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Confession: I think I internet too much

I want to use technology when I have a purpose to, and I want to be intentional about the times when I am simply enjoying my surroundings without a red notification dot in sight. ?

Confession: I think I internet too much

If I’m being completely honest, I think I internet too much.


I say this because sometimes I find myself mindlessly scrolling through Facebook or Instagram or some app on my phone like I am some sort of zombie. When I finally snap out of it, I wonder to myself— “What the heck am I doing? There is literally no point to anything I am doing right this second.”

Sometimes I’m “relaxing” at night after the kids are asleep watching a show on our television with my laptop opened on doing work stuff and my phone in my hand scrolling social media or texting somebody. And I all of the sudden realize—

“Wait. I’m not relaxing at all. I am fully engaged in many things.”

Sometimes I’m trying to find a document or a site on my desktop or browser and it takes me so long to find it because I have 75 tabs open and my laptop is running as slow as molasses and I want to snap my laptop and also want to close all the tabs but I can’t close all the tabs because my brain won’t remember all the things that are in all the tabs. So I stop myself from having a meltdown and think to myself—

“Take a minute and walk away. You need your laptop for work. You cannot snap it. Settle down, woman.”

Sometimes I’m playing with my kids or we’re chatting and I interrupt this time because I need to write back to an email or answer a text from a friend so I don’t forget or to take a picture on my phone. And, honestly, I understand and am okay with the fact that there will be times when I am working but my children are around me playing and I need to be engaged in technology. But when I am trying to be intentional about spending time with my kids, I do not need to be multitasking. I’ve realized—

“I can be fully engaged with both—at different times, but not at the same time.”

Because there’s so much internetting and social media-ing and texting and alerting and notifying and emailing—and sometimes I just feel like I need a break. My brain needs a break. My eyes need a break.

There are too many distractions.

There is too much noise.

There are reasons why I get sucked into the black hole that is the world wide web, though. And I’ll tell you why.

It’s because I am an introverted person who likes to share my story by writing and posting on social media and I’m also a work-from-home stay-at-home mom and it’s sometimes lonely with just me and my two kids and I like to connect with the outside world and sometimes it’s easier to fill that void through the internet versus getting everyone ready to go to the park to chit chat with people I don’t know.

So, in my defense, there are (pretty) valid reasons I get sucked onto the web. For my job, for recipes for dinner, for googling random parenting questions I have, for connecting with friends and sometimes just for my entertainment/out of boredom.

But then there are days like today when I realize sometimes I go overboard with entering into this other universe. And it scares me because it seems to happen so mindlessly. I know I need to be more intentional about how much time I am dedicating to technology throughout the day. ?

Without technology, I wouldn’t have a job. I wouldn’t be able to call my mom and have a face-to-face conversation with her whenever I want. I wouldn’t be able to find out who sings the song playing on the radio right away. I wouldn’t be able to access important information and news in real-time.

Technology definitely has a purpose in my life. It will always have a place in my life. But I know I don’t have to be connected to the internet at all times of the day. It’s not healthy.

This all may sound simple and obvious and maybe even borderline millennial-mom-ridiculous, but in a world where a lot of us are connected all the time means it’s good to take the time to reflect on this stuff be intentional about figuring out some sort of a balance.

And like anything in life...admitting there’s a problem is the first step. ?

So, I’ve decided I’m going to slow down. To realize what I am doing in the moment.

I’ve put all my social media tabs in one folder on my phone that says, “Do you really have time for this right now?”I finally picked up the book I started a couple of months ago to read this afternoon. I added five books to my reading list. I made a pact with myself to silence my phone and stop looking at it once I get into bed.

I want to use technology when I have a purpose to, and I want to be intentional about the times when I am simply enjoying my surroundings without a red notification dot in sight. ?

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    Tips parents need to know about poor air quality and caring for kids with asthma

    There are steps parents can take to keep their children as healthy as possible.

    When wildfires struck the West Coast in September 2020, there was a lot for parents to worry about. For parents of children with asthma, though, the danger could be even greater. "There are more than 400 toxins that are present in wildfire smoke. That can activate the immune system in ways that aren't helpful by both causing an inflammatory response and distracting the immune system from fighting infection," says Amy Oro, MD, a pediatrician at Stanford Children's Health. "When smoke enters into the lungs, it causes irritation and muscle spasms of the smooth muscle that is around the small breathing tubes in the lungs. This can lead to difficulty with breathing and wheezing. It's really difficult on the lungs."

    With the added concern of COVID-19 and the effect it can have on breathing, many parents feel unsure about how to keep their children protected. The good news is that there are steps parents can take to keep their children as healthy as possible.

    Here are tips parents need to know about how to deal with poor air quality when your child has asthma.

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    Especially when the air quality index reaches dangerous levels, it's best to stay indoors as much as possible. You can find out your area's AQI at AirNow.gov. An under 50 rating is the safest, but between 100-150 is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as children with asthma. "If you're being told to stay indoors, listen. If you can, keep the windows and doors closed," Oro says.

    Do your best to filter the air.

    According to Oro, a HEPA filter is your best bet to effectively clean pollutants from the air. Many homes are equipped with a built-in HEPA filter in their air conditioning systems, but you can also get a canister filter. Oro says her family (her husband and children all suffer from asthma) also made use of a hack from the New York Times and built their own filter by duct taping a HEPA furnace filter to the front of a box fan. "It was pretty disgusting what we accumulated in the first 20 hours in our fan," she says.

    Avoid letting your child play outside or overly exert themselves in open air.

    "Unfortunately, cloth masks don't do very much [to protect you from the smoke pollution]," Oro says. "You really need an N95 mask, and most of those have been allocated toward essential workers." To keep at-risk children safer, Oro recommends avoiding brisk exercise outdoors. Instead, set up an indoor obstacle course or challenge your family to jumping jacks periodically to keep everyone moving safely.

    Know the difference between smoke exposure and COVID-19.

    "COVID-19 can have a lot of the same symptoms—dry cough, sore throat, shortness of breath and chest pain could overlap. But what COVID and other viruses generally cause are fever, chills, vomiting, diarrhea and body aches. Those would tell you it's not just smoke exposure," Oro says. When a child has been exposed to smoke, they often complain of a "scrape" in their throat, burning eyes, cough, shortness of breath, chest pain or wheezing. If the child has asthma, parents should watch for a flare of symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing or a tight sensation in their chest.

    Unfortunately, not much is known about long-term exposure to wildfire smoke on a healthy or compromised immune system, but elevated levels of air pollution have been associated with increased COVID-19 rates. That's because whenever there's an issue with your immune system, it distracts your immune system from fighting infections and you have a harder time fighting off viruses. Limiting your exposure to wildfire smoke is your best bet to keep immune systems strong.

    Have a plan in place if you think your child is suffering from smoke exposure.

    Whatever type of medication your child takes for asthma, make sure you have it on-hand and that your child is keeping up with regular doses. Contact your child's pediatrician, especially if your area has a hazardous air quality—they may want to adjust your child's medication schedule or dosage to prevent an attack. Oro also recommends that, if your child has asthma, it might be helpful to have a stethoscope or even a pulse oximeter at home to help diagnose issues with your pediatrician through telehealth.

    Most importantly, don't panic.

    In some cases, social distancing and distance learning due to COVID may be helping to keep sensitive groups like children with asthma safer. Oro says wildfires in past years have generally resulted in more ER visits for children, but the most recent fires haven't seen the same results. "A lot of what we've seen is that the smoke really adversely affects adults, especially older adults over 65," Oro says. "Children tend to be really resilient."

    This article was sponsored by Stanford Children's Health. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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