TV – was the big no, no word among my friends when we had our first babies. “My children are not allowed to watch TV” or “My kids get 30 minutes a day of educational TV and that’s it.” As a working mom, I made it clear to my caregivers that having the TV on during the day wasn’t an option.
Then like most things in our house, the creep happened. We started with only letting the kids watch Curious George in the morning while I got ready for work. That quickly turned into two episodes. And then we got a TV in our kitchen so that my husband could watch football on Sundays while he cooked all day. Soon the girls began to ask if they could watch a show here and there while we were making lunch or dinner. Then on nights when I had to get work done, the TV became an option to keep them occupied.
Just putting all of this in writing makes me feel terrible. I love spending time with my kids, doing crafts and playing games. Letting the TV become my crutch was a terrible habit that I had gotten into. I have wondered if my old friends stuck to their guns about it?
This fall we had to move out of our house for a couple of weeks during a home remodel (the longest couple of weeks of my life!). We had family friends offer up their house at the lake for us to stay. It was such a generous gesture; we were thrilled. Then we got up there and remembered this house had no TV or internet and cell phone usage was spotty. At first I was out of sorts, feeling unconnected. I had no idea what was going on in the world, more importantly how to dress my children for school because I couldn’t check the weather. And the worst of it…I had to wait until I got to work to get my daily fix of Charlotte Smarty Pants.
After a couple of days, we settled into our new place and started to enjoy life without distractions. The girls and I got back into our old routine of playing board games and reading more. And in the mornings, the girls ran around and played with each other instead of watching television while I got ready for work. I started to enjoy the quiet in the house and not wondering what was on TV. The girls even started to put on plays for entertainment. We had a blast living old school.
So for all of you moms who have managed to keep TV watching at a minimum, I applaud you. I also ask that you don’t hold this against me. I know that TV will still be in our future – I have to face it, we are TV-watching family. But I plan to be more aware of it and make sure that the family time, fun and creativity come first.
I would love to know that there are some other Smarty moms out there that have found themselves in this situation, any one willing to confess?