Can I do this? Convince me! UPDATED! - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-12-2008, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm trying to work up the courage to get rid of cable. (Ok, first cable, then the actual tv. I think. Maybe.) It's $76.00 a month, but the broadband is $5 cheaper since I've got the cable. I don't watch all that much, really, but my son does. I wasn't limiting him, but since he became Master of the Remote, I have begun to limit him just because he was watching so much. I've suddenly started feeling panicky that his brain is rotting from watching so much.

But when I think about cutting it off, I feel panicky as well. I'm having such a weird and unexpected emotional reaction to the idea of cutting it off. I want to cry when I think of it. I understand that the time I do spend watching tv is a colossal waste of time, but sometimes I feel like I need to just turn off my brain and veg out. I'm a single mom, I work full time, and I am utterly maxed out. So, while I don't generally have time to sit around watching tv, I want to know that I could if I wanted to.

Then there are the times when I've come down with the flu or something, and can lie down and rest while the boy watches tv. (When he was a toddler, it would have been impossible otherwise.)

So, anyway, I think those are components of my resistance to cutting it off, but I don't know if it's all of it. I hate the thing, I want it gone, but why am I so scared? How can this appliance have so much power over me?

Did anyone else go through withdrawal? Convince me that it's worth it.
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Old 05-12-2008, 05:09 PM
 
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We got cable when we moved here 12 years ago (w/o cable you can't get any stations really. OPB comes in sometimes but even when it comes in it is quite fuzzy). When we moved from an apartment into our house we realized we weren't going to have as much $ for extras so we cut out the cable. Allison had a really hard time for the first month or so. It was amazing to me how much she missed it. After the first month though it was almost like it had never been a part of our lives.
We have not had cable for 10 + years now and I'd NEVER go back, personally. Allison has moments of weakness but asks me to convince her before she ever calls to have it turned on again.
Do you have Netflix? If so maybe that could allow for your maxed out times.

It isn't necessarily an easy call to make but I think it is so worth it

Mommy to a wonderfully passionate little one
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Old 05-12-2008, 05:39 PM
 
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i struggle with the same thoughts.
on one hand i HATE that Addy watches so much tv. i hate that she watches ANY tv!
on the other hand, when i am nursing the baby down to sleep, who cant sleep without me holding her, its nice to know there is something there to occupy Addy so she isnt terrorizing the entire house.
i would LOVE to get rid of cable, and stick to some netflix movies, but i think it would be so hard on all of us, that it almost wouldnt be worth it.
i think you CAN do it. but its going to be really hard.
maybe just nix the cable, and stick to computer games, like starfall, etc, and some netflix movies for "momma needs a break" time.

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Old 05-12-2008, 05:43 PM
 
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We are canceling in June (contract oner then) and I am really looking forward to it. We are going to get netflix and there is always the library too. We originally were going to do it last June and it freaked me out too. When we realized we had another year on our contract I realized how much the tv has sucked me in. I start watching a show and I just HAVE to see them. Lost, ER, etc. We will still get some of our shows through netflix but I am really looking forward to all the other things we can do instead. Play games, clean out the garage, etc. If you are sick you can always pop in a video or something.

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Old 05-12-2008, 05:57 PM
 
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We haven't had cable for 2 years and it's awesome. Although, we do get one channel, CBS, but I guess that will change when it all goes digital??? Anyway, we get Netflix and can watch ABC and some NBC shows online. And Tania watches Disney online and Talula watches Nick Jr. online. So we're not missing out on a lot, but we have to really decide we want to watch a show. We won't just flip it on and veg out all day and night.
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Old 05-12-2008, 06:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the feedback. We do have netflix, and I was thinking of just watching movies on the computer. I know a lot of shows and movies online don't work on mac, because of DRM, but that doesn't worry me. I like the idea of only watching when you've planned to, rather than just turning it on. Sprogly's been wanting to turn on the tv the minute we get home, and that's part of my concern.

I know I can live without this, I'm just not sure why I'm so freaked out. I'm mean, seriously...I'm a reader, for cryin out loud.
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Old 05-12-2008, 06:46 PM
 
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We are certainly no where near TV free and DH is a TV/movie addict in my mind. However, the kids watch no TV when I am around and DH has agreed to severely limit it. This is easy because the TV is in the basement. DS does like to listen to books on CD and watch movies occassionally. DS is pretty ok without the TV. We get CDs of stories at the library occassionally, like Clifford. Now that the weather is nicer we go play outside in the evenings sometimes, which is much better than TV in the evenings. I find that DS often has more trouble sleeping if he watches TV in the evening. I keep hoping that I could turn off the cable and get rid of the TV but that is not very likely. DH really could get all of his movies and shows from Netflix.

