How does your partner feel about your "mindful home"? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 20 Old 08-01-2012, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm sure some of you have always lived a more mindful lifestyle, but for those of you (like myself) who have more slowly adopted an alternative lifestyle after meeting your partner, how have they handled the changes?  Enthused?  Tolerant?  Resistant?

 

I ask because I feel like I might be creeping up on the limits of what DH is willing to adopt.  Actually, I think it's less resistance to any specific thing, and more so that I've kind of taken over our home life and he feels out in the cold and like he doesn't have much involvement in anything.  Which is understandable!

 

For the record, he has followed me a LONG way down this path with nothing but loving support.  I had my mind made up about home birth, extended breastfeeding, cosleeping, etc, before we married, and he accepted it.  Then I went all "unconditional parenting" on him, and he has accepted that, too.  Then replacing paper towels with cloth, then making my own household cleaners, then TF/paleo diet, then family cloth, no 'poo, OCM...but the latest thing, the TV, might be the line in the sand.  

 

We cut our cable for a few months when we moved, and I didn't miss it, but he did.  We definitely weren't TV-free, we still had streaming Netflix.  This week we're having cable re-installed...he misses watching sports, and the olympics coverage did him in.  I'm also trying to kick the TV out of the living room and into our spare bedroom.  Maybe that will be our compromise; cable, but not in the living room.

 

Has your partner resisted any of your crunchy ways?  Or are they gung-ho?  Somewhere in the middle?




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#2 of 20 Old 08-01-2012, 01:47 PM
 
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Oh man, you have written my entire life story with my dh! Ever since ds1 was born, I have become more and more ... hippie-ish.  Lol. Dh has tolerated most of the change, even became a huge advocate for BFing and cosleeping, but there are some things he lets me know he will not budge on: he will never do family cloth, he loves that I want us to eat healthy, but he wants his food choices to remain the same (like, instead of take out pizza, I will make pizza, and possibly throw some veggies on it.) He will not give up juice, but has changed to 100% juices.  He will not go TV free, but has agreed to not let the boys watch violent shows. 

 

I think the biggest one for me is discipline.  Before kids, we both agreed a little spanking was necessary.  After kids ... haha... I learned about GD.  He was totally against it at first, but I bugged and bugged and talked his ear off about how we should treat our kids with respect ... he finally agreed to try his best.  And, he has! He has been doing sooooo great giving warnings, getting down on their level, explaining things to them... He messed up once and without thinking smacked ds2 ... They ended up both crying and dh was so, so sorry.  It was actually kind of cute, and I'm glad it happened.  

 

He also used to be grossed out by cloth diapers, and now I just LOVE IT when I am window shopping online and he leans over and says, "That one is cute." love.gif

 

So I guess we are somewhere in the middle.


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#3 of 20 Old 08-01-2012, 01:52 PM
 
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I also wanted to say that there are some things that I let him do. 

 

For instance, when he takes them somewhere and comes back from Burger King with the kids meal and the crowns and drinking shakes ... I don't like it, but dh has told me how when he was little, he *loved* when his parents would splurge on take out like that, so I would never take that away from him.

 

And whenever he goes to the store, he always comes back with a little plastic toy for both of the boys.  Now, I am trying to declutter and get rid of odds and end toys, but I am so happy that he thinks of them like that.  It would have never occurred to both our dads to do something like that.  

 

So, OP, I would let your dh have his cable, and maybe even let him have it in the living room.  I'm sure it's not good to feel banished.  hug.gif


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#4 of 20 Old 08-01-2012, 02:22 PM
 
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ive found that many things involving kids and homemaking, my dh doesn't care how it is done as long as it gets done.

 

when i met dh, i was very crunchy and dh has crunchy friends.  while he didn't live the life, he understood it.

 

the guy could careless how i feed our babies, just that it gets done and the less he has to do the better.  so breastfeeding was right up his alley.  diapers the same, as long as he doesn't have to change the baby, he can care less,  even better if i pick the cheaper route.

 

the only time he perks up is also with issues from his past, he had a very deprived past.  he buys more junk food and toys for the kids.  now that i have a teenager, the teenager often sides with him, (wants soda when eating ou)t.  i let him override my preference, when he is around, but that isn't very often and i make a point to let my teen know why i disagree with her dad.


