Alternatives to TV for bored, lonely SAHM?? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 38 Old 06-10-2009, 02:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am a bored, lonely SAHM. We are a one car family, and DH is also in school, so he's gone for fourteen hours some days. The only real opportunities I have to leave the house is on weekends, as the area we live in isn't condusive to much foot travel, and the walk to the closest bus is a hike! (I did it two days ago, while wearing DS, and I'm still very sore!!)

Anyway, to pass the time and to feel less lonely, I watch a LOT of TV. I hate it! I just can't figure out anything else to do where I can easily give DS attention, too. I use the internet to connect with people to, but I usually do that while DS is sleeping. It's just so easy to have a show on in the background while DS has tummy time, or while nursing.

Tonight, however, I noticed DS was watching the TV! I don't want him to watch much TV, but I'm not sure how to "wean" myself from it. Ideas?

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#2 of 38 Old 06-10-2009, 02:21 AM
 
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I went through a stage of Audio Books right when my daughter was born. Once I'd recovered from the c-section though, we did/do a lot of walking around. We go to the park, run errands, etc.

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#3 of 38 Old 06-10-2009, 02:47 AM
 
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Read books. I read all the time while nursing.
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#4 of 38 Old 06-10-2009, 02:59 AM
 
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Books, magazines, blogs, online newspapers. There are a lot of books you can read for free on Google books.

Get a new hobby: knitting, embroidery, drawing, baking, yoga, pilates, etc

Do you have a yard? I love working in the garden to fight boredom.

Talk on the phone. When I can't get ahold of a friend I'll call my mom, she's just as interested in talking about my kids as I am.


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#5 of 38 Old 06-10-2009, 03:07 AM
 
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I love to download podcasts onto my ipod and play them out loud while I nurse and play with dd.

Totally in love with my sweet dd (March/09)
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#6 of 38 Old 06-10-2009, 08:44 AM
 
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All great suggestions! You'll be amazed at how much more you'll enjoy time with your baby when the tv is off and no longer sucking away half your brain (speaking from experience...).

I say go on that hike to the bus stop again, it'll seem shorter every time you do it and it'll lead to fun adventures with your baby. Skip the mall though (fun once but then just as vacuous as tv!) and instead go to museums, people watch in a coffee shop, or just walk around town - I'm finding it lots of fun to be a tourist in my own city now that I am on mat leave and am starting to see things from a child's perspective.

Happy mumma to my boys Henny Tom (Nov 30, 2008), Arlo Odie (Oct 5, 2010), and baby SISTER! due mid-Dec 2014.
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#7 of 38 Old 06-10-2009, 09:05 AM
 
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I love crossword puzzles and sudoku. And I read books and magazines and online stuff.

It is not easy to be down to one car and a SAHM, and it must be particularly hard with those hours. Is the one-car thing permanent or temporary?
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#8 of 38 Old 06-10-2009, 11:11 AM
 
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I have a car, but with 2 toddlers (twins) potty training and a newborn, I rarely leave. I can really empathize with you on the loneliness and boredom. Maybe get some good music and play it during the day? Helps me to cheer up.

Jill - 2.5 year old b/g twins and our new son (May 2009)
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#9 of 38 Old 06-10-2009, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It is not easy to be down to one car and a SAHM, and it must be particularly hard with those hours. Is the one-car thing permanent or temporary?
We have a big tax refund coming, and planned on getting DH a scooter/motorcycle with it, or maybe even a really cheap car, but the state is delaying the refund, and we can't figure out why.

Really, I'd rather keep just one car, because it's so much less expensive, no extra insurance, no extra gas. I was hoping it would be easier to get to the bus, but after walking there Monday, I almost died! I'm going to do it again next week, though, to go to a LLL meeting.

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#10 of 38 Old 06-10-2009, 11:53 AM
 
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Can you drive your Dh a couple of times a week to give you the car while he's at work or school? Even if it's just a few hours while he's in a class that can give you and your little one a break out of the house.
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#11 of 38 Old 06-10-2009, 12:00 PM
 
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I like to listen to the radio - dance music to get my 2-yr-old moving, classical when we are mellow. NPR and talk radio are also alternatives.

Never doubt that a small group of committed, thoughtful people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead
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#12 of 38 Old 06-10-2009, 12:13 PM
 
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Getting an indoor pet (ex- house bunny or house cat), creating an indoor garden, joining an online club, taking an online class, visiting the library (if possible), or getting into crafts and becoming an etsy seller.

