(*warning this post has absolutely nothing to do with breastfeeding)
About a month okay we took a plunge and cancelled our Cable services. I know what you’re thinking, ‘big deal, having Cable is so 2009’. True, you can watch virtually anything online and most often for free, so who needs Cable anyway? And more importantly who doesn’t want to save a few bucks?
But we didn’t cancel Cable to save some dough, we cancelled because I don’t think it would be a stretch to say our family was addicted to the screen.
The TV would get turned on while the kids were waiting for me to get the baby settled so I could get their breakfast and it would stay on until the wee hours of the morning when my dear hubby would finally leave his recliner for bed, which he’ll admit he should have done hours ago. We would watch TV while we were eating. We would ignore each other because we ‘needed’ to see what was on. Our kids started actually physically fighting over which sitcom character they would be for the next half hour.
I currently have a 5 year old sulking, refusing to play with her siblings, hiding in the dress up clothes closet clutching a cell phone because Cooper Keegan will not be going to the Snowball Dance with her. A sentence which only makes sense if you’ve watched Mr. Popper’s Penguins.
The time for a change was long past due.
So we cut the cord, the Cable cord that is, and have been without for 30 days. But we’re still watching a whole lot of TV. The children learned almost instantly how to find their programs on Netflix and we have a few videos from the library (it was our turn on the wait list), which are being watched over and over.
I knew being rid of the TV would be good for our family, but I failed to understand just how much I relied on it. I am surprised by the number of times I ask the kids to; ‘just sit down and watch something’ so I can clean up after a meal, or get the baby settled for a nap, or make a meal, or have an uninterrupted shower. Having Cable was like having an extra set of hands, a set that could entertain the children on demand whenever I needed it, and apparently I needed it a lot.
So, now we’re navigating our way. Re-engaging our imaginations without sitcom scenarios, spending more time reading than watching, eating at a table learning to have real conversations. It’s not going nearly as smoothly as I had hoped, but it’s going.
And next week we’re going to take it one step further, earning our screen time by doing chores, and this time I don’t have any illusions that it will be easy.
Have you also cut the Cable cord? Got any advice to make the transition more smooth?