YOU can DO It! You might even have more fun.
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Old 05-13-2008, 10:57 PM
 
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I'm seriously considering getting rid of our dish atleast for the summer. I try to take the kids outside as much as possible. I'm also sick of the cartoons on Nick and Disney channel. They are driving me crazy!:

Kathleen SAHM to Jade 10/14/03, Aiden 2/2/06, and Hunter 5/14/09 Wife to Rob 3/28/03
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Old 05-14-2008, 11:05 AM
 
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We used to be that way too, the TV was always on and I couldn't imagine living without one! But even my husband (who was very reluctant at first) says that it was the best move we've made. We feel like we have so much more time together, rather than feeling like the weekdays just rush by. We never realized how much time we really spent watching it... but even 10 minutes here & there adds up so fast.

And wow! $76 a month! Think of all the things you could do with that money If it were me, I'd ditch the cable altogether (keep the TV for movies if you absolutely must have something!) and stick that money in a jar for fun things, or save for a family vacation... or something else fun!

What really finally convinced me was when I started thinking about it this way:
I tried to think about all of the things I want to remember, the really special days or moments with my son, the things that I would look back on the next day (or week, or month...) and smile about. Absolutely none of these involved TV. Occasionally I would see something on TV that would start good discussion with my husband, or otherwise be memorable - but it was rare. It was usually something that interested me at the moment, but once the show was over it was done and forgotten about - wasted time. Then I began thinking about how fast the last year went by, and it was like a light bulb went on. I had this sense of urgency to waste as little time as possible, and that meant the TV was gone!

You can always give it a shot and see how it goes. The cable can always be turned back on Who knows... you may look back in a month and say "Why didn't we do this sooner?!" like we did.

Amanda , mama to my two boys: N (10/06) and : A (7/09)
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Old 05-14-2008, 03:05 PM
 
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It's a big adjustment.... BIG. The tv used to be on all.day.long at my house.

Just like the OP I started to get concerned about what it was doing to my kid. I noticed he didn't really want to do anything BUT watch tv. So I weaned him off it. (He was younger though) and took him down to an hour a day, then a half an hour, then it was just off while he was awake.

DH and I just finally put the tv away in the closet and cancelled the cable (DS has been tv-free for almost 3yrs we just caught up). Me and DH watch stuff on the pc (netflix has 'watch instantly' and we've been watching tv shows there- the difference it costs only 10 buckls a month- a lot less than cable, we only watch exactly what we want - instead of wasting hours channel surfing).

Me and DH both work (FT) and we both are full time students so I totally get the 'turning your brain off thing'. That's what netflix and fiction is for.

As for sick days, my DS will watch videos we deem appropriate in case of extreme emergency.

Breeder Mama: = wife to an amazing man + mama to J-Bear (07/02) and E-Train (06/08), nanny to Little Bird (07/10).

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Old 05-14-2008, 03:51 PM
 
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It's a big adjustment.... BIG. The tv used to be on all.day.long at my house.

Just like the OP I started to get concerned about what it was doing to my kid. I noticed he didn't really want to do anything BUT watch tv. So I weaned him off it. (He was younger though) and took him down to an hour a day, then a half an hour, then it was just off while he was awake.

DH and I just finally put the tv away in the closet and cancelled the cable (DS has been tv-free for almost 3yrs we just caught up). Me and DH watch stuff on the pc (netflix has 'watch instantly' and we've been watching tv shows there- the difference it costs only 10 buckls a month- a lot less than cable, we only watch exactly what we want - instead of wasting hours channel surfing).
This used to be our house until just recently. Our satellite receiver got hit by lighting and quit working. Right now I'm waiting for them to send me a new one. I'm thinking about cancelling it instead. DC do just fine with movies and just playing together. Like I said in pp, I'm so sick of all the junky cartoons on Nick and Disney. They drive me insanse!: I feel so bad that DD spent so much time watching that crap. I'm also sick of all the junky toys that go with these cartoons. If I buy any of them DC only play with them for a short time. Then we are stuck with a toy they don't like.
I really like the Netflix idea. We also spent $76 a month on satellite. The stupid part is we only watch maybe 10 of the hundred or so channels we get. DH told me he'd be okay with getting rid of the satellite because he doesn't watch that much anyway.

