Ok, let’s get real here and cut the “perfect mom” crap. My kids watch TV. They watch more of it than I’d like them to, in fact, it runs all day. They don’t watch it all day, we DO play and interact and whatnot, but it runs in the background all day. Real moms use Mickeymouse Clubhouse as a babysitter for 23 minutes so that they can fold laundry or do dishes, or Sophia the First so that they can get a few minutes to themselves (or an hour if you DVR’ed the movie like I did).
While I totally support using my TV as a babysitter once in a while, I DO think my kids watch a little more than I’d like them to. The other day, I got the kids up like always and got juice for Haley and breakfast for them and blah, blah, blah. The one thing I didn’t do: turn on the TV like a zombie. Normally, after stumbling out of bed and following my normal morning routine (mentioned here), I walk over to the TV and turn it on, without even thinking, on my way into the kitchen to grab breakfast and drinks. Not this day, no.
Seeing as how Haley didn’t start WWIII over the TV being off, I decided to let it go for as long as I could. She played on her LeapPad2, then with me on the floor, we did some activities in her preschool workbook, played with the baby, but we didn’t watch TV Before I knew it, it was “quiet time”, and my “quiet time” I mean “go in the playroom and watch a movie and leave Mommy alone because your sister is napping and I’d like to get my shit done then watch SVU on Roku“. She DID watch Tangled in quiet time, but after that she came out of the playroom and the TV was still off. I didn’t even watch SVU (gasp!)
Dinner time came and went, snack time followed, bath time, toothbrushing time, everything, with no mention of the tv being off. Before I knew it, it was bedtime and the TV hadn’t been turned on once during the entire day! I couldn’t believe it.
It was exhausting, occupying both of them all day without a break. Some would say that’s my “job” as a mom and they’re right… mostly. My job is also to clean, do laundry, cook, and all the other lovely things that need to get done on a daily basis in order to keep this ship sailing smoothly. You need a break in there, surely.
Does this mean my TV is never going on again? Hell no. Does it mean that it is totally possible to cut down on TV time without a major meltdown, WWIII, or institutionalization? Heck yeah it does!
So yes moms, if you are anything like me (and you know you are – even a little), admit it, realize it’s totally okay for Mickeymouse to watch your kids so you can shower/fold laundry/do dishes/ go to the bathroom in peace, and then just push the limits and see how far you can get without the TV. Lord knows there’s nothing wrong with TV during the day, but cutting a little out might be worth a shot, especially if, like my kids, it turns them into zombabies.
I’m challenging you to cut TV time down an hour. Just one. If it goes well, go for more, if not, screw it, an hour is an hour… take what you can get!
As for me? I’m going to TRY sticking to putting it on in the morning, leaving it off for a designated period during the day, then turning that thing back on for some down time before bed.