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#5 of 20 Old 08-02-2012, 01:20 PM
 
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Pretty much ditto to everything CherryBomb said.  Both of our attitudes drastically changed once DS was born, all for the better. 

 

But there are some things he pushes back on like when I stopped buying paper towels.  DH thinks unlimited access to Bounty paper towels is a basic human right.  He also sneers at my homemade cleaning products but since he doesn't need to use them, he doesn't get a say.  I ignore his gagging when I used vinegar to clean the bathroom.

 

He is pretty much ok with all the food changes because he never ate a lot of convenience food anyway. 


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#6 of 20 Old 08-23-2012, 07:19 PM
 
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Lol... This thread has made me feel so much better! I too have been slowly making the transition to "crunchy" after we got married. My dh has had a sense of humour about the things that don't directly affect him (homemade cleaners, cloth diapers, etc) but I am definitely meeting resistance on anything diet or tv related. Guy loves his chips and tv. Hoping over time we can negotiate a middle ground we can both feel good about...

I can be a bit black and white and so my husband's hesitance on certain things has made me feel incomplete in my quest to green and simplify our lives... Nice to know i am not the only one and you ladies have eased my anal retentive need to control the whole house.
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#7 of 20 Old 08-24-2012, 03:39 PM
 
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DH was brought up pretty mainstream, and has accepted a LOT of alternative-ness since knowing me - he's enthusiastic about homeschooling (not that we've started yet, exactly; DD's 4), water-only hair washing (which made his hair twice as thick - I think he was sensitive to SLS), home-baked bread, from-scratch cooking, free-range meat, intactivism, non-vaxing, cosleeping, breastfeeding and so on. He's accepting of my veggie garden - I can't say "enthusiastic", because I'm an atrocious gardener and don't exactly present him with laden cornucopiae of picture-perfect heirloom tomatoes, but he doesn't mind. He doesn't mind me using natural cleaners, although I'm sure he wishes I'd use them more often. :p

 

What he doesn't like:

 

-Cloth nappies. He approves in theory, but both our kids tended to get rashes, and we switched to sposies for night-time and then, eventually, most of the time. We didn't mean to, it just happened. Currently DS is back in cloth most days because we're broke, and DH doesn't like it - he uses any excuse to put a sposie on! "But you're going out today!" - "Yes, dear, for half an hour..."

 

-Cloth TP - we don't use it, but I wouldn't mind. He thinks the idea is horrific. Oh well.

 

-Our chickens, sort of. He thinks they're cute and he likes the eggs, but they tear up the lawn, scratch up my seedlings and poop on the deck (all of which annoys me too). I keep asking him to fence off half the backyard to make a run/designated chicken area, but we don't have the money for materials at the moment.

 

-We have a cast-iron frying pan, and an evil Teflon one for pancakes. He prefers to use that one because it's easier to clean; so I sometimes have to remind him there's a reason we have the cast iron one!

 

He's not too bad, on the whole. :p Occasionally he'll surprise me by being crunchier than I am - insisting on eco-dishwasher powder, or not letting me buy a snack with MSG in it!


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#8 of 20 Old 08-26-2012, 05:11 AM
 
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Mine is pretty supportive in theory but grumbles a lot.

 

We are TV free which he is really happy about, he never liked TV much.  He plays video games all the time though and sometimes he confesses to sitting around looking at the big screen TV's in the store and imagining them in our house - but I think that's just a "I want shiny toys" thing.  He has one in the basement for his video games, and he's OK with that.

 

He ate fast food and boxed foods as a kid and really that's what he likes the most - but he is very appreciative of all the homecooked meals I buy.  But he gets seriously annoyed when he looks in the fridge and sees ingredients instead of "food" (boxed crap he can microwave).  And he doesn't like leftovers.  But at the same time he does enjoy food most of the time I cook it.  It's taken years to get him used to expanding his pallette but at least he's a good role model for the kids (who really do like their veggies etc) and will eat the food with a smile on his face - and then grumble to me later about how lentils aren't REAL food, etc.

 

We don't use paper products except toilet paper and don't use most personal care products like lotions etc.  We're shampoo free and only use soap sporadically.  He put his foot down on me making my own, he thinks I'm going to kill myself with lye by accident.  (?!?!)

 

He is fine with homebirth and against hospital birth, against all typical mainstream things.  Pro-nursing.  Pro-co-sleeping.  Anti-vax for the most part.  Definitely anti-circ.  Pro babywearing.  Totally AGAINST cloth diapering though.