Kathleen SAHM to Jade 10/14/03, Aiden 2/2/06, and Hunter 5/14/09 Wife to Rob 3/28/03
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Old 05-14-2008, 04:13 PM
 
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Of course you can!

I love the suggestion to use the money as "fun money" - maybe get some fun things to do instead that will relax you instead. Beading, books, etc...

Christian wife, busy happy mama to 4yo DS, 3yo DD, 15mo DS, and #4, expected next spring!

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Old 05-14-2008, 05:07 PM
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Of course you can! I just found this thread, but I haven't really had tv for about 10 years.

I grew up watching a ton of it and when I left home at 18 I realized soon after how big of a time waster and obsessive it is. I watch a movie once or twice a night w/dh after ds has gone to bed, but that's about it.

I can see how it could be helpful to keep a toddler busy, but still, we won't be having tv reception here.

As for veggin out after work, how about loading episodes of tv shows onto your computer and watch them after lo is in bed? I have been doing this on rare occasions, the Tudors, South Park and Sienfeld are good veg out shows for me.
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Old 05-15-2008, 11:08 PM
 
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You can you can!

Tips: There will be a transition period. It will be hard. It usually only lasts a couple weeks, but some folks () take a while longer to detox.

Do you have DVDs? I have a small but rounded DVD collection that helped me in the beginning when I just wanted to zone out. I had comedies and horrors and dumb fun flicks and great films, to match whatever mood.

We watched a lot of Netflix in the beginning.

Cover the TV, or better yet, move it to an out-of-the-way room, and rearrange the room it's normally in to promote conversation (or play, or craft, or whatever), and you aren't tempted to sit down and stare at its giant tempting face.

Remind yourself WHY you're getting rid of cable TV. Remind yourself that you hate it. Remind yourself of how much of a time suck it is. Make a list of the things that you would rather do than watch TV, and when you get tempted to watch, look at the list and go do one of those. ("Sit and watch the kid/birds/neighbours" is a perfectly valid entry. As is "read brainless fun book." )
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Old 05-16-2008, 02:03 AM
 
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You can you can!

Tips: There will be a transition period. It will be hard. It usually only lasts a couple weeks, but some folks () take a while longer to detox.

Do you have DVDs? I have a small but rounded DVD collection that helped me in the beginning when I just wanted to zone out. I had comedies and horrors and dumb fun flicks and great films, to match whatever mood.

We watched a lot of Netflix in the beginning.

Cover the TV, or better yet, move it to an out-of-the-way room, and rearrange the room it's normally in to promote conversation (or play, or craft, or whatever), and you aren't tempted to sit down and stare at its giant tempting face.

Remind yourself WHY you're getting rid of cable TV. Remind yourself that you hate it. Remind yourself of how much of a time suck it is. Make a list of the things that you would rather do than watch TV, and when you get tempted to watch, look at the list and go do one of those. ("Sit and watch the kid/birds/neighbours" is a perfectly valid entry. As is "read brainless fun book." )
These are some great ideas!

Kathleen SAHM to Jade 10/14/03, Aiden 2/2/06, and Hunter 5/14/09 Wife to Rob 3/28/03
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Old 05-16-2008, 02:05 AM
 
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These are some great ideas!
Thanks! A lot of them I got from reading the old TV Free tribe thread, and Living Outside the Box. Although I did all of them except make the list.




zeldabee -- another tip for you: instead of watching TV, come teach me to make pizza!
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Old 05-16-2008, 02:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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zeldabee -- another tip for you: instead of watching TV, come teach me to make pizza!
Let's do it!

Thanks for all the ideas, it's helpful. I still haven't canceled it, but I'm working up to it.
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Old 05-16-2008, 02:17 AM
 
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I cancelled mine today. It felt so good.

Kathleen SAHM to Jade 10/14/03, Aiden 2/2/06, and Hunter 5/14/09 Wife to Rob 3/28/03
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Old 05-16-2008, 08:33 PM
 
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I think Netflix is a very good transitional thing. We watch a few TV series (Gilmore Girls, Six Feet Under) on Netflix and it pretty much satisfies the "veg" need while being shows we actually enjoy. I like to get TV series sometimes because they don't have the time commitment of a movie and one disk lasts a long time.

We do still have cable, largely for local news and weather, but it's $12/month basic cable with about 15 channels. That's another option, because honestly without gadzillion channels there is less temptation for you and kids (for instance, no 24-hour children's programming).

