the 10-10 challenge


Lately I've noticed that I'm starting to lose my attention span. I want to focus on my kiddos, but I feel like my brain is pulled in 3 different directions all.the.time.

While I'm writing an email, I'm being asked a phonics question, and while I'm answering the question all I can see is how I missed sweeping by the trash can. Do you ever feel like that too?

Sometimes I can barely even remember what I did all week, even though I was constantly busy. Then I stop and look into the eyes of my sweet children as I kiss them goodnight, and think, "why am I not being more intentional in focusing on them?"


I don't want to miss the forest for the trees. I'm so focused on little tasks all the time that I'm forgetting to enjoy the bigger picture. My oldest boy is 8 1/2 years old. He's half way through his childhood. 

Where has it gone? Seriously?

And why am I not enjoying it as much as I should be? 

Probably because I'm distracted constantly. Cleaning, internet, food prep, choreography, emails, laundry... and it goes on and on. I'm way too busy to enjoy their silliness.

So I'm going to try a little experiment this week to see if I can be more intentional. Less distracted.

The internet is going off from 10-10 this week. That's when my children need me the most. They get ready in the morning on their own, and get their own breakfast for the most part, so that's why I'm starting at 10- that's when we start school. They go to bed around 10 every night, too. 

I'm giving myself one 15 minute check-in after lunch when the kids are outside to answer emails and check Facebook and Twitter. It's going to be a challenge, since I usually have the computer on in the kitchen and pop in and out all day.

But it's going to be a good one for me {and you know I love a challenge!}: we have a busy week ahead: we're planning on having friends over for dinner, going to the library, and maybe even walking/biking the trails this week.

I want to be intentional with my children. I want to get to Saturday, and think, I've really enjoyed being with them. I've put them before emails, sweeping, and laundry, and Facebook. 

It's sad that I've gotten so far off-track. My attention span needs a good retraining. 

I love them so much. I want them to know they are first, not everything else. 

I'm planning to post as usual, but if I miss my daily deadline, you'll know why. :) 


edit: sweet friends, if you are looking for more resources on time management and self-discipline, you'll love my friend Courtney's 5 Disciplines series: Body, Mind, and Spirit! Go check it out! 

28 comments

SnuggleBunnie said...

Glad you mentioned this because I too feel the same way. K may just join I in this challenge

Sarah (MSDeyle) said...

I think this is a great idea and one I might try out myself!

Bonnie Getchell said...

I love this challenge! I don't have children, but I already feel like I allow the internet to suck the life out of me (aka I miss life because I'm so consumed by the computer). I need to challenge myself as well! :)

Mary_Krause said...

i couldn't agree MORE!
this is SO me right now.
something HAS to change! :)
have a wonderful week, sweetie!

Amy said...

This is so AWESOME Mandy! This is my very first time here and I'm so glad I found you (thanks Twitter!). I would love to take the challenge with you! I'm going to call my the 9-9 challenge! Maybe we can talk at the end of the week to see what God revealed during this time! Visit me later (on your 15 minute break or after 10 tonight on my site!). HIGH FIVE GOD! ~ Blessings, Amy Alves

Megan {{Millions of Miles}} said...

This is such a good idea. And a great reminder to take the time to notice (and be a part of the silly!) I may have to give this a try sometime.

Joy said...

You go girl!! I love it!!! I have to be so intentional just like this to make sure that my kids don't remember the back of mommy facing a computer screen. I have an accountability partner that keeps me in line too, we are both bloggers and that helps a lot! I hope your experiment goes awesome!

jessica said...

I know this would be a HUGE problem for me if I stayed at home full time. I have one month of maternity leave left, and I've already gotten a little taste of " so many things to do!" Fortunately, the babe doesn't mind if I vaccuum, fold laundry, and check the internet when he's asleep in the Ergo! :-) Good luck with your challenge!

Mandy S said...

Exactly what I have been thinking about this past weekend....i have 3 boys and a baby on the way....my oldest is almost 10....I too am distracted by irrelevant tasks that can wait! I am planning to play more games in our homeschooling day....sit outside and read books to them...probably The Sugar Creek Gang...because they love it! Thanks for this post!

spiritmindandbody said...

Thanks for the reminder!

Sarah{Handbags*N*Pigtails} said...

Love it! I moved the computer up to our bedroom last week when I was posting my Blog Sale and guess what happened? I got busy downstairs with my kids and life in general and kind of forgot about the computer! It was wonderful, esp since we were all on spring break.
Being good stewards of our time (& our role as parents) will be rewarded. How many blog posts we wrote won't necessarily be. Know what I mean?
Have a great day with those beautiful children:)

Tiffanygardner said...

So true! Love that you are going to turn off all that takes you away from them.

