No [TV] Confessions
I am not sure if “Thank You” is the right word, but I will say I am glad we took the KDWB "no TV" challenge. Dave Ryan caught my attention last week when he was explaining a magazine article he read about a family that got rid of all their TVs and “magical” stuff happened. Kids played with their toys, there was more family time and kids started helping out in the kitchen. It really got me thinking. Am I a bad mom for letting my kids watch TV? Should I be letting them cook more with me? Would life be better without screen time? Well, I’m here to tell you my “magical” experience.
Here are the top 5 things I learned or experienced these past 7 days:
1// Turning the TV on is a natural instinct: Just like when we grab for our phones every 15 minutes even though it is not necessary, we still do it. I found myself wanting to turn the TV on just because. I don’t know if it is for background noise [even though my kids make enough of that] or if it is a comfort item for us.
2// I use it as a babysitter: This is a no brainer and I would guess 90% of the moms out there agree with me. For those that don’t…. I applaud you. I usually make most of the meals in the house during the weekdays, and it is HARD when there are three kids running around. I caught myself many times wanting to turn the TV on or telling them to go downstairs and watch Trolls until I was done cooking. I also use TV or ipads so I can shower quickly. Lastly, they help for naptime. I usually give my older kids the choice of a movie or ipad during nap so I have time to work and get stuff done [you know, like catching up on Greys Anatomy]. I know this may sound bad to all the non-parents out there, but you just wait…. It will save your sanity.
3// I miss the news: Every morning I try and get up before the kids do so I can drink my coffee and watch the news. Morning one without TVs I was actually pissed when I realized I couldn’t do that. Yes, the news is mainly full of crap these days, but for some reason I just enjoy watching it.
4// My kids survived: So many people, including myself, thought my kids would have a rough time. They were seriously addicts when it came to TV shows. It had to be a new one, or a specific episode. Then, god forbid, they ever agree on one together. I know I created that monster, judge away. The two “bigs” played with each other 90% of the time. They ran around the basement creating a giant mess, played in the backyard, colored, or did sticker books [ parents out there, stickers books are the bomb.com]. With all the playtime happening there came a TON of fights, tears and tantrums. So what’s better, fighting over a TV show or the specific color match box car they HAVE to play with when there are 100 others on the floor?
5//Mom did not survive: Guys, I missed my TV. Not just for the kids but for me. I truly thought I didn’t watch that much TV, but I was wrong. Not saying I just sit and watch it all day and ignore my kids [or do I…] but I love the news and once the kids go to bed I cozy up in bed and work while watching random TV shows. I also didn’t survive in the aspect that ties in the free babysitter. I couldn’t get anything done! My laundry room looks like it vomited my closet, I have so many emails to get to and there are probably a good 10 text messages I have yet to respond too. I used naptime to get recharged to finish out the day but with that gone, I realized I was sucked dry by 5 pm.
I will say, my kids honestly do not watch that much TV. They are very athletic and smart kids [I swear I’m not just saying that because they are my kids ;) ] My whining above makes it seem like I pawn my kids off on the TV so I can save my sanity. But in all seriousness, they watch a bit in the morning during breakfast, at naptime [for my big] and then about 30 minutes while I get dinner ready. My husband is pretty good at creating that balance for the kids between being active and screen time. We both know that we will never let it spiral out of control and video games will probably be another battle when they get older.
I am sure I got some eye rolls when I say it’s a free babysitter. Because I am a mom, I should be on the floor playing with my kids and ignoring the house work. You know “soaking up these days.” Again, they are not watching it 24/7 and if it allows me to keep the house together + clean and meals made stress free then I don’t see the problem. To the parents out there that don’t allow screen time or TVs to their kids, you are strong people.
KDWB, thank you for letting me participate in this challenge. All in all, when I started this challenge I felt like I was doing something wrong. Like I was a bad mom for letting my kids watch TV. But I realized how totally wrong I was. I am a way happier mom/wife when I can get stuff done efficiently during the day and still have quality time with my family throughout the day. I have become more aware of our TV watching habits but at the same time, I am pretty much at peace with our screen time flow around here. To all the parents out there…. No shame in using the free babysitter!