Enjoying the adventure of NFL with my partner-in-crime , DD 03.09 , , &
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#13 of 38 Old 06-10-2009, 12:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LDSmomma View Post
We have a big tax refund coming, and planned on getting DH a scooter/motorcycle with it, or maybe even a really cheap car, but the state is delaying the refund, and we can't figure out why.

Really, I'd rather keep just one car, because it's so much less expensive, no extra insurance, no extra gas. I was hoping it would be easier to get to the bus, but after walking there Monday, I almost died! I'm going to do it again next week, though, to go to a LLL meeting.
Oooo... Maybe you could get a SmartCar.

Can you maybe use a bicycle?

Enjoying the adventure of NFL with my partner-in-crime , DD 03.09 , , &
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#14 of 38 Old 06-10-2009, 12:39 PM
 
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Some ideas: Perhaps some online courses with a Community College, mom/baby yoga, baby massage, the local park or school ground, volunteering at a senior home/nature center/other, write in a journal, and local baby activities (our hospital has a new moms group once and week and our library has a babies story time once a week- both free and fun!)
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#15 of 38 Old 06-10-2009, 01:03 PM
 
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Start a blog and post some pics of your life, family, home, etc etc. It'll get you taking pics of all sorts of stuff and writing about the events of your life.

Also, I did "The Artist's Way" years ago and LOVED it. It's a process that helps unearth your hidden inner artist. It was definitely time consuming and I could do it to classical or jazz music in the background. If you did this, you get to expose your LO to some nice music and rhythms all the while writing and discovering stuff about yourself (the book prompts you to do all sorts of fun activities as well).
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#16 of 38 Old 06-10-2009, 01:21 PM
 
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Kudos to those of you who can read with your LO. My DD is sure that paper is for eating. Any paper in her world.

We are BIG book on tape/cd/mp3 listeners. Also, there are lots of good free music stations online. Any genra you could want. Kiddy CDs are so fun too. We love to sing and dance and act them out.

We also like to do the web cam with grandparents & auntie. It helps feel connected when they can see DD often.

I feel for the isolation. I have to get out of the house every other day. DD likes it too. I think she gets bored being home all the time.
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#17 of 38 Old 06-10-2009, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaniee View Post
Can you drive your Dh a couple of times a week to give you the car while he's at work or school? Even if it's just a few hours while he's in a class that can give you and your little one a break out of the house.
This is what my mom did with us.

However, I just wanted you to know that the TV is my background too and yes DD is mesmerized sometimes by the lights and colors. /shrug. Don't beat yourself up too much.
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#18 of 38 Old 06-10-2009, 01:27 PM
 
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Drive him to school once a week and find a play group or storey time near you. I find if I have one day out of the house a week only for fun, it does wonders for my attitude.

Turn the TV off cold turkey! Make yourself a list of things to do, some for fun...some not so fun (I have to clean the floors today, yuk). Walking also makes me feel better.
Hang in there!
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#19 of 38 Old 06-10-2009, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oooo... Maybe you could get a SmartCar.

Can you maybe use a bicycle?
I've heard bad things about the crash test ratings for passengers in the smart car.

For biking around here, I could use a bike with a trailer, but I couldn't take the trailer on the bus with me. That's a thought though.

I thought one should wait to use a trailer until LOs are over a year, though. I'm going to look into it. That's a great idea!

Wife to DH (10/2004) ~ Mama to DS (1/2009) ~ belly.gif (11/2011)
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#20 of 38 Old 06-10-2009, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A lot of these ideas would be great if DS was older. How can these be accomplished with a 5 mth old?

I tried to read a magazine while nursing him a little while ago, and he just kept turning & arching around to see what I was doing. I can barely cook a meal for myself without him needing attention. I tried to make a phone call with DS in the jumperoo, and after just a few minutes, he was fussy, so I sat him in my lap with a toy, but he just wanted more attention than I could give while I was on the phone. I think he may have been tired, because after several rough minutes of fussiness, he finally nursed to sleep.

Anyway, I just don't know how to do something else with him awake.

I am going to try playing the radio more, as background noise, that's a great idea.

