Monday, 7 March 2011

It's not you, it's me...Breaking up with the TV

So... yeah, the television.  I have a weird relationship with it.  On the one hand I love it, and I want to write it poetry about how grateful I am that it allows me 15 minutes to drink a cup of coffee in peace while entertaining my child with singing puppets.  On the other hand, every second that it's on while Iwan is awake makes me feel like a lazy, wretched, excuse for a mother.  So in order to try and reconcile these feelings, I try not to have kids shows on.  I mean, the news isn't bad, right?  Surely there's some educational value to Homes Under the Hammer, yes?  No... no there isn't.

The thing is,  Iwan is 11 months old, he can't really follow a storyline, so for him there's not a huge difference between CSI and Postman Pat.  Sure, the bright colors and songs of children's programming will induce him to look at the screen a bit longer than otherwise, but he'll still look up from his toys and clap and dance when the theme to The Wright Stuff starts playing, which tells me that to him TV is TV.  And, oh television, you've become too much of a crutch around here.

Pregnancy is my main excuse, and granted I don't have the same amount of energy I had even a few weeks ago, and so while putting the telly on when I need a 15 minute break would certainly be understandable, it doesn't go very far to explain why I leave it on as "background noise."  We just plain have it on too much these days.  It needs to go.

Ok- so not the whole television.  But the screen time needs to be drastically cut back before we start setting a bad precedent.  The reality of it hit me like a ton of bricks this morning when I noticed Iwan wasn't even listening to me read him one of his favorite books, but was staring at a news story on BBC Breakfast (that was on just as "background noise")- ooff, bad mommy.

So TV- we're officially on a break.  I'm going to try keeping you turned off between the hours of 9-5 for a few weeks.  I love you, but I'm not in love with you, and quite frankly, there's somebody else.


  1. This is such a common conflict for mums/moms! I remember when I was pregnant with my daughter the tellytubbies were relatively new and I SWORE my daughter wouldn't be watching them... Then after she was born (and was old enough to watch anything on TV) i became grateful for the quiet time. And actually, I started to realise that a break in all the mum-centred activity was good for both of us.

    I don't keep the TV on for background noise, and our kids are allowed 30 minutes of TV or computer games after school for a wind down period, and 30 minutes during the day on weekends (with more in the evenings for movies, etc). I just wanted them to learn how to occupy themselves in other ways, but I don't mind some TV. It has it's uses!

    Im here from the British Mummy Bloggers expat mum forum--Im another expat mum in the UK!

  2. I feel the same about the Tv but when my kids were this age we had baby einstein dvds for ummy space time. 15 mins puupets toys n ostory just images with lovely classical music very slow totally right for a baby. You could try these. Nice blog. Over form blogger ed I blog at and if you want to stop by and say hi !

  3. Michelloui- that's the sort of TV schedule I'm hoping we'll be able to work towards. There are a couple of nice calm shows that Iwan likes to watch in the evening before his bath, and I think it's a nice way for all of us to relax at the end of the day. I probably won't cut out daytime TV forever, but for now I feel like I have to be a little hardcore in order to break the habit.

  4. Its so hard to stay away from the tv. I'm at work so don't have the day time tv issues but I can imagine. x

  5. Hiya
    Just wanted to say how much I love you blog - loving the format and the content is great. I will def being following
    Perhaps you could take a peek at mine sometime?


  6. Thanks Evey! The baby's in bed, so heading over to have a look now!