Guys, I did something crazy. I took away our tv. Like completely got rid of it in the living room. It’s been something I’ve been thinking about for a while, but have always felt too scared to go through with it. How would it go? Would it be too exhausting to entertain the kids alllll day? Would they whine about it? How would I watch the bachelor? I had been having this heavy guilt about it though for about 6 months. Our kids didn’t ever watch a ton of tv, but it was there and when I wanted to get stuff done, I would use it as a tool to give me space. I wholeheartedly believe there is nothing wrong with that- Mom’s need a break too. However, it just wasn’t sitting well with me anymore (again, just for us). I don’t know why? It all the sudden just felt like it was more of my problem then theirs. It was too easy to rely on I guess and I felt like I wanted to change that. I love the idea of letting kids get bored. When the girls would say they were bored, they would ask to watch tv. Like that is what you do when you are bored. I hated that the tv just sat there in the living room staring at them when they were playing. I wanted to create a space that was warm, welcoming and not where the tv was the center of the room. I wanted them to know that if they felt bored and Mommy was doing stuff, they had to figure something out themselves to do. Go color, go build blocks, go ride bikes, go dig in the dirt. I don’t care what it is but they have to figure it out themselves though. It’s a balance because I make sure I am there most of the day to play with them together, but I want them to learn to use their own creativity the other times when I am cooking dinner or nursing the baby or whatever.
It’s taken some getting used to on all parts. And there is definitely a detox period. It worked out that we were in Florida for 2 weeks and were super busy out doing stuff pretty much everyday. The girls hardly watched tv at all while we were there, so when we came home I knew it was time. I didn’t want to fall back into old habits so out the tv went. I rearranged the living room, made a small play area off the kitchen and brought up a few toys from the basement (blocks, legos, doll house) and that was that. No more tv. So far so good. The girls have been playing so well together. Their attitudes are better overall and it has been awesome seeing what they come up with when they play. Rowan ended up creating all these birthday cards the other day, that Finley and her went door to door to sell around our neighborhood. Hahaha. Kev was such a good sport, he went with them. They knocked on all our neighbor’s doors and made like $7 bucks. We sure have some sweet neighbors! It was so cute. Rowan worked really hard and spent her time coming up and executing the whole thing and we wanted to honor her creativity. That’s what makes my heart full, seeing them use their little imaginations!
I will say that it does make more of a mess not having a tv. hahaha. Playing and finding fun makes much more of a mess than sitting in front of the tv. It’s a small price to pay though, right? Don’t get me wrong, it’s been an adjustment for me as well. I’ve never been someone who loves to watch tv but it’s been an adjustment to not turn it on for the kids. There are moments when I want so badly for everyone to stop touching me, asking me questions or fighting and I want to turn the tv on for them so badly. It’s an exercise for myself as well. To work on being the kind of Mom I want to be. I loved this post a while back on Monica’s blog about expanding. It’s true. I think when we get to the point where we think we can’t take anymore, if we stop, take a deep breath, pray a little and move forward we can expand a bit more for our children. I know I have a shorter fuse with them then say a friend. Why is that? Anyway- this is a chance for me to look at my own short comings and expand as well. In full disclosure I didn’t throw out the tv. It’s up in our room for maybe a movie on the weekend or special occasions like the Olympics, but day to day during the week there is no tv allowed.
Annnnnnd Spring/Summer is here guys! This makes life sooooooo much easier, am I right? Who needs a tv when the warm weather is here. Long days outside in the sun does the soul good. We love heading out and finding fun wherever the day leads us. We teamed up with Zappos and Crocs for this post and are loving these super comfy jellies for all our summer adventures. Like these are seriously the most comfortable shoes I own. I’ve never owned a pair of Crocs before! I was pleasantly surprised by how many different styles they have to offer. I also got this pair for Kev for when he hikes and cliff jumps up in the Adirondacks, and this pair for myself for gardening!
Knit Top: LOFT (on sale and 50% off!)
Jeans: Urban Outfitters
Crocs Isabella Jellies: Zappos
Denim Top: H&M (similar)
Pants: Target (similar)
Crocs Isabella Jellies: Zappos
Denim Top: Carter’s (similar)
Skirt: Old Navy
Crocs Isabella Jellies: Zappos
This post was sponsored by our friends at Zappos and Crocs. Love the Zappos’ promise of fast, free shipping, 365 day return policy, and world class customer service. Thanks guys!
It’s pretty crazy what a presence a big tv has in a room! It constantly reminds you it’s there. Great move.. so glad to hear overall it’s been a good transition. TV isn’t a big temptation for me when I’m bored, but my phone is… I like the days so much better that I do creative stuff instead of scrolling on my phone so that’s something I’d like to help my kids learn too. Oh and love the jellie shoes! 🙂
Would love to see how you’ve rearranged the room! So tempted to do this myself, just need to get the husband on board.
I was raised without a tv. I can remember people coming over and saying our living room looked odd, then realizing there wasn’t a tv in it. Because it was how I was raised, I knew no different. I personally like it because, to this day, I am not into tv like others I know. We have one in our home, but can go days without watching it. I really appreciate that my parents instilled that value in me. So, way to go doing that for your children! It may be hard, but definitely worth it.
I have had many of the same thoughts regarding television in our home. Minimizing screen time is a priority for us too, but it definitely can be hard at times. We love the Tales Untold app as a TV substitute. It’s full of engaging audio-only stories (both fiction and nonfiction). In full disclosure, my husband helped develop the app, but I promise it’s a good one.
This was really encouraging to read! I have seriously been considering the same this, even if it just for the summer months! Good for you for following through, your kids will thank you one day 🙂
When we moved into our house 5 years ago, we decided to not put the tv in it. We didn’t want the distraction or our soon to be son to grow up using the tv as a babysitter. It was hard at first, but am so glad we made that decision! It’s easier for us to limit tv time with him and I think it has helped him be an imaginative kid and love being outside!
Good for you Jen. You are brave and wise!
I’m proud of you.
What an awesome and bold move! I would love to do something like this for just me and my husband, but I don’t know if we could do it! Do you and Kev still watch TV when the kids aren’t around?
I dream of doing this, but can’t get my husband on board. It may just “disappear” one day ?. P.s. Your hair is looking fly!
That’s such a bold move, glad everything worked out. I don’t watch much TV, but it does feel like it’s staring at me and everyone else. The hardest is to leave my phone aside though 😛
– Isabel http://www.moonstonemagic.com
I like this post – My mother used to call the television the “Idiot Box” and would tell my sister and I to either find something constructive to do with our time, or to go outside and play. To this day, if I sit in front of it for more than two hours I feel guilty.
Oh Jen…Loving catching up on your recent posts tonight and then saw THIS! So sweet of you to mention my “expand” post…I’m always a work in progress, but I do find little things like a word can help me in a moment of need. 😉 I think you’re an amazing mom, and I am so proud of you for doing what is right for your family at the moment. You’ll have many rewards in the days to come because of the efforts you put in now. Bless you!! Keep up the great work. Aloha!
Way to go! My son is almost 2, loves one show and I absolutely use that show to hold his attention when I need to get things done or just want to get ready somedays in peace. I too feel a little tugging wondering if it is the right thing. Right now it is very small amounts but I think it will be something I always keep in check as a mom.
I do love my TV time as well, it is absolutely a relaxation thing for me but again, everything must be in moderation and it should never take president over other more important activities like using your imagination.
I love your mothering perspective Jen, thanks for sharing.