Friday, January 19, 2007

My Little Couch Potatoes


Ah, mother guilt. It strikes us all. When it was just Caroline, I was the perfect mother. "No child of mine. . ." crossed my lips A LOT! When Caroline was a toddler/preschooler she was allowed to watch 2 hours of TV a week. Yep. And you know what, I stuck to it. We played outside, did craft projects, went shopping and out to lunch with Grandma. We were in a playgroup, we went to MOPS, we went to the library. I'm telling you, I was the perfect mom.

And then I had another baby. And then another. And yet one more is coming. Life has changed and I have had to adjust my ideals with it. Now I'm not against TV. I'm not one of those folks who thinks Bert and Ernie are gay or that Barney is a occult figure. I love me some Blue's Clues or Dora. (Though I have had 3 kids so far that are DEATHLY afraid of Swiper!) My biggest motivation for limiting TV was I didn't want to start a habit I would have to break. I saw grade school age kids I knew who just spaced in front of the TV for hours. I am also married to one of those. Tim would watch Spanish game shows if that was all that was on. I am not a huge TV watcher~I like to watch certain things and when they are over, I move on. I rarely turn on the TV with no show in mind. I was successful with Caroline in this. She is not a huge TV watcher, usually turns it off as soon as her show is over. Amelia, not so much. That kid is just like Tim. She will watch anything at anytime and often whines til I give in and turn something on.

Since the weather has been mostly too rainy for outside play and I am spending lots of time lying on the bathroom floor trying to keep my lunch down, Amelia and Greta have been watching way more TV than I'd like. At first the guilt was crushing. I felt so bad that I was turn their brains to mush and not giving them the attention their big sister got. Slowly, I am accepting that things have changed. My mobility has changed, who wants to shop and do lunch with a toddler and a preschooler. Heck, I consider it a major accomplishment if I can hit Target and Strack's in the same day.

So I am hopeful that soon we can start to limit the TV time. I am saving my pennies for a fence so I can send 'em outside without close supervision as soon as it gets warm. Now we just need a sandbox and swing set. . .

8 comments:

kkoois said...

i like spanish game shows...

Frannie Farmer said...

As the mommy of 4, I completely understand and have to say .. you will be fine, they will be fine - because you are aware and you are concerned. Be nice to yourself, you deserve it. There will be plenty more opportunities to beat yourself up about, I promise :O)

candi said...

TV ROCKS!!! I experienced the same guilt some years ago, but apparently I got over it much sooner than you!! With 5 boys under the age of 8 the TV is almost always on. It is the cheapest babysitter I have ever had!! Not to mention the pride I feel when all 5 of them actually sit still for 3 or more minutes. I feel so accomplished. I have tried the NO tv thing recently and I become their only form of entertainment which is fine for a limited amount of time, but as soon as I have to pee (which is about every 8 minutes now a days) all hell breaks loose. So screw it, there are bigger fish to fry!!!!!
Live on TV live on!!!!!!!!!!!

Heaven Sent said...

I love this post... very honest. I'm still on the no-TV thing, but I can see how this wears off after a while. Heck, you moms of more than 1 tot... I don't how you do it!

Mommy Brain said...

Preach it Candi! Survival is the name of the game...I promise they will still get into Harvard...and if they don't it wasn't the TV's fault.

Carol said...

Jen, you still are a great mom! And the perfect mom for your four - because that's who God chose to give them for their mom! You're right in the fact that you have to adjust your ideals. Good for you to be able to recognize that. I'm the 7th out of 8! My older siblings say that my dad & mom sure let up on a lot as the years went by... I thought they were hard on me! I'm kinda glad I'm not the oldest!

one hot momma said...

I've been warning my sister that the day is coming, she just doesn't believe me yet! Might have to let her in on my blogging...don't be so hard on yourself Jen, there are good things to be learned on the boob tube! Marcia, Marcia, Marcia, you dummy, oh, and don't forget all the jingles that they mindlessly begin singing...they'll be fine, just fine!!! Just kidding tho, we've all been there and we do what we have to do to keep our sanity! You're a great mom Jen, this too will pass, much too quickly I might add!

candi said...

All I ever need to know I learned from TV- example:
I'm through with flippin burgers and fryin fries. I'm getting it together and I realize that to be a success takes determination. That's why I'm enrolling in the college of automation! S-U-C-C-E-S-S success!!!

That little jingle propelled me through my educational career. Where else could you find that kind of rhyming motivation!!!!!!!!!!