The t.v. Fast

I haven’t written much about any New Year’s Resolutions, mostly because I haven’t had time to, which is actually a result of one of my goals. If you’ve been following along with me for awhile, you’ll know that I’ve been working my way back from depression and incapacitation, trying to get my household into order. I have been fairly successful in that venture, creating routines for cleaning the house and getting laundry done, and then making the decision to get out of bed by 6:30am so I can shower, drink my coffee, and clear my head before the kids wake up.

My latest human experiment has been to seriously limit the amount of television that Ruthie watches, and what has resulted has been bitter sweet. What I have discovered, is that I am just as addicted to Ruthie’s t.v.-viewing as she is because I mostly use that opportunity as my own down time to take a quick snooze, draft a blog post, or surf the internet. My lack of thoughtful posts is a direct result of me not having the space to think, so I post what is quick and easy: photos and anecdotes about my day to day life. This is fun, too, and I enjoy it to a certain extent, but not writing thoughtfully also means I am not processing through many of my thoughts, which leads to short circuits in my brain from too many things bouncing around in there.

Without the t.v. on to babysit my children, I have been continuously engaged all. day. long. We do this, and we do that, and we go there – I’ll post more on my logistics later because we’ve been doing some fun things. But less time watching t.v. also means that Ruthie has had more opportunity to be EXTREMELY DIFFICULT. But even now as I’m writing this, I realize that even though it is exhausting to deal with her strong-willed nature all. day. long, I am seeing how much easier it is to be consistent with disciplining her because I am not as distracted by other things.

Ironically (or perhaps, not), I sat her in front of the television the moment she woke up this morning – mostly because she woke up early and I didn’t get enough Introvert Recharging time, but also because I’m just DYING to have some time to myself. (Last night after we got the kids into bed, Bryan and I sat on the couch to watch t.v. and I grabbed my laptop, and he says to me, ‘What are you doing? You need to snuggle with me.’ To which my response was to shout, only somewhat jokingly, ‘I HAVEN’T CHECKED MY EMAIL SINCE TEN THIS MORNING – GIVE ME A BREAK, WILL YOU?’ Yeah, I’m wound a little tight.)

So, all this is to say I’m on that continuous obnoxious journey to find the balance between being a mother/wife and being an individual person with her own wants/needs/wishes. Three days without television was probably a bit extreme, but it was helpful in determining what I am capable of. I think I will eventually find something in the middle, but I don’t yet know what that looks like.

3 thoughts on “The t.v. Fast”

  1. Jen..I so struggle with this…and so far the TV is winning! As I am typing and the kids are watching Dora. Its the constant struggle between my needing/wanting to get things done and what is best for them. I can pretty much do anything I want as long as the TV is on so it is so tempting! I’m working on many areas of my life currently, but the TV watching and my schedule during the day are something that I really need to look at! Its a struggle.

  2. To read that you are so far successful at the reduction in tv viewing, is very hopeful. I too, use the tv as a kid destraction. It is on from the moment they get up until the moment I go to bed. I am encouraged to read that you are managing without the tv, and hopeful that I will take your success and be successful at the reduction in tv time as well.

  3. I have found that 95% of the problem in my parenting style is not necessarily my children’s behavior, but my own complete laziness. I thought I would see what happened if I got off my ass and did something.

    I will admit, though, that on day 4 Ruthie watched t.v. all morning because I had the urge to get some writing done. But like most addictions that we go back to after weaning off of, it was totally unsatisfying and I felt gross afterwards.

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