Mama Speaks... by Laura Swann & Natalie Mcilveen

It’s done… the 31 days of January that felt like 74 are OVER and so is our #mamasunplugged project.

If you missed it, you can read our New Year blog here but to recap – after a crazy 12 weeks at the end of 2017 we felt like we were becoming slaves to our phones, we were keen to get some balance back into our lives and pledged to do the following for the month of Jan;

  • Ban phones from the bedroom and buy an alarm clock

  • Put phones away at 8pm

  • Switch off Sunday – to spend slow, quality time with our families – phones away, so no distractions!

  • Unfollow social media accounts that make us feel rubbish

So how did we get on?

Well we’d be lying if we said it was easy…

Being completely honest switching off at 8pm was HARD, especially when we felt like we should really do some more work! We also noticed that we automatically reached for our phones (to start scrolling) every ad break and missed not being able to google stuff immediately.

However, after a few nights of switching off we found the twitch to pick up our phone reduced, FOMO lessened and we actually enjoyed not double screening. We caught up on our favourite box sets, went to pilates and stretched and even went to bed early and read two WHOLE books throughout the month!

Our sleep definitely improved (as much as it can with small people in your house/bed) and we’re certain it was because we had a few hours of wind down time, away from the constant stimulation in the form of apps on our phone and away from the white light of a phone screen.

The bedroom phone ban meant that we couldn’t check emails just before going to bed or first thing in the morning, which took away a lot of stress and do you know what – those emails could wait until 9am and nothing bad happened!!

Switch off Sunday has been a revelation – we’ve started buying and reading the papers again, on consecutive Sunday’s my daughter and I baked cupcakes and we had lots of family gatherings and walks where we felt completely present – the phone on mute in our handbags. Don’t get us wrong – we still watched TV as a family but we didn’t feel the to need to be checking our phone all day and that was the balance we were looking for.

What’s next?

We thought our #mamasunplugged project would just be for January but actually we’ve really reaped the benefits of switching off more last month and WANT to carry it on.

So the phone will stay out of the bedroom, we will aim to switch off the computer/phone at 8pm every evening (we may have to be flexible during busy times/evening events) and Switch off Sundays will definitely stay a thing.

Keep your eyes peeled for more Meet Ups around self-care, mental health and slowing down in 2018 as we feel it is such an important topic for the digital age we live in.

Our Top Tips for unplugging…

  • Embrace the non-digital – buy an alarm clock, a paper diary, a proper camera, a wrist watch so that you reduce the opportunities to reach for your phone

  • Download the Moment app to record how long you spend on your phone (you might be shocked) – don’t get us wrong we love scrolling social media as much as the next person but you can have too much of a good thing!

  • Put some boundaries in place – we bet you have boundaries on screen time for your children, why not put some in place for yourself? These might not be the same as ours but it’s all about regaining that balance

  • Enjoy some SLOW, quality family time away from devices at least one day a week and make that day EXTRA special

Books to read…

  • Off - Your Digital Detox for a better life by Tanya Goodin

  • Self-care for the Real World by Nadia Narain & Katia Narain Philips

  • How to break up with your phone by Catherine Price (available to buy on Friday)



Mums The Word by Rose Bainbridge Photography-1445-2.jpg