Amber said...

You are awesome! Be encouraged and enjoy those kids! God has been convicting me of this, too, lately! My computer is also in the kitchen. And I am entirely too distracted by . . . everything. Talk about 'If you give a moose a muffin". Hello. I'm Moose. Nice to meet you! So, I am going to join you the rest of this week on your challenge. But my hours will be 9-8 (we start schooling at 9:30 and kids into bed at 8, you night owls, you. :)) I'm also keeping a list of the 'mundane' things I'm grateful for as I read, "1,00o Gifts" by Ann Voskamp. I just posted butcher paper on a wall so anyone can join in on my list. Right now I'm grateful for 3 kids who found sharpened pencils and are gladly doing math and one baby with pink from nap cheeks and curls at nape of neck. MMmm. Gratitude proceeds joy! O.K. Intentional focus. Here we go!

Sheila Payne said...

This is exactly what you need to do. It falls under one of the things I wish I had done differently when my boys were young. I let everything distract me. Sometime I would love to know your rules for your family and separately specifics rules for yourself concerning television. That is another attention stealer.

Flor @ Life in Progress said...

i know EXACTLY what you're talking about! I feel like i'm like that throughout the day as well. It doesn't feel right and i know God doesn't want me to live out my days in that way. because before i know it they'll be gone and i don't want to look back and regret the things i didn't do with my kids.
thank you for being such an inspiration and reminding me where my heart and attention should be.

Joanna said...

This is a great idea. I know I need to do this sometimes...and this would even work to focus my attention on my hubby too...you know letting him know he is more important than the dirty dishes.. lol :)

mandyBH said...

you too, sweet lady! Praying for you!

mandyBH said...

I totally know what you mean girlie! When we see Jesus, will he say, well done checking email and Facebook every day or well done serving your family? we so know the answer, don't we! :) thank you for your sweet encouragement!

mandyBH said...

thank you for your encouragement, Sheila! I would be glad to share those sometime soon! We don't have tv at our house, but we do have netflix, and I think I could def. share some things we do/don't do...

mandyBH said...

YAY for intentional focus! It was good, wasn't it!! :D I can't wait to hear!

mandyBH said...

thank you friend! You are such an encouragement to me! :)

mandyBH said...

It's so hard to do sometimes! When I can't think straight, I don't react well, so it's been helpful already for me- just in one day! :D lots of love to you lady!

mandyBH said...

ahhhh! love it!! yay!!! thank you for joining me! I'm amazed at God using the time already- I can't wait to hear what happens at your house! I'm so glad you're here! :D

mandyBH said...

YAY! It's so true, it doesn't even have to be related to children- it's easy to be distracted by the constant influx! So glad you're planning on being intentional now too! :D

Cathy said...

Hi Mandy.
This is a great challenge. I have been thinking about this as well. My children are 13 and 10 and it seems to be passing in the blink of an eye. I too often sit down at the computer "to quickly check something" and find myself getting sucked in to checking email, facebook, my favorite blogs ;)...The trouble is that I am a big procrastinator, so I really need to work on that. Thanks for the inspiration.
Cathy

Melody said...

This would be a hard one for me, and THAT in itself means I should take this challenge! Good Luck sweetheart, you will never regret time spent with those kiddos!

Chrystal said...

Ah man, can I totally relate to this post. I have 5 kiddo's, but they are all in school during the day. So, my "routine" started off by taking them to school... coming home, then checking email, blogs, and facebook. It would be 8:30am when I sat down... and before I knew it, it was 11:30am---- EEK!!!! Time would just zoom by & it left me feeling bad about how I just wasited 3hrs. of my day. Once time is gone, you can't get it back. I started to feel convicted by The Holy Spirit about how I spent my time, and then I did it.... I pulled the plug! I disabled my facebook account on Valentines Day... and I haven't been on since. I was at PEACE knowing that it was something that I was being instructed to do, and after I did it... PEACE & JOY filled my heart, and those aren't just words... they really did! My days are now SO FULL of accomplishment because of how much I get done now. I can relate to you husband being happy that you did the 10 to 10 gig, because mine told me he was proud of me, too. They "get it", ya know? It allowed the oppourtunity for me to talk to my girls about how we need to honor God with our time, and how when he talks to us (in this case, convicts....), we need to be obident & follow His lead. I remember the first week of "pulling the plug" (facebook was my biggest problem, bc I had the app on my i-phone, so I would check and check and check), my 11 year old said, "WOW Mom, it's been a week & you haven't been on facebook ONCE!" :) That made me smile. It allowed me to show my girls firsthand what self-control looks like. So, GOOD FOR YOU, Mandy!!! I think it's awesome!!!....

Ginalyn Houston said...

Excellent plan!