Breaking the addiction

Alright, I am about to make a big time Mommy confession. Deep breath. Here goes...

Before I dive right in, here is a bit of back story. I have always been a background noise kind of person. I don't know if it's from the years I lived alone when the sound of silence just creeped me out, or if I don't feel like I'm busy enough if there isn't noise around me. Either way, it hasn't really been a problem until recently.

You see, with the nastiness that is morning sickness (that really lasts all day), I have spent a good portion of my afternoons nestled on the couch. Addie naps in the beginning of the afternoon, but as soon as she would get up, the nausea set in and became progressively worse throughout the evening. To help me cope and keep me distracted so I didn't end up vomiting, I have (gulp, here it is...) relied a bit too much on the television to get me through my days.

Addie and I don't necessarily watch TV during these hours, but it has been on. And through these last few weeks, I have noticed that it does grab our attention more than it should and it does detract from our "quality time" together. Truly, there was no way I would have been able to crawl around on the floor with her and interact with her in the way that I did pre-pregnancy. Thinking that it would only be temporary, Sesame Street and the like have been my secret saviors. When I have been worried that I would need to run to the toilet, I wanted Addie to be occupied so she wouldn't freak out at seeing me get sick. Thankfully that hasn't happened, although I came very close many times.

Last week, things began to take a turn for the better as far as how I felt. Even though I was up to moving around with my girl, I was deep into habit and used my TV crutch, creating very blah afternoons. The thing is, I wasn't aware of the blahness until I got a wake-up call this weekend, and that's when I realized I was in trouble. My sister brought my grandma (aka, Sweetie) down on Saturday so she could once again spend the week with us. They asked Addie, "What is your favorite toy?" She grabbed the remote for the TV. Crap.

OK, love. Message received. Time for a switch in routine and priorities. While I don't think I'm ready to give up noise altogether, I can change our choice of media to one that will be stimulating in a much healthier way. Pandora is set up through our Blu-ray player and we are keeping the sound flowing, but instead of maintaining zombie-esque states, the music gets us humming or up and moving around. Of course, our O.A.R. channel was an instant favorite and Mommy likes it too.

With a mom and a sister that have master's degrees in areas of early childhood development who assess babies through pre-school aged children every day, the guilt from this confession runs deep. Funny enough though, I talked to my mom about it and she told me not to worry--that Sesame Street taught me to read while she was pregnant with my sister, Kate. So I'm NOT the only one? Phew!

I have often wondered what people without televisions do with their time. Maybe one day I will get the courage to give it up completely and find out. Until then, my new goal is to keep the boob tube off unless there is something on that we REALLY want to watch. I am trying. Let the detox begin!   


Kate said...

Here's the dreaded comment from your "early childhood development expert" sister (cue sinister music):

Don't worry about it! The fact that you are even aware of how much TV you and Addie are watching, and considering how it may be affecting you both, proves that you are a good and conscientious mother. :-) And as much fun as it would be to someday enjoy a "Jamie & Stephanie sidewalk moment" of being able to say "I didn't let my baby watch TV. I came up with developmentally appropriate educational activities to fill our afternoons!" I know good and well that there will be times when I do it too. You are an awesome mom and I am so proud of you :-)

sara said...

Thanks, Kate! That made my day!