 

The biggest argument we have is the garden... I want a garden.  With chickens.  And a laundry line.  He wants green grass, weed-free, chemicalled up preferably.  And he'd like it if we sanitized our house with every chemical on the market.  And he hates anything secondhand, and I hate buying new. (I still buy secondhand... I just no longer announce what great deals I got at the thrift store heh.)

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#9 of 20 Old 08-30-2012, 09:28 PM
 
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I'm one of the lucky few.  DH and I are very like minded and when I come up with what I think would be a drastic suggestion for him he goes for it and usually embraces it....family cloth, gardens, whole foods (I even got him to go raw for a month!), etc.  I have yet to come up with something he's against, so far we've both supported what the other wanted and we're rare in that we want the same things.  When it comes to household and kid stuff he leaves me to it.

 

I thought no cable would be an issue but he was all for saving that money.  We still had one of those enormous televisions and it was nice to have for movies but after a thunderstorm killed it he mourned a little but doesn't care to get another one.

 

He's actually taken over most of the care of our chickens and ducks.  He's all for us getting goats again and is working overtime to cover the cost of building a really nice shelter for them before we get them.  He had no trouble with the whole household going cloth.  We both have our gardens.  We both ride a bicycle to grind our corn and wheat.  The first thing he did when we got together and again when we moved to our current house several years ago was to put up my clothesline.  He'd get me all the stuff to hand wash clothes if I was adamant about it.  We've got gigantic rain barrels and he wants more.

 

At any rate, I can't think of anything he won't do...other than stay on a raw food diet forever.  That man loves his cooked rice, meat, potatoes, etc.  But I do have him drinking carrot/apple/green juice everyday, taking raw garlic and acv everyday.


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#10 of 20 Old 08-31-2012, 03:17 PM
 
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Also wanted to say that I'm actually sometimes happy that DH is the dissenter at times.  He never really gets in my way and often helps me out if I insist long enough, but his first reaction is generally a no... And then we kind of debate back and forth and if I "win" due to research etc he will even help me because he trusts my decisions for the most part.  But sometimes he will win the debate and then I will have to reconsider.  And sometimes I ignore him with not-so-great results.  Like when I had this great idea for a composting worm farm in the garage... and he was all adamant about not doing it... well, I did it anyway and guess what, he was absolutely right - attracted bugs, etc.  He is really much more practical and physical and I think we make a good team.  I come up with the idea and he helps make it happen.  I want to grow grapes, he puts up the wire for it to grow on.  I want to plant a bush, he does the legwork.  I don't ask him to, but he will help me regardless... even if he grumbles about it sometimes.  It was the same with homeschooling - he is fine with it now and backs me up on it but at first he was very hesitant and gave me a million devil's advocate questions.  Some I had to research to get the answers to.  If in my research I had found out evidence that he was right, then it might have changed my opinion.  I think what matters is that he respects me and I respect him, and we support each other... even if we don't always agree.

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#11 of 20 Old 09-03-2012, 01:26 PM
 
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We are at the point where Dh is on board with me to the point where you'd think it was his idea in the first place! We have come a long way!


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#12 of 20 Old 09-04-2012, 04:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Kindermama View Post

We are at the point where Dh is on board with me to the point where you'd think it was his idea in the first place! We have come a long way!

Is it me or does it seem like it's all good when they think it's their idea?  LOL


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#13 of 20 Old 09-04-2012, 06:16 PM
 
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The important stuff to me is all about parenting and I've gotten my way on all of that.  He and I eat completely different stuff and we actually feed the kids really differently.  That is all fine with me.  I don't like the kids to have soda, which he gives them sometimes, and he doesn't like them to have french fries, which I give them sometimes.  It's probably a win/win for them.  lol  Generally they eat pretty healthy.  One thing I would really like to do which dh opposes is that I want to try them on a gluten free diet.  It's funny because a lot of the reason I want to try it is because dh is feeling so well since he went gluten free.  I am curious to see if it helps my older son with some issues he has.  Maybe someday...