Wife to DH (10/2004) ~ Mama to DS (1/2009) ~ belly.gif (11/2011)
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#21 of 38 Old 06-10-2009, 02:50 PM
 
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does your community have a car share? its a really great program where folks share vehicles~ sign up for times etc. and i think pay a low monthly fee to cover costs. when my ds was young (untill he was almst 3) we didnt have a car either. we biked everywhere. and took the bus. our stop was pretty far from the house as well so i either walked it, or rode my bike, pulling him in a trailer, then locked up the bike near the stop and busses around from there. when your child is older you can get one of those seats that goes on the bike, then it really gets easy. my other thought, can you get involved with other mama groups and have the moms give you rides to and from the gatherings? believe me, you arent the only bored, lonely sahm around. when i found 2 other mamas feeling the same way, we got together often. it was nice to have a grown up to sit around with while the kiddos played or whatever. i had a friend who picked us up almst every day and we had a picnic at the park. our kids were young and not really playing, but it was more for us. i want to suggest crafts, but that is not the kind of thing thats easy with a baby around. could you bake with him on your back in a sling? perhaps you could volonteer and again, explain that you need a ride~ most places will try to arrange it. hang in there mama, and try a bike!

joyful student mama to DS 2-05, open adoption birthmama to DD 5-07: and DS 6-98, crazy in love with DH, and loving our new baby boy! 7-09:!!
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#22 of 38 Old 06-10-2009, 03:27 PM
 
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Bring a light stroller and head for the bus. You can put him in the stroller sometimes, and wear him other times.
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#23 of 38 Old 06-10-2009, 05:45 PM
 
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DD is 10 weeks old, and I struggle with boredom, too. DD can't really entertain herself for more than a few minutes yet, so I have to be entertaining both of us at the same time.

Talking on the phone never really seems to work, but Skyping does. We like to Skype our far-away family members. DD actually smiles and coos at people on Skype. And if she gets fussy, I can play with her or nurse her with both hands while still getting some adult conversation. This really helps me not feel as lonely.

I just discovered that I can read magazines or books with pictures (interior design books, cookbooks) with DD. I read out loud, she looks at the pictures and tries to grab the pages. I like it because I can read things I'm interested in, instead of just baby books.

I put my itunes on shuffle and sing along to whatever's playing. DD loves it when I sing to her, and I get to sing songs I actually like instead of getting stuck in a baby song rut.

Our favorite thing to do is take walks. I put DD in a wrap and we just go. We live in a city, so our neighborhood is really interesting to walk around, and we can chat with people on the street or at the shops. Just seeing other people on the street helps me feel less lonely. We just visited my family in the suburbs, and even though you can't really walk *to* anything there, we just walked around the neighborhood looking at the houses and gardens. If she falls asleep, I put my ipod on and listen to music or podcasts, or call a friend on my cell phone.

Hugs, mama. It gets really lonely and mind numbingly boring sometimes.

Mama lady to my lady baby born 3/09 on the kitchen floor.  Looking forward to seeing which room's floor the next one will be born on in October.  love.gif
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#24 of 38 Old 06-10-2009, 08:52 PM
 
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Moving to the SAHM forum

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#25 of 38 Old 06-10-2009, 09:17 PM
 
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I know where you're coming from, mama! I live in town, but my ds was born in February and I couldn't have walked anywhere if I wanted to! I watched a lot of tv in the beginning, and not just tv, trashy tv. (Maury Povich anyone?) Not exactly the example I want to lead by! Once the weather got nicer I would wear ds to the grocery store, library, anywhere. I know your location makes this difficult, but the wearing/soreness will alleviate the more you do it.

And fwiw, now I can't get ds to sit for five minutes of Sesame Street. He'd rather read 10 books! :

Since '05 just me and B, but in 2/08 E made three!
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#26 of 38 Old 06-10-2009, 10:01 PM
 
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ugh, btdt! I live in the country and we only had one car until March. Now I go to bwing groups about once a week. but I still travel an hour or more to get anywhere. I can't read with DS because he's so grabby! So I did spend a lot of time infront of the tv at first. Actually, until about six weeks ago (DS is 7 mo) I watched a lot of TV. Now DS is better about entertaining himself for a little while. I set out blocks or other toys for him during a "happy time" in the morning and afternoon after his nap. he plays on the floor and I sew or cook. I keep a running stream of talk going, talking to him or myself, and sometimes the radio is on also. I take breaks and play with him, then let him play again. When he gets fussy around naptime I hold him while I eat my lunch and when I put him down that's when I get a lot done, like household chores or a big project. I still watch more tv than I ever have before, when he's having a bad day or while I'm putting him down for a nap. I DVR lots of shows on the cooking channel and watch quite a bit of history/discovery channels. i figure if i'm watching educational tv it's better than completely rotting my brain. and if i find that ds is watching the tv and not nursing, then i shut it off and we play.

