Two straight days of tv.... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 16 Old 03-22-2011, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Tell me I don't completely suck.

 

I'm having a tough time lately. I'm absolutely exhausted, and we've had one bout of colds, flus, or whatever "bugs" after another since September. There have probably only been two or three weeks in all that time when one or more of us wasn't ill. DS2 probably gets sick the most, followed by me. I'm not getting anywhere near enough sleep. I'm so exhausted that I can't fall asleep easily (totally illogical, but it happens a lot). DD2 is still nursing at night a lot. We moved her into her own bed a few weeks ago, and she moves back in with her first night feeding, which is helping, but I'm wiped.


DS2 almost certainly has special needs. In fact, I'm taking him to the doctor today, to get a referral to a pediatrician, to start the evaluation/assessment process. I don't know what's going on with him, but he's not like any other child I've ever dealt with. I spend my whole days in crisis mode, trying to get food prepared and at least a minimal level of cleaning done, while dealing with one outburst/issue after another. He usually plays outside for a couple of hours every day, but he can't go out unsupervised for a while, after he hit a neighbour's little boy in the face. (This is common. He hits at least one person in this family every day.) I'm on hte PC a lot, but it's mostly when I'm feeding dd2. (This isn't the case right this minute. I just needed to get this out.) I yell at him too much. I don't want to get out of bed in the morning, because of the inevitable first meltdown - sometimes...at least twice a week, that first meltdown is what gets me out of bed.

 

So, yesterday I had to run ds1 somewhere, and my nephew (almost 16) was watching the kids briefly). He was watching old Sonic Underground episodes on Netflix, and ds2 was watching them with him. When my nephew left, I let ds2 watch a couple more episodes, then a couple episodes of another show before I turned it off. DS2 asked to watch Knowledge Kids (not a very accurate name!) cartoons this morning, and I said, "go ahead". I was still in bed, and actually fell back asleep when he went back downstairs. I got up very shortly after that - about 9:30. I'd say he started watching cartoons at about 9:00 or 9:15. It's now 2:10. We're leaving for dd1's piano lesson at about 2:45, and I'll probably just let him watch cartoons until then. He took one break to eat breakfast and one break to eat lunch, and that's it.

 

I'm feeling like a contender for "World's Worst Mom" today (I often do, especially where ds2 is concerned). But...I've been able to actually get some cleaning done in the kitchen without screams in the background. He hasn't hit his baby sister or thrown a toy at anybody, or gotten into the sugar cannister to eat spoonfuls, or spilled my vanilla/dish soap/olive oil/vinegar all over the floor. And, it's been nice. It really has. He's being so peaceful. But...that's five hours of cartoons!! This is all kinds of messed up, but I just do not know what to do with this kid...

 

Thanks for reading this, if you did. I don't even know why I posted it, except that part of me thinks that letting him sit in front of the tv for two days, then just acting as though everything is normal, is even worse than letting him sit in front of the tv all day in the first place.


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#2 of 16 Old 03-22-2011, 02:31 PM
 
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You will be fine, he will be fine.

If I were the only one living here, I'd throw out every screen we have (even this one, yes).

But DD has absolutely had glued-to-the-TV days like you describe before. Multiple ones. In a row. I promise. Like... last week, even.

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#3 of 16 Old 03-22-2011, 02:33 PM
 
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You don't completely suck.  I could have written some parts of your post word for word.  I am struggling a lot right now  (for reasons I won't threadjack), and I am trapped in a negative feedback loop with my kids (esp DD1) that I have been stuck in for about five days.  Kids are resilient, and one day of different rules that helps you preserve your sanity seems like a great compromise.  

 

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#4 of 16 Old 03-22-2011, 02:55 PM
 
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You totally don't suck at all. hug2.gif

 

We just got back form an amazing vacation and I feel like we never left.  My son is has his own set of issues and many days are like you described. Since we have been back he has watched almost an entire seasons worth of Phinius and Ferb. Because of that I have been able to do all the laundry, put away all the clothes and suitcase, etc etc. It has been calm and peaceful and honestly I don't regret it (too much).

