My frenemy

I have a frenemy. Her name is television. I also have tenuous relationships with her close relatives video games, computer, and iPhone. And like any good frenemy some days are great: she offers just enough distraction for me to achieve whatever household chore is next on my list.

And then there are the other days: when her looming presence alone brings out the whines in the smalls. Choruses of “can I watch tv” echo through the house. And let’s not even bring up the programming hassles, the questionable commercials, the reactions to lots of visual input with no corresponding physical activity.

I don’t know how it is in your social circles, but in mine television (and all her relatives) are used to judge parenting abilities. It started when the first child was a baby.

Oh, we (parent and child) don’t watch ANY television.
Oh, we only watch 30 minutes a day. Of educational programming.
Oh, we only have the tv on during quiet time since he gave up naps.
Oh, we don’t play video games.
Oh, we only play video games on the weekends.
AAHHH….the blasted TV, computer, or video games are on ALL THE TIME AND I FEEL SUCH SHAME ABOUT IT.

Or something like that.

So my frenemy and I have this dance we dance. She lures me in and I think “she’s all right”. And then I look around and my kids have been sitting on the couch for four hours. Even the baby has a slack jaw as she stares. So I boot out my frenemy and as she leaves I know what she’s thinking:

Good-bye. I’ll see you tomorrow.


About morelikeaveragemom

I'm a stay home mom with 3 kids. I am simply figuring it out as I go.
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4 Responses to My frenemy

  1. Christine says:

    Yes. Sadly, yes. I’m relieved to know we are together in this struggle. I will be thinking of you while negotiating whines and then again while sipping wine and surveying three glassy-eyed yet placated little people. I certainly seems like a direct relationship… whine or wine?…chores or TV? …assertion or submission? Assertion of what? Submission to what? Is there a missing piece? Pun intended. For the love of God, what is it?!
    The mom vs. media battles are definitely under represented. Thank you! Strategy, anyone?

  2. Marion says:

    Ah the wonders of technology. We watched “Up” tonight instead of bedtime stories…and, yes, that’s our third bedtime viewing of it this week in lieu of stories. Hubby out of town. Felt guilty the first night, but tonight mama was guilt free!! And the movies put him to sleep faster than the stories! Here comes the wine. God Bless Disney!

  3. akbutler says:

    ah, I went down that same road. And now I’ve gone from denial to acceptance 🙂 My kids (all three of them) learned their letter sounds from Leapfrog movies, and my youngest’s first two word phrases were “oh, man!” (Swiper from Dora the Explorer) and “oh, toodles!” (from the Mickey Mouse show). But every now and again, I turn it off when the guilt hits me and we have a wonderous time together. Until I have to go the bathroom/cook a meal/have a conversation with an adult on the phone without constant interruption. definitely a double edged sword…thanks for sharing your honest thoughts!

  4. Lauren says:

    This really cracked me up! Such a realistic look at the progression of thought. The computer is my personal frenemy- it sucks me in! 🙂

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