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#27 of 38 Old 06-10-2009, 10:33 PM
 
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I am right there with you, though I do have access to a car, we end up staying home most days and I am determined not to let the tv rot my brain (or hers) too much. My DD is about the same age as yours, 6 months.

For nursing, I have a little station of stuff near the chair where I like to nurse. I have a book, magazine, notebook, pen, and my phone. I find that if I vary it up and don't do the same thing every time I nurse, then she's usually okay with it, meaning she doesn't get fussy or distracted by what I am doing. Sometimes though she just wants me to be totally quiet and still, and those times I just let my mind wander and try to get some thinking done

For the rest of the time, I try to keep myself very busy when she's napping - cleaning, cooking, etc., so that when she's awake I don't feel guilty just sitting down and relaxing with her on the floor. I set her up with her toys and I set myself up with some reading material or list-making stuff (to-do lists, shopping lists, etc.) and we both just hang out there until she gets bored/cranky. Then I just change it up, move to a different spot, put her on and walk around (either walk around the house or outside). That's basically how I spend my day.

I do agree with several pp about making phone calls. That definitely helps with the loneliness, and it's hit or miss with nursing. Sometimes I'm able to talk on the phone the whole time she's nursing, and sometimes she gets annoyed and I have to end the call.

I will also say that I view the tv as a tool that I rarely need to use but can be a lifesaver when I do need it. It totally mesmerizes her, which is why I hardly ever turn it on, but it's definitely nice to know it is there when I really NEED to do something, like put melting groceries away or keep an eye on something on the stove. So I do use it for those times, which are rare, so therefore I have no guilt about it when I do use it.
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#28 of 38 Old 06-11-2009, 12:34 AM
 
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This is EXACTLY me when I had my first...

We were living in a rural area in a crappy apartment. I was watchin a LOT of tv. I felt... alone. Lost? I don't know, but it was an escape. One winter day, I had the lights low, the snow was falling, the tv was on, it was late afternoon, getting dark. Very cozy. I was nursing, we were dozing... I woke up to find my infant son "watching" Dr. Phil. These people yelling and crying. I know he didn't really "understand", but I thought "Is THIS what I want my sons first ideas about the world to be? Yelling? Families falling apart?" Something was nagging at me- no. I needed to change the energy and the language that was coming to him, even if he didn't "understand" it all.

It began a lot of research, a lot of really looking for information on babies, toddlers and children and tv. We made the choice to become tv free. No lie- it was not easy to break the habit. But we really feel it was the most important and meaningful decision we made for our children and family. I highly reccomend researching this on your own. We so easily accept tv without question. And it needs A LOT of questioning.

Those first weeks, I took a lot of stroller walks (by cornfields!). I listened to NPR and other audio things (which eventually dwindled as well as I became more comfortable in silence). I did housework with ds in a meitai. I read. A lot. I made the big effort and 45 minute drive at least once a week to a library story time or LLL or something.

And... we moved .
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#29 of 38 Old 06-11-2009, 12:49 AM
 
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We don't have cable so I don't watch any tv anymore...but I used to. What I have found is that tv keeps you disengaged from your life....it sounds like you are ready to re-engage and that is an exciting prospect! There are so many things you can do to keep yourself productive. Pandora.com is a great online FREE radio station where you type in a favorite artist and it will create a radio station around that artist and artists similar to that one. This will help with the background noise. Order netflix movies to have that "zoning out" time a few times a week...we are allowed to zone out every once in a while. Get some magazines...they are fun to peruse. and I am sure you have plenty of housework to do while listening to some fun music. And just getting outside for some fresh air even if its just in your front yard for 15 mins. before you know it, a whole day has passed and you did a little bit of everything....thats when you pop in that netflix movie after the kiddo goes to bed....you EARNED it!
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#30 of 38 Old 06-11-2009, 04:20 PM
 
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Aaaand moving one last time! Welcome to the TV Free forum.
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