. Cutting back on my usage helped curb the urge to click on these ads and saved me money, too!

5. I became a better role model.

A mom plays with her child.

Honestly, this was mainly why I felt so guilty about my social media habit. I wasn’t being a good role model for my kids by allowing them to see me waste my time with my eyes glued to a tiny screen. I would much rather have them see me doing something that brings me true happiness, like reading or gardening, rather than something I feel guilty about. During my break, my kids would frequently catch me reading and that is something I want to model.

6. Practice makes perfect.

Remember how I said I limited my access to times when my kiddos were sleeping? When I first began, I itched for those bedtime hours to approach. As my hiatus went on though, I didn’t feel the pull as much. Basically, it was easier to ‘say no’ to mindless scrolling at night the more practice I had ignoring it throughout the day.

This year during Lent I’ve given myself the same challenge and happily can say I see similar results. Admittedly it’s a bit harder to keep to my goal because I’m maintaining a FB page for my job as well as social media accounts for my blog. However, I found if I access these with my laptop rather than my phone, I can be quicker and more focused.

Will this social media hiatus be enough to change my habits in the long run?

I sure hope so. Or, at the very least, I hope it helps me maintain a healthier relationship with my social apps.

Have you ever taken a social media break? Tell us about it in the comments!

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Taking a Social Media Hiatus Helped Me Become a Better Mom

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Guest Writer: Jessica Wagner

Jessica is a wife and mother of two. She and her family live on a few acres in rural Ohio. They can be found playing in the backyard, hiking at local parks, or taking care of their assorted pack of animals. Jessica taught preschoolers before her oldest child was born and now is dipping her toes back into the workforce at her local park district by working as a seasonal naturalist. Her favorite things are hearing sleepy morning greetings from her kids, drinking a hot cup of coffee on a foggy morning, livening up boring chores with a good podcast, and date nights with her husband at Mexican restaurants.

Follow along with her on Instagram!


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