Monday, October 08, 2007

I have to admit...there have been some bad habits in play at our house. I seem to fall into them whenever I have a new baby, and after a few months, have to regroup. It is that time again. Baby B is four months old, it is time to get a grip. The worst habit that I am now kicking to the curb, is using the television as a babysitter. I am embarrassed to admit how bad it has gotten, but maybe a shameful confession will do me some good. Here it is: My two year old sat buckled in his high chair, eating his scrambled eggs and toast in front of the tv for TWO HOURS the other morning. I know, I am a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad parent (that is a little literary shout that book, anyone?).
Let me explain my downward spiral that has brought me to this shameful place. Ideally, I get up early. At least by six am. I have devotions, do a load or two of laundry, empty the dishwasher, get dressed, plan my day, do a little work, etc. Getting up at six gives me two hours of good work and really changes the tone of my home throughout the rest of the day.
Well, I haven't been doing that consistently for quite a long while. I have been staying up late (often until 1 or 2 am) on the computer, reading a book or magazine, what have you. I then fall asleep and don't wake up until 8:30 or 9 (if my children let me sleep that long). Usually the baby wakes up before that, but I put him in the bed with me and nurse him and we both go back to sleep. Many times Caed doesn't wake up until after me. L usually wakes up around 8 or so and either I will get up, or if the hubby is still home, he will get him up and fix his cereal. I drag out of bed and spend the next hour or two, scrambling to catch up and do the things I should have done early in the morning, while the children watch tv. I feel like I spend the whole rest of the day trying to get my act together.
But tonight, I am saying ENOUGH. I sat the family down and we had a little talk about how all this tv is not good for us. It rots their brains and gives them ADD and the gimmies and makes them not want to do creative things or be healthy. That I was being a bad mommy for letting them watch it so much.
It is going to take some serious discipline on my part. The hardest part will be to go to bed at a decent hour. Ideally, lights off at 10:30. Also, the tv will not come on AT ALL until I am cooking dinner. Then the kids may watch one 30 minute cartoon that I Tivo'd earlier in the day. On Friday nights, C may watch a video as a week-end treat. The hubby and I watch Prison Break on Monday nights, usually with friends.
I am going to be bringing more structure to our days. We are going to take advantage of local offerings: museums, wildlife centers, downtown events, festivals, the library. I refuse to allow this precious time with my little children to be used up with them in front of the tv while I try to cope with the neccessities of daily life. I am going to be intentional about their oldest is only five and already I am mourning how quickly the time is going. I am going to enjoy my children...their excitement, their unbounding energy, their amazing creativity, their inquisitive spirits, their unfailing love for me even when I am mean (:::sigh:::).
I am going to be a mother that embraces the amazing, yet overwhelming task of raising my boys to love Christ, love the world He created, and to love one another. And it starts first thing in the morning.


  1. Our Parallel lives continue... This exact topic has been discussed at our house in the past couple of days. Jeff and I are going to turn the tv off for a week. We are having Pergo put down this week, so it will occur after that as the two oldest are going to G-ma's for two days and I'm sure there will be lots of tv watching there!

    Just wanted to say, good for you on pulling in the reigns. I've been struggling with that, too. Hey, maybe we are the "norm" as we are both doing the same things! :) Wow, us "normal" what a though!

  2. Anonymous9:27 AM

    I have recently limited the boys to 2 30 min programs a day. One in the morning while I am getting things ready for us to start schooling and one while I am preparing dinner. I am amazed at how better they get along when the TV is off!! It encourages me to keep it turned off.

  3. One of your best posts. I love you, Laurel!

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  5. Alexander and the horrible, no good (etc.) day... nobody else posted that before me? Geez :-) I had a good time with you this week.. I should have weeks off more often.