"But you're going to be a SAHM..." and other comments - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 34 Old 06-07-2009, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When I tell people that DH and I are NOT getting cable or paying for a converter box I've had a lot of the "usual" comments. (Basically the "but the TV is a great babysitter" mentality) This one, however, was new to me... and aunt came over to see the new baby and when I mentioned our no TV plans she said, "But what will you do all day? You're going to stay home aren't you? You'll want it for you." I was at a loss for what to say. Has anyone else run across this?

What is the weirdest response you've heard when you've mentioned your TV Free lifestyle

Kas (24), Helpmeet to Stefan (25), Mom to Franklin Gaudelio 4/15/09, Jonathan Boswell 1/2/11
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#2 of 34 Old 06-07-2009, 08:24 PM
 
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Weird. I'm a SAHM and I can't stand watching TV. It seems like maybe she's forgotten about books, and movies, and parks, and playdates with other new mamas, and Mommy & Me fitness classes, and the library, and...

The weirdest comment I got was, "Well, aren't you just better than everyone."

This was at a dinner party, after someone politely asked me what my favorite show was and I said I didn't have a favorite show but DH and I sometimes watch episodes of "The Office" when we remember, and then that person asked what, you don't watch TV? I said, no, not really (not even mentioning that we don't even own a TV) and this third person who'd been listening growled the question in this super angry tone. It was so strange...like our not watching television was somehow all about her? I don't know. Talk about a chip on the shoulder. I just smiled and said, "No, not at all, but it's kind of you to say so!" She was not amused.

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When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty. --George Bernard Shaw

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#3 of 34 Old 06-07-2009, 11:35 PM
 
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I've gotten some odd comments too. The one that sticks in my mind the most is "wow, you must know your husband really well." That always cracks me up.

Some people truly watch so much TV that they just can't fathom life without it. Just like I can't fathom life with it

Really, there is no answer to these types of comments.
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#4 of 34 Old 06-08-2009, 11:59 AM
 
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Even if I did have a tv and my kids watched the usual Sesame Street fare, I can't imagine ever having the tv on during the day for me--a daily diet of the View and Oprah would send me into a tailspin of depression and despair. Maybe tv is why some SAHMs aren't happy.....

Happy mom to DS2000, DS2002, DD2004, DS2006 and DS 10/2009:
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#5 of 34 Old 06-09-2009, 10:17 PM
 
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I'm a SAHM, too, and I can't stand having a TV around. I actually can't imagine having a TV on "for me" - what, so I can ignore my kids for a talk show? What does that even mean?

We do all kinds of fun stuff all day, and my kids don't feel deprived at all.

However, my mother in law feels differently - whenever we visit them, they let my 3 yr old watch an hour or two of tv while my husband and I are away from the house. She has once got us a tv at a garage sale, saying we'd like to have it. We put it on a shelf in the basement and finally freecycled it (after wiping off the inch of accumulated dust) during a decluttering frenzy. They (my in laws) are definitely tv-addicts, and are convinced our children are going to grow up deprived.
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#6 of 34 Old 06-10-2009, 07:50 AM
 
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The weirdest comments are always along the line of "but what do you do?".
And "the kids don't feel outside for not being able to watch tv?".
Yeah well, ignorance is bliss.

I just discovered this forum and I'm so glad to see we're not the only ones who don't have a TV.

-pixie, my dear, and (A-88), N-98, Littlest-06/00-08/00, J-03 & Little Miss Cotton Ball Button-03 (SN), S-05, Hope-loss 09/09, Bean-loss 04/10, and littlePopcorn due feb. 8th -11.
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#7 of 34 Old 06-10-2009, 08:07 AM
 
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I don't talk about it a lot. People do get strange about it.
My mother is still disturbed by no TV reception. She "wouldn't be able to stand it"- like we are cut off from civilization and just staring at the wall.
The fact that we get 5 dvd's at a time from Netflix for our family doesn't count or if we watch something online it doesn't count.

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#8 of 34 Old 06-10-2009, 11:13 AM
 
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Alot of people (especially the teenagers my dh teaches) say,"But what doyour kids do?" Uh...PLAY!!!
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#9 of 34 Old 06-10-2009, 11:39 AM
 
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We have a television for videos in the kids room, but it is not hooked up to receive any channels. About half the time though, they just use the dvd player and speakers to listen to audio books. Dh & I will watch movies on the computer or sometimes some episodes of shows we like online.

