Is the Internet Taking Over Your Life? How to Create Boundaries

By Melissa Batai

The Internet has created so many opportunities. Many women who might have had to leave the home to work can now stay home, raise their children, and add money to the family budget by working from home because of the opportunities the Internet provides.

However, there are downsides to the Internet too, one of which is being unable to create boundaries.
Are You Always "Plugged In"?

Quick, answer this question--How many times a day do you check your e-mail?

If you have a smart phone, have you just quickly checked in while at the park with your kids or while watching one of their sports games? If you're like most WAHMs, the answer is yes.

If you're not carefully, the Internet can creep into every aspect of your life and rob you of time to spend with your kids and spouse that you can never get back.

Ways to Set Boundaries

Set established hours. Sneaking in work here or there may make you feel more productive, but it rarely is. Instead, establish firm work hours. When you're working, don't play with the kids. Focus only on work. When your established work hours are done, stow the electronic devices and instead spend time without distractions with your family.

Check e-mail a set number of times a day. There's really no need to check your e-mail compulsively 10 or 20 times a day. Instead, set an established routine and check no more than 3 or 4 times a day at designated times. You'll find you waste less time this way.

If you're still not convinced that you need to implement measures to separate your personal and work life, take the time to track how you spend your time with both your work and family in one week. I think you'll be surprised how frequently work (and mindlessly browsing the Internet) encroaches into your family time.

Most of us want to become WAHMs because we want more time to spend with our families. Don't let the convenience and easy access of the Internet rob you of this.

Melissa, a mom to three little ones (ages 7, 3 and 1) blogs at Mom's Plans where she writes about living a fulfilling life on less and focuses on cutting expenses, budgeting, paying down debt, saving money and once a month cooking.

*Photo by Marc Falardeau via Flickr.

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