I remember spending my first Mothers Day in the Royal Childrens Hospital with my new baby and I was given a little card with his handprints and a poem. It was definitely the best Mothers Day gift ever, as I also found out that day that we would soon be going home and that he was going to be OK. As the Mothers Day’s have added up over time I have been blessed with all manner of home made cards, little photo frames that magnet to the fridge, hand creams, face washers, chocolates, candles and book marks. I’ve loved all these presents, but even more so the excitement in the giving and the exuberant explanations as to why you need to have that replica croc shoe that doubles as a phone cover.
This year, whilst still grateful to accept all Mothers Day stall paraphernalia, I am asking for something a little different from my boys.
This year I am asking for the gift of ‘connectedness’.
That’s right. For one whole Mothers Day weekend our whole family is switching off the technology. No ipod music, no Kik, no Instagram, no Wii, no Xbox, no Minecraft, no Facebook, no Twitter,no Skype. And yes this will be a challenge for the adults in the house just as much as the kids.
But oh what fun we will rediscover! I know my request will be met with eye rolling and protestations but I will remind them that they did it last year and I will also remind them that they survived. They also came away with a whole new appreciation for their bikes and boardgames. The 3rd son ended up playing in the State chess competition this year as well as having a newfound connection with his grandpa to challenge him in a game of chess every time he visits.
This year I have also been asked to be an official spokesperson for the Disconnect to Reconnect challenge. As a cyber safety consultant and lover of all things technical, it is a great way for me to push my beliefs that technology can be a great asset to our lives, but it must be treated with respect and we must always have limits with its use.
Aside from the benefits of connecting with your family, the challenge of disconnecting to reconnect is all about raising funds for a very important charity to help kids who don’t always have the opportunity to connect one on one with other role models. The Edmund Rice camps provide disadvantaged children with exactly that.
And if you think that 48 hours is too hard you can take up the other challenge which is to organise a 2 hour community or family event that gets people interacting, playing, communicating….all with no technology in sight.
Please go and like the Disconnect to Reconnect Facebook page at Facebook.com/d2r…and if it doesnt suit you to participate this time, then you can sponsor my family instead! Simply go to everydayhero.com.au/martine_oglethorpe
Do you have times when your family must all switch off and disconnect from the technology? Is this something your family could/should do?