I don't guess I've gotten any weird comments, but my husband has had disagreements with a family member over what our kids are watching over there and I really don't get it. WHY??? do kids need to indiscriminately watch TV?
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#10 of 34 Old 06-10-2009, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyzombiecat View Post
I don't talk about it a lot. People do get strange about it.
I've found that people get more weird about not having TV than other "crunchy" parenting choices (CDs, BFing, etc...)

Kas (24), Helpmeet to Stefan (25), Mom to Franklin Gaudelio 4/15/09, Jonathan Boswell 1/2/11
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#11 of 34 Old 06-10-2009, 06:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AFWife View Post
I've found that people get more weird about not having TV than other "crunchy" parenting choices (CDs, BFing, etc...)
I think that says a lot about their priorities, really. I used to watch a lot of tv, and I never thought tv-free was weird. DH was a bachelor when I first met him, and he had his tv in a closet, in case he wanted to pull it out to watch a movie...

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
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#12 of 34 Old 06-16-2009, 10:16 AM
 
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Alot of people (especially the teenagers my dh teaches) say,"But what doyour kids do?" Uh...PLAY!!!
I had a really nice "feel good" moment yesterday with my DS (2yo). I'm 38 weeks preg. so I do a lot of sitting on the couch lately And I'll admit sometimes I've thought about how tempting it would be to just turn a TV on for him (if we had one)... but yesterday I told him I just wanted to lay on the couch and rest for a little while. So he played next to me, with a truck and used food from his kitchen and blocks and playsilks and dreamed up this whole little adventure for his truck. He would use it to haul me things to eat and he played happily for quite some time... I kind of had a light bulb moment that it was really wonderful that he is learning how to just "play", and this is totally normal for him, as opposed to sitting in front of a screen. Watching him, I was just in awe of how his imagination is growing and how he found it so easy to pretend a wooden carrot was a mud puddle and a block was a truck driver... It was just great

Amanda , mama to my two boys: N (10/06) and : A (7/09)
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#13 of 34 Old 06-16-2009, 05:54 PM
 
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amandaleigh37:

Happy mom to DS2000, DS2002, DD2004, DS2006 and DS 10/2009:
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#14 of 34 Old 06-23-2009, 02:54 PM
 
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I really love TV- and that's one reason why I don't have one. lol. Seriously, I once stayed at work until well past midnight watching a Law and Order marathon. Dh was very worried!

It's a choice I've made and I am happy with. I have gotten similar snotty snide little comments once from someone who asked what I watched on Thursday nights. I told her (politely) that I don't have a TV and she said, "Well, I have to have one I have a child." If she wouldn't have said it in a really rude manner I probably wouldn't have taken so much pleasure in saying, "Actually I have two children."

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#15 of 34 Old 06-23-2009, 03:13 PM
 
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#16 of 34 Old 06-23-2009, 03:25 PM
 
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Hahah! We have an old free TV we use with a converter box. Before that TV, we had none and we wondered how we got anything done with it.
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#17 of 34 Old 06-24-2009, 09:36 PM
 
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Love that essay zine-mama. So true.

I wish I could find a you tube clip I saw 100 years ago that had me cracking up. It was a spoof on a guy who didn't have a tv, and it was all he could talk about. He'd meet people and say, "Hi, blah, blah, blah" then steer the conversation in such a way that he'd have a miniscule window into which he could inject into the conversation, "I don't have a tv." IT as set to music and was so silly and funny.

Much better to keep that info to yourself. It makes people feel indicted otherwise.

Happy mom to DS2000, DS2002, DD2004, DS2006 and DS 10/2009:
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#18 of 34 Old 06-24-2009, 09:40 PM
 
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I haven't had regular tv for more than 2 years now. We do have a tv and an xbox, but we only use it for gaming/movies on our date nights.

I don't understand why I would need to watch tv during the day??? And what would I watch? And who would watch my kid?!

