“Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)
In many ways, the Internet has opened many doors for new evangelization opportunities. Bringing the message of Christ to The Worldwide Public Square is only a mouse click or a finger tap away. It’s easy. Almost too easy. It can become slightly addictive. Slightly.
It’s so easy, in fact, that if we’re not careful, we’ll get sucked in and forget all about the real evangelizing opportunities sitting right at our feet, poking us in the behind, or even calling us outright by name: “Mom!!”
It is true, we are all called to bring Christ wherever we are – even and especially in our interactions online. But not at the expense of our first and primary vocations as wives and mothers. We must look for Christ in everyone, and hope to show Christ to everyone – starting with our own children and husband. If we can’t bring Him to those closest to us – how will we ever see Him or show Him to others?
It’s difficult to balance serving Christ in our vocations as wives and mothers and serving Him in the world outside of the heart of our lives. When it comes to ‘computer time’, this is an especially difficult balancing act for me as a mother with four young children.
Setting up parameters and a loose schedule for computer time during the day helps – when I stick to it! For example, on school day morning’s I allow myself only a quick glance at the email and reminders to make sure we’re not forgetting anything important before heading out the door. I try to spend most of my morning accomplishing jobs around the house or on errands around town. I don’t have a smart phone but if I did I’d try not to use it unless absolutely necessary during this time. On a mornings at home, in between loads of laundry and dirty dishes, I try to spend some time playing, reading or just hanging out with my three-year-old. After all, I’m his only friend for the moment and he’ll be off to school with the older two before I blink. I will allow myself an occasional email or Facebook and blog check while I gobble down some cereal or during the morning nursing breaks with the baby; but, I try not to get sucked in too long if there is nothing urgent. (Pictures of cute puppies and kittens are not urgent.)
After lunchtime and school work with my kindergartner - and once the baby is sleeping – it’s my afternoon “guilt-less” computer time! I let the older boys watch a show or play some quiet games (it’s the only way to keep the baby asleep!) while I catch up on the computer. Even with this time though, I try and use it productively by checking and replying to important emails and messages (letting people know I’m still alive and haven’t forgotten them!), catching up on our bills and spending plan, and other odds and ends. Once the important items are complete - and if the baby is still sleeping and the boys are still occupied nicely enough – I can do a little “socializing”, blog updates, and maybe even some evangelizing.
In the evenings, after all the babes are finally quiet and resting, I try to only do necessary work on the computer before settling next to my husband and winding down with a book, the Kindle, or a movie together. Balancing time for myself and time with my spouse in the evenings is a work in progress, like everything else.
How about you? How do you balance computer time with family time, work, and housework time?
Copyright 2013 Erika Marie