 

Anyhow, I gotta say that I don't know if it's right for one partner to be able to swoop in and say "no tv."  Why not no tv for you and maybe no tv for the kids?  We got rid of our tv in maybe '95 and didn't have one until we got our older son a wii in 2008.  It was a joint decision to get rid of it and I loved not having it and losing time on it.  But now I knit like mad and I LOVE to watch some tv while I'm knitting.  We actually don't have any channels or netflix or anything, so I mostly watch documentaries on youtube or elsewhere online.  Every once in a while I'll rent a movie on amazon.  But I would seriously not be ok with it if dh just announced that I couldn't watch, yk?  


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#14 of 20 Old 09-04-2012, 07:52 PM
 
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Mine doesn't care about any of my crunchy ways but he refuses to go tv free. So we just don't have the tv on while he is at work and it is on all evening. Not how I like it but it is his home as well. He has done ok with removing the tv from the bedroom. We now have the tv in the living room and a small on in the play room for in the middle of winter when kids are stuck inside and bored with what we have here. 


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#15 of 20 Old 09-05-2012, 12:59 PM
 
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We too have come along way. My lifestyle has been changing gradually over the past 6 years becoming more and more aware of myself and everything else. To some extend dh has been following more recently actually. I think it is a 'we are getting older and wiser' thing. He is more the fast food type. He will eat the healthy stuff I prepare sometimes not always but he is not too fond of it. He loves his sugar with coffee and just everything with lots of sugar and fat in it. You would not expect it though bc he is so skinny. Now that we have kids I think he is mostly going along with what I come up with since I am around them 24/7 most of the time anyway. So breastfeeding, co-sleeping etc. he is all super okay with.

 

I am supersurprised on some of the PPs here. In a positive way. As far as cloth diapers go, I just couldn't get myself to do it. I had 2 hospital births and there they used cloth diapers. With dd1 they were always leaking and I had to change her constantly. Plus she had a lot of bowle movement which not even the sposies could match. I actually had to cut her out of her bodysuit one time bc that stuff was everywhere and I did not want it to get in her face and hair. Well anyway we are mainly using reg towels instead of paper except for toilet. Cleaning I like natural products like vinegar, lemon etc. Gardening is becoming more and more popular with him. So we are planning on our herb garden for next year. He is also just getting into learning about making your own medicine and such. I really love to teach him on that. It has been so much fun. We would love to have chicken, rabbits etc. especially him but we don't have the grounds for it. I am a beekeeper unfortunately dh is allergic to bees so that one is on me. We have read about the no soap using but we could not imagine how that would work out. Input welcome on that topic. So we have our differences some of which are quite big but nevertheless we love each other more now than ever. I think it is all about compromises. Both partners have to get their say in it. No one should dominate the other.
 


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#16 of 20 Old 09-18-2012, 10:41 PM
 
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DH fought me tooth and nail at the beginning.  At first when I would try something, he would pitch a fit.  Gradually over time, so long as I implemented new things/ideas one at a time and give him time to adjust to that before I do something else, he is more receptive.  It changed drastically once I became a SAHM about 2 years ago.  At that point, he said that I do most of the cleaning, so I make the decisions, so I can start new things more often now without complaint from him.  He trusts me now, and will at least try it.  If he doesn't like it, I keep doing it for a little longer, and if he still doesn't like it, I stop doing it. 


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#17 of 20 Old 11-09-2012, 11:17 AM
 
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Are you reading my mind? Are you watching my house? This sounds so familiar lol.

 

DH and I... aren't necessarily on the same page about most things, but for the most part he lets me go about my "hippie ways" but would refuse to budge on the TV/his video games lol. I can cloth diaper, breastfed, have a baby out in the middle of the woods in a cold Alaskan winter, and make our own cleaning supplies, but.. there's some things he isn't on board with, and I have to learn to compromise. It can't be all about what I want, unfortunately hah. I'd say let him have his cable in the living room, if you're home alone or with the kids, just don't turn it on ;).


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#18 of 20 Old 11-19-2012, 05:53 PM
 
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DH is pretty tolerant but I'm not as crunchy as some of the people who have commented.  ( I have no desire what-so-ever to do family cloth for example.)  He has his limits though and I am ok with that for the most part.  He's an adult and he can make his own choices.  He uses deodorant from a can and that's his choice for his body.  He does eat more junk and eat out more than I'd really like cause I'm convinced he's going to die first and I will be lonely.  I just try to make sure I am making healthy food because that's what I can control.  I grew up watching my Grandma give my Grandpa the evil eye for eating dessert sometimes.  For goodness sakes the man is 86 years old!  Give him some cheesecake if he wants it!  I can influence things but I don't ever want to be controlling-he's more important to me than these things and it's his home too. 