Mama to expecting Babe 2
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#19 of 34 Old 06-24-2009, 10:00 PM
 
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My SIL always cracks me up. She and her family are TV junkies. She knows that we don't watch (have a TV with a converter box in our guest room - when there is a weather emergency or special event (the inauguration) we turn it on. But she knows that we don't watch on a regular basis. Almost every time we see her she eventually finds a way to steer the conversation around to this commercial or that commercial. She wants to talk about how funny they are, but she always starts off by saying, "you know that commercial where..." I ALWAYS reply, "No, we don't watch TV." Then she invariably goes on to describe the entire thing in detail, as if trying to remind me. After receiving blank looks for the duration of her explanation, she frequently switches to a different commercial and starts the process over. She's sure I'm going to "remember" eventually!

We initially chose not to have TV in our lives because of the research regarding brain development in children. And I can definitely see a difference between DS's play skills and imagination when we are with other children. However, I am also 100% convinced that I am a better parent by virtue of not having that distraction. It would just be too easy to ignore my DS or tune out his needs, and for what?? I never want to send the message that something that trivial is more important to me than him. And I agree with the PP - a day full of daytime talk shows and soap operas would have me jumping off a cliff!
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#20 of 34 Old 06-24-2009, 11:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by suziek View Post
Love that essay zine-mama. So true.
Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it (and didn't mind the little snark on Mothering...)
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#21 of 34 Old 07-01-2009, 09:05 AM
 
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I think it's hilarious when some people first walk into our house and one of the first questions is "Where is your tv?"
The conversation is a little strained at times when we inform them we don't watch tv. People do get really defensive and put off.
I'm glad I remembered this forum because I've been having some trouble with this lately...... I'll be reading eagerly!
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#22 of 34 Old 07-01-2009, 09:17 AM
 
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Zinemama, that essay is HILARIOUS! I love the Mothering jabs, too!! Yet another reason I'm unpopular! My kid DOES play with acorns!!
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#23 of 34 Old 08-03-2009, 05:19 AM
 
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zinemama, I really liked that article. I haven't got there yet in my parenting, as DS is only 18 months. So far it has just been with family (IL's) who think I am depriving my son and live in a fantasy world where the reality is TV, and it is un-natural to not have TV for babies.

This triggered a very interesting discussion, as to why they think it is 'natural' to have TV available for babies and toddlers.

Since we got rid of the TV, our house is much more peaceful and we are listening to music we haven't listened to in ages. And the house is more organised and we actually get dinner on the table. DH and I do watch movies on the computer when we have the time. It is working really well for us. I just need to get my computer time under control.... but for now that is my main source of support

Megan, mama to her little boy (Feb2008) and introducing our little girl (Dec 2010)
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#24 of 34 Old 08-16-2009, 06:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'll admit that after being a SAHM for 2.5 months now with an infant I watch a lot of stuff on the computer...but I also spend a lot of time "tied" to a chair nursing or cuddling a fussy baby. (He's a bit high needs and high energy) DH and I do make a point to eat together at the table at night. Actually, one of the first nights we had dinner at our new place I said, "Lets eat at the table like a normal family." He replied, "If we were a normal family we'd eat around the TV."

I do get a lot more done without a real TV though. Watching things on the computer means I can pause it and actually do housework or prepare dinner...I'm not racing commercials.

Kas (24), Helpmeet to Stefan (25), Mom to Franklin Gaudelio 4/15/09, Jonathan Boswell 1/2/11
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#25 of 34 Old 09-05-2009, 11:30 PM
 
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I have one friend who thinks we are absolutely crazy to live without TV. After many conversations and questions about what it is like for our kids to be growing up without tv, one day she said, "But how do you learn the news?" She apparently imagines us as being extremely disconnected.

My husband likes to say that TV is passe these days anyway. ;-)
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#26 of 34 Old 09-08-2009, 10:12 AM
 
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Funny thing happened last night. A friend had ref me to watch a little boy. So we met with the parents. The little boy is very cute and was playing with my son. BUT WAIT!!! The mom just noticed that the TV was not ON??? OH NO WHERE IS THE TV??? LOL

OK not to sure that I'm going to get that job!?
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#27 of 34 Old 09-08-2009, 10:50 AM
 
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We have a t.v.(old/hand-me-down) unplugged, for the odd movie..when we decide to dust it: We do have a computer and ds watches movies/t.v shows on it(a short movie in the am while I get me and dd ready for the day) and DH and I LOVE to watch Lost! We tell people this and they still wonder wth we do? It doesn't help that if we go to peoples houses that have t.v. DS stares glued at it people think he's missing out on something....