 

Good luck with dx. Long process but worth it. Getting a full eval and finally a diagnosis was both uplifting and overwhelming.

 

I like to think that these TV breaks are to him what MDC is to me......


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#5 of 16 Old 03-22-2011, 03:20 PM
 
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So, your child who normally throws fits/has outbursts and regularly hits family members is happy and content and hasn't hit anyone and you have been productive...and you feel like the worst mom?  Gosh, I would consider that a successful day.  Who cares what you used to make it a success.

 

Two days of 5 hours (or more) of tv isn't going to harm anyone.  You will be fine, and so will he. 

 

Sometimes, we aren't perfect.  That's ok.

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#6 of 16 Old 03-22-2011, 03:40 PM
 
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You're not a bad mom. You're an exhausted mom with a really intense kid.

 

I have one of those kids too. It's work, work, work.

 Big hugs to you. 

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#7 of 16 Old 03-22-2011, 03:48 PM
 
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Oh, and feel free to PM me if you'd like more thoughts on my spirited child. I really would love to help if I can, at least online. My dd is five, and very, very slowly becoming easier.

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#8 of 16 Old 03-22-2011, 04:05 PM
 
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We have had those days too. Unfortunately for us they are linked to worse behavior, not better, but in the moment it can be SO nice to be able to sit and hear yourself think and not worry that the baby is getting smacked in the face or that the wonder monkey, as we fondly call ds, isn't climbing up in the cabinets scavenging for forbidden items, or systematically disassembling the bunk bed, or feeding an entire dinner's worth of raw steak to the dog. 

 

Sometimes I make a conscious decision "I know I will have to clean up the living room later if I sit down to take a break right now and it will probably involve the carpet cleaner." But you know what, I'm willing to pay the price because I NEED that break, lol. Occasional TV achieves the same thing without having to clean your carpets when it's over.


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#9 of 16 Old 03-22-2011, 05:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seashells View Post

You will be fine, he will be fine.

If I were the only one living here, I'd throw out every screen we have (even this one, yes).

But DD has absolutely had glued-to-the-TV days like you describe before. Multiple ones. In a row. I promise. Like... last week, even.


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#10 of 16 Old 03-22-2011, 05:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all.

 

We were basically tv/screen-free (watched a DVD or two a week - a little more if someone was sick) until we lost our baby in 2007. Through that period, we did a lot of DVDs...a whole lot. We sometimes watched four or five in a day. I didn't feel horribly awful about that, as we were really in crisis mode. But, we never really found our way back to the low screen time. DH started letting them watch Saturday morning cartoons a while ago, which I had/have mixed feeling about (I fondly remember my own Saturday morning tv viewing), but it gradually morphed. Since we're already watching more tv/DVDs than my ideal, this little binge has been hard to accept. But...it was soooo peaceful. (Of course, in the 20-30 minutes between turning off the tv and leaving for dd1's piano lesson, dd1 grabbed his arm, and he punched her twice. *sigh*)

 

I just keep reminding myself that this, too, shall pass. DS2's issues aren't going away any time soon, but I should start getting a little more sleep. Right now, I'm barely even functional. (Actually, depending on your benchmark for "function", I may not be functional at all!)


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#11 of 16 Old 03-22-2011, 07:54 PM
 
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I think we all beat ourselves up too much about tv.  So much guilt!  We are trying our best.  We're mindful that there are better ways to spend time.  We try our best to give our full attention to our kids and provide them with lots of interesting, stimulating activities.  But sometimes we're overwhelmed by illness, children's needs, pregnancy, a messy house, and we don't have enough help.  And turning on the tv makes the kids really happy for a little while and allows us to recharge.  Yes, a full day of tv isn't great, but hey, I've done it when the whole house is sick and I have no other way of coping.  I am using a little too much tv to cope with my super-active toddler and my own morning sickness.  I am doing my best. We all are.  Hugs to everyone here, and no more guilt!


