I’m going to write something that I would never want to read myself. It’s going to make me want to punch myself in the face. I’ve been dragging my feet. 1. I don’t want to always talk about my new favorite thing- especially if it isn’t time-tested. 2. I started out motherhood as a highly principled, no exceptions kind of momma, and I’m very glad to have released myself from those chains. But I’m going to write about a new and drastic change that has changed us for the better.
I’m really selling this, aren’t I?!
So here it is: The ‘no-ish’ TV family.
To understand the change, I’m going to tell you something shocking.
Sometimes Often Every day my children would watch TV or play on the computer all day long.
TV was a crutch. I needed it, and I will not let myself feel guilty for that.
You may remember that Jack stopped napping the day he turned 2. I remember. ::eye-twitch:: The only way I got a break from chasing him around the house and making sure he didn’t kill himself or break everything was to plant him in front of the TV. And I was 9 months pregnant, or Henry was a newborn… my memory is a little fuzzy, lack of sleep and all…. Then I was stuck nursing a baby and needed to be sure Jack wouldn’t sneak off and get into trouble.
I suppose I could have purchased a baby corral. Kept him hog-tied in the living room… but that seemed to be the wrong approach.
After I finished nursing Henry, there I was… pregnant again. I know what to do, more TV!!
After that? A preschooler, a toddler and a newborn. TV!!!!
We moved, TV!
We renovated, TV!
House cleaning, TV!
By now we have watched every single show that has ever aired on PBSkids or DisneyJr. We’ve watched Every. Single. Disney. Movie. For a hot minutes they were watching Power Rangers, until they started kicking each other…
Finally, in what may have actually been a desperate cry for help, Maggie threw a toy at the one fully capable TV (we have a partially capable TV in the basement) and broke the LCD screen.
I have wanted to cutout TV for a while, and with my desire for change and a need for punishment that fit the crime my opportunity had arrived! I prepared for my house to become exponentially messier, the children to be louder, and for me to never accomplish anything again. None of it happened.
The house is neater (yes I’ve cleaned and organized, but only because the kids seemed suddenly more willing to clean up after themselves). The children are quieter. Like, eerily quiet- and it’s not because they’re getting into things… at least not much! I’ve gotten more done and had less need to rest and be sedentary.
We are now on an hour of screen time -TV, computer, or tablet- per day.
They seem to fight less, so much for using the TV to break up fights?!
I am less stressed out, maybe the background noise wasn’t really ‘what I needed’ all day long…
They are falling asleep easier.
They show more interest in other things.
It seems that they have become completely different people.
They are themselves, they haven’t morphed into Mozart, Einstein, J.R.R. Tolkein or Neil deGrasse Tyson but I don’t need them to be. I just want them to always be able to be the best version of themselves.
I’m not saying you should join me and throw a maraca at your TV, I’m not saying you should feel guilty if you watch TV (because I refuse to feel guilty either, life is too short for guilt), I’m not even saying my TV broke my kids…
But it is crystal clear to me that the next phase of our families evolution is going to be epic!