The main reasons we don't have cable is like a previous poster said...We'd watch it ALL THE TIME! It's addicting! and not to mention the cost! Oh my goodness! People act like the AT LEAST 50 bucks a month is a NEEDED cost! Like food and heat! I just don't understand it

mommy daddy son daughter = our family
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#28 of 34 Old 09-22-2009, 02:43 AM
 
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we have a TV and DVD/VCR machine that was a gift from another soldier that came to our house when we first moved to Korea, and we watched a movie on the comp, the next time he came over, he came w/ those two things. I was very thankful, and still am but use it alot less. we were addicted to TV then, and looking back i can't imagine why, we had korean cable which meant most channels were korean shows spoken in korean. all though there were 10 channels that had english on at least some times, you could find law&order SVU (the best L&O IMO) and CSI. some times you can find house, desp housewives and really BAD VH1 reality tv shows. and one lindsy lohan or hillary duff movies played over and over for a whole moth b4 playing another. HOw did I watch that all day w/ a baby? ahhhhh
but then we moved back to the US where we would have to pay for cable, and chose not to, not bc we can't afford it but bc there is really nothing good to watch anymore. we get 2 netflix, and DH listens to nascar on AM radio, and i like to listen to dr.laura (sp?) in the eve if all goes well.
all though my 2 1/2 yr son watches one dvd a day, i wish the things we had him watch were a little more useful. he usually watches cars, shrek, thomas, or jungle book im looking for veggie tales for cheap somewhere, and thinking about getting sesame street on dvd; the few episodes he's seen he has absorbed alot. we haven't gotten any really bad comments, but it's funny to see ppl's faces when we tell them we listen to AM radio, it's like they are saying...."that still exists?" and so far our netflix has been 90% documentary. and even though i only have a 2 1/2 yr old and a 2mo old, the only time i sit down is when im breastfeeding and when we go out side to play w/ neighbor 2-3 hours a day.
I use ds tv time to get as much housework done that I'd rather him not "help" me with....lol
but it's weird he asks to watch tv ALL the time, he knows he gets one and that's it unless mom and dad want to watch a movie. dose any one else have a LO w/ limited screen time but asks all day long to watch something?
sometimes ppl say "how do you know if somethings happening" you know like weather or disaster....we do have internet, and radio but the thing that i find really sad is that a few times that lights have gone out due to tornadoes (we live in GA) we are the ones w/ the battery powered radio, no one else knows what to do. (i know that's a MUST HAVE in upstate NY, along w/ candles batteries and a generator when powers is gone for a week or more...lol)
oh yeah, the other day at church, the pastor made a comment about a new show and we both looked at each other and asked "what's that?" neither of us has even heard of if it. and then tonight we were trying to put more movies on our netflix list and are running out of documentaries, and couldn't come up w/ much to put on the list b/c we don't know what movies are out there and haven't taken the time to look....it's refreshing to be a dork sometimes.

sorry so long i don't have too many friends so i tend to type everything when im on here...lol

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#29 of 34 Old 09-22-2009, 07:14 AM
 
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We have a tv with basic cable and everything, but it mostly only gets used during football season. When we set up our house, we deliberately put the living room with tv in the finished basement, so it wasn't on the main living level. That was really helpful.

I watch some shows here or there while DS is napping, but DS doesn't watch tv. Sometimes DH will take him down there during a football game if I'm busy, but DS doesn't really seem to notice the tv (until people clap - then he stops what he's doing to clap along). He's just happy to play with his toys. I think he thinks tv is just not interesting.

Mama to DS1 (2/08) and DS2 (9/10).
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#30 of 34 Old 09-22-2009, 09:34 AM
 
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My partner's granny said to us; "You'll have to get a tv, babies love tvs!" That's the last thing we want to do; our daughter won't be watching tv until she is at least 3. Even then it's unlikely since we don't watch it in the first place. They seem to think she's missing out because we don't watch tv.
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