Natalie Bassingthwaighte Says She Wants To Be a More Present Parent!
Natalie Bassingthwaighte recently verbalised something a lot of mums and dads may be feeling- the guilt of not being present enough in their kid’s lives.
Speaking on Today Extra on Saturday, the I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! star spoke about how the experience of being away from her kids affected her. Bassingthwaighte said her time in the jungle was ‘difficult’ on her family and she promised to put more focus on her kids.
The mother of two – who shares daughter Harper,7 and son Hendrix, 4 with her husband Cameron McGlinchey – spoke openly to hosts Sonia Kruger and David Campbell about the thoughts that were clearly weighing heavily on her mind.
‘I’ve heard that you want to start prioritising your family, what made you say that?’ Campbell asked the 41 year old mum.
‘Having spent quite bit of time away from them recently [on I’m A Celeb] was incredibly difficult. I’ve always tried to do that balance thing of no phone, but it kinda gets washed over… sometimes you’re at their sports event and you’re kinda looking through your phone and answering an email.’
‘I just thought to myself, “what am I doing?” This is not the parent I want to be,” she admitted.
Bassingthwaighte revealed she often finds herself having to put her phone away so she can focus solely on her kids. ‘I don’t want to pretend I’m watching, I want to BE watching,” she said.
While many parents feel this exact same way there aren’t many willing to step up and admit it. With the introduction of smartphones we literally have everything at the touch of a button. We can check emails, send messages, check the weather, do our banking and take photos all with with minimal effort! It’s easy to get swept away and lose all concept of time.
I too am guilty of pulling out my phone as soon as we reach the park as it’s usually the first chance I’ve had to sit down and chill for a second. But I find that quick check of social media swiftly leads me to respond to an email that’s been sitting in my inbox for days. Or I may send a few photos of the kids to friends and family. Then before I know it half an hour has gone by and I’ve just looked up to check on the kids.
As the entertainer says, it takes a conscious effort to put away your phone and not touch it. You become addicted to the feeling you get once you open a new message, or hear the ping of an incoming email or even when you jump on social media and see something new! It’s an endorphin rush and whether we want to believe it or not it’s an addiction just like any other.
I read an article recently that said there are a few ways you can tell if you’re addicted to your phone. Is it the last thing you check before you go to sleep and is it the first thing you look at when you wake up? If the answer is yes to both then you may need a little detox from tech. Here are some other signs to look for:
- A need to use the phone more and more often in order to achieve the same desired effect.
- Persistent failed attempts to use phone less often.
- Preoccupation with smartphone use.
- Turning to phone when experiencing unwanted feelings such as anxiety or depression.
- Excessive use characterized by loss of sense of time.
- Has put a relationship or job at risk due to excessive cell phone use.
- Withdrawal, when phone or network is unreachable may give feelings of:
Bassingthwaighte says she’s on track to being more present in her kid’s lives and feels like she’s made a lot of progress. ‘I’m getting there! I’ve been back a couple of weeks and I really feel I’m getting there – which is exciting,” she said.
Do you find yourself spending more and more time on your phone? Is this a behaviour you’d like to change? While there’s nothing wrong with spending some down time scrolling through your phone sometimes it can feel like ‘it’ has more control over you than the other way round. If this is the case, there’s nothing wrong with admitting you may need to pull it back a little. Especially if your little ones start noticing and asking why you’re always looking at your phone!
(Click here if it’s something you’d like some assistance with.)