Here it is, almost the end of the quarter and I am still somewhat shy about blogging and tweeting. Yes, I said shy! For those of you who know me it may seem like that is impossible as I am generally not the shy wallflower that I may seem to be online. My audience is my peers and once I put myself out there on Facebook and twitter I realized how much more connected I could become and how much wider my network can be. I am cautious about doing this as I don’t feel super confident in this process.
My original question for the quarter was to learn ways to raise media rich children in this digital world. While I have found some amazing resources and ways to stay connected with the current trends of digital media that is most popular among youth I still seem to be struggling with the juggling it takes to be an active member in a network and be the active parent that I like to be. Throughout my learning I have considered the importance of being one step ahead when it comes to social media. In order to be actively present as Rheingold mentioned to me personally in a tweet (woot woot), I must be informed about how things work, who has access, and what limits I should be setting with my children. This takes time, practice, and research as things are changing so quickly.
As a mother my children are at the very top of this list when it comes to my priorities. One of the reasons I have pursued my education is to show them the importance of perseverance and hard work! I also know the more educated I am the more likely they are to be educated as well. Being a full time student with children has something that has always required a juggling act on my part. When I began my academic career I was working full time, school full time, and had a Kindergartner. It was an adjustment although I don’t remember it being that tough as the assignments were especially challenging for me, my job was fairly flexible, and my kindergartner could easily entertain himself. That was community college where my coursework was easy and came naturally to me. Yes, I remember being challenge at times and having to stay up late to meet deadlines but, truthfully I could have done much of that work in my sleep. Not really, but it was pretty easy. I didn’t need much support to juggle my roles until I went to CWU.
Being a student at the university level was different because the work was much more challenging, it was a higher level of expectation. I worked on campus and had countless hours to complete homework as my job was basically to make sure students had what they needed and nobody took school property. Having the uninterrupted time to study and do homework while getting paid was probably how I ended up doing so well in the program. Towards the end of my degree program for my undergrad I was pregnant with my second child and gave birth a few days before my last final. I had already completed the majority of the work and my instructors were very accommodating. Since the work at CWU was more challenging and time consuming I needed more support to accommodate my son’s needs and my household responsibilities.
Flash forward to today and my current experiences in Graduate school at UWB. The amount of course work, the required readings, and the expectation to provide graduate level projects has taken on a toll on my being (it’s still worth it!). The content of the material I have been learning has touched me deeply and enriched my perception about the world. I have made outstanding connections with readings, my peers, and my amazing professors. The trouble I am having is juggling my now six grader, my two hear year old, and all of the other responsibilities that have grown since I began my time at community college many years before. Some of my classmates have asked me how I do it all with raising a family and I have wondered the same things about how they do it while working full time?! The amount of time it has taken me to start and restart this blog is ridiculous. Each time I get in the zone I get interrupted by a scream or request for something. While it is my intention to be present in my network and actively engaging it has been a struggle for me to keep active and present. I realize the importance of providing quality work and how much time is required for me to create products that I can be proud of.
I don’t want to be one of those parents that is always on my phone, laptop, or even online. I want to be actively present with my children as I read about at the beginning of the quarter in Networked and Netsmart. I have realized through the readings that I often use my devices for double screening and researching things such as sales, how to’s, and advice about the common childhood illnesses. While I enjoy reading blogs and being online it consumes a lot of time and I consider it the rabbit hole of the digital world! It can go on and on forever. One link can take you to another and another and before you know it your blog hasn’t been written on time and your house is a mess. Ha! I have found that the blogs I enjoy reading are generally parenting blogs such as the ones listed on this site. I appreciate you taking time to read my blog. 🙂