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#12 of 16 Old 03-22-2011, 08:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think some of it is the "I've fallen so far" feeling. DD2 is also, for related but different reasons, the first one of my kids who has never been in cloth diapers. I'm just feeling as though every ideal I ever had has gone down the toilet.

 

It's probably good for me - character building or something....


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#13 of 16 Old 03-23-2011, 06:36 AM
 
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Most of the time, the TV is only on briefly when I'm putting stuff in the dishwasher so the toddler doesn't take everything out of the dishwasher.  But I have some health issues and my kids are ridiculously healthy, and it's hard to keep up with them when I feel awful.  I will admit that on bad health days if their dad isn't home, they watch a lot of TV.  It's called survival.  Everything will work out in the long run.  Hugs!

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#14 of 16 Old 03-23-2011, 07:00 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

I think some of it is the "I've fallen so far" feeling. DD2 is also, for related but different reasons, the first one of my kids who has never been in cloth diapers. I'm just feeling as though every ideal I ever had has gone down the toilet.

 

It's probably good for me - character building or something....



Yeah, character building, that's it.

 

I think EVERY parent starts out their parenting journey with lots of ideals about how they are going to parent, the things they will do and the things they will NEVER do.  And, like all parents before them, discover that sometimes our kids have different ideas.  For some it's that our kids will not watch tv, for some it's that they will never have a picky kid because they will always feed their child what they eat and never give in to the whining.  For some it's that they will never use one of those kids leashes, for some it's that their kids will never spend all day playing video games.  And then, something happens, we get sick, we discover our kids have their own personalities, and those ideals that we had fly out the window.  And then, we turn into one of THOSE parents, those ones we hated when we were first pg, who always told us "just you wait."  We hated their smug looks then, and once we are in the thick of this parenting thing, we get it, and we end up with those smug looks ourselves.

 

If it makes you feel better, my 2 year old is currently watching Handy Manny...and spent her first hour awake watching Jake and The Neverland Pirates, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  And, we are eating McDonalds for breakfast.  In front of the tv.  And my 6 month old is in the jumper in front of the tv too.  My kids watch more tv than the AAP recommends.  I have a 15 yr old too, who happens to be turning out pretty ok, despite the amount of tv she watched in her toddler and preschool years.  I don't think tv is going to condemn kids to a life of sloth and bad health.  It's only one small factor in a lifetime. 

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#15 of 16 Old 03-23-2011, 07:08 AM
 
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I think it's unavoidable. The fact is we live in a pop media culture. We can throw out the TVs and we'll still hear about Charlie Sheen. I never even said the word princess to my DD, but  the neighbor kids indoctrinated her and she's the biggest princess girl I've ever seen.

 

You can't escape.

 

BUT my one piece of advice is to strictly screen the cartoons for content. I remember reading the Nurtureshock book and they talked about how cartoon characters relate impacts how kids relate with their world. You want lots of gentle stuff, cooperative problem solving, no fast action. PBS shows are mostly excellent, Clifford has Jetta, the passive aggressive bully and I don't care for how that is handled, but PBS is much better than anything else I've seen.

 

We watch PBS and I'll get DVDs from the library. We do a lot of nature DVDs such as Knut.

 

V


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#16 of 16 Old 03-23-2011, 08:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DS2 watches a lot of that stuff, but right now, he's heavily into Sonic. I think he'll be watching them all over the coming weeks.


So, this morning, before I was out of bed, he was blowing through a vacuum tube (the one that you attach to reach farther places) to make an elephant type noise, and he had it in his mouth when he jumped off his sister's bunk bed. He's now sporting a Band-Aid across his upper lip, a sore/loose tooth and says he can't smile. He's not very happy right now. I think I need to sleep for a week to keep up with this kid.

 

He's definitely been an education in how different kids can be. DS1 watched way more tv than ds2 does (I wasn't interested in being tv-free back then, and my ex was the "tv on in the background all the time" type), but I've never had issues with him.

 

*yawn*
I want to go back to bed...


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