I say let him have the TV in the living room and just don't have it on when he's not around if it bothers you.  It's his living room too..


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#19 of 20 Old 11-23-2012, 10:42 PM
 
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I used to be very timid about new crunchy things and would ease DH in with baby steps. Then one day I kind of had this epiphany. If I'm the one doing most of the cooking, I should have more of a say over what we cook with. If I'm with the kids 23 1/2 hours a day, I should have more of a say about how they are disciplined. If I'm the one who has a broader knowledge of human development and nutrition, plus the one doing the shopping, I should pick most of the food.

 

This is not to say that I don't ever consult my husband or that his opinion doesn't matter. Big decisions are discussed before any action. Our rule for the smaller things has gone from "discuss them all" to "let me know if there's something you don't like." It's easier for all of us and I tell him the why behind it if he asks.

 

That said, he's been a real champ. In the beginning, he backed me on lot of things he was unsure about because I felt strongly about them and now he advocates for some of them because he feels strongly, too!

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#20 of 20 Old 11-29-2012, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DH is pretty tolerant but I'm not as crunchy as some of the people who have commented.  ( I have no desire what-so-ever to do family cloth for example.)  He has his limits though and I am ok with that for the most part.  He's an adult and he can make his own choices.  He uses deodorant from a can and that's his choice for his body.  He does eat more junk and eat out more than I'd really like cause I'm convinced he's going to die first and I will be lonely.  I just try to make sure I am making healthy food because that's what I can control.  I grew up watching my Grandma give my Grandpa the evil eye for eating dessert sometimes.  For goodness sakes the man is 86 years old!  Give him some cheesecake if he wants it!  I can influence things but I don't ever want to be controlling-he's more important to me than these things and it's his home too. 

I say let him have the TV in the living room and just don't have it on when he's not around if it bothers you.  It's his living room too..

 

Totally agree with this.  DH uses conventional toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, etc, and I don't push him to use my clay tooth powder or go soap free.  He's a grown up.  He's fine with the fact that DS only gets bathed like once a week MAYBE (he gets spot-cleaned in between) and never gets soaped up.

 

Anyhow, I came back to update on the TV thing.  With adding cable back, lots more TV crept into our daily lives.  At first I left it off all day and he'd turn it on after dinner.  But then DS seemed to remember how awesome TV is and starting whining to watch during the day.  So then it was just one short show in the morning.  Then he'd whine for more and more, and I got dependent on having that time to myself with him distracted, and got majorly hooked on my phone.  

 

It escalated slowly over many months, and this past weekend we really saw how much it affects DS's behavior.  He's high needs to start with, and probably a little sensory, and TV is truly addicting for him.  Even a little bit sends him into this mode where he's either spaced out watching TV, or if it's off, he's super clingy and whiney and wants to nurse ALL THE TIME.  He won't play with toys or color or anything; it's TV or me.  Over this past weekend he started using TV as a stalling effort to put off going to bed, resulting in several really intense meltdowns.  DH and I shared a knowing glance as he was pathetically crying for "melmo" - we've got to curb the TV stuff.

 

So, while my intent was only to curb the TV, especially in the evenings, we went all day with zero screen time and it went great, so I decided to keep the streak alive, and now we're on day four of no TV, and I limit my computer/phone time to while DS is sleeping.  I assumed that I would be exhausted and overwhelmed without the TV distractions, but it's been quite the opposite - I'm more productive, DS plays more on his own so I'm actually less overwhelmed, DH and I connect more in the evenings - it's been wonderful.

 

I didn't mention in my original post that DH has an office that is separate from the house where he has a TV and an XBox.  So, moving the TV out of the living room would definitely not mean he wouldn't be able to watch TV.  He typically goes out to the office and plays video games while I get DS to sleep at night, so he usually gets at least an hour of TV time to himself a day.  

 

Given the drastic change in DS's mental state with no TV, he's totally on board with cutting our cable again, and while I haven't brought up moving the TV out of the living room again, I think he'd go for it.  Moving it into the spare bedroom is literally a matter of putting it on the other side of the wall.  We could still have a weekly movie night or something.




Living and loving in ATX with DH (of 7 years) and DS (3.5)
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