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

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Old 05-17-2008, 01:37 AM
 
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I think Netflix is a very good transitional thing. We watch a few TV series (Gilmore Girls, Six Feet Under) on Netflix and it pretty much satisfies the "veg" need while being shows we actually enjoy. I like to get TV series sometimes because they don't have the time commitment of a movie and one disk lasts a long time.

We do still have cable, largely for local news and weather, but it's $12/month basic cable with about 15 channels. That's another option, because honestly without gadzillion channels there is less temptation for you and kids (for instance, no 24-hour children's programming).
I'm gonna sign us up for Netflix pretty soon. I can see why you wouldn't want to get rid of your cable. It sounds like a good deal.

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Old 05-18-2008, 11:15 PM
 
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Hey zeldabee! I live in Beaverton, OR too. If you cancel that will make two of us in the city without TV. We can feel good about all the energy we're saving together. Good luck!!!
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Old 05-18-2008, 11:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey zeldabee! I live in Beaverton, OR too. If you cancel that will make two of us in the city without TV. We can feel good about all the energy we're saving together. Good luck!!!
Surely not the only two!

Have you checked out the local threads? There's a whole mess of MDC folk in the area, I'd be surprised if some of them weren't tv free or near to it.
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Old 05-18-2008, 11:25 PM
 
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Surely not the only two!

Have you checked out the local threads? There's a whole mess of MDC folk in the area, I'd be surprised if some of them weren't tv free or near to it.



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Old 05-18-2008, 11:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You're not in the 'tron anymore, though, right? (I won't be, myself, in a few months...)

Back on topic, I still haven't mustered the courage to shut the cable down...but I'm working toward it.
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Old 05-26-2008, 10:54 PM
 
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We haven't had cable for 2 years and it's awesome. Although, we do get one channel, CBS, but I guess that will change when it all goes digital??? Anyway, we get Netflix and can watch ABC and some NBC shows online. And Tania watches Disney online and Talula watches Nick Jr. online. So we're not missing out on a lot, but we have to really decide we want to watch a show. We won't just flip it on and veg out all day and night.
can you PM me a link to watch Nick Jr online please? i've thought about going without the tv but we're kind of hooked on Noggin!
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Old 06-26-2008, 05:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I did it. Finally. I just have to take back the cable box. (Oh, and hope that they don't also turn off the internets by mistake.)

Hold me.
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Old 06-26-2008, 06:02 PM
 
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You'll be fine. Unless they cancel teh intarnetz too.
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Old 06-26-2008, 08:35 PM
 
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Well, I did it. Finally. I just have to take back the cable box. (Oh, and hope that they don't also turn off the internets by mistake.)

Hold me.
Is it eerie quiet yet? :nana: Sorry. I remember thinking that.... It will pass . We're here to support you through the withdrawl!
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Old 06-26-2008, 11:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is it eerie quiet yet? :nana: Sorry. I remember thinking that.... It will pass . We're here to support you through the withdrawl!
Well, actually, Astro Boy is on right now. Gotta love Netflix. I told Sprogly on the way home, and he took it pretty well. When we got home I disconnected the box to get it ready to take back, and haven't heard a peep about it. I'm glad we've talked about it so much, so I wasn't just springing it on him.

Next I start thinking about getting rid of the big monster completely.
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Old 07-07-2008, 08:37 PM
 
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It's worth it!! I got rid of cable when DS was 3 months old. it's like giving up anything you are used to and like, there is withdrawl pain. But it is short lived. I think it's best to go cold turkey (get rid of the cable) as opposed to just trying to resist turning it on - that's harder because you know it's only a click away, lol! I remember the first few weeks feeling strange in the evening, wanting to click the tv on and remembering, "oh, I can't!". I was bummed that I was missing out on LOST and had to get the skinny on what was happening on Project Runway from my coworker! But eventually, I just stopped caring so much what was happening on Lost or Project Runway. I didn't miss all Food Network and HGTV shows. I realized that any really great shows, I could always rent on DVD (I rented Curb Your Enthusiasm and Weeds), although I actually rarely find time for that anymore. I can honestly say that giving up television was one of THE BEST decisions I've ever made in my life. I feel liberated. I've been TV-free for over 2 years and I have more time for my son, more time for other things - like writing letters, spending time outdoors, reading, getting more sleep, etc! And when i do pass a television at the gym or a friends' house it now seems so vulgar and intrusive. I just can't imagine ever going back to it!
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