Day 20 – Weekday evenings

21 Jan

Before we had Bandar, the husband and I watched a fair amount of TV, both together and alone in the evenings after work. We switched on the TV as we prepped and ate dinner and watched a few shows each day. I ,then went to the bedroom and proceeded to watch more  TV ( reality shows  when I am alone always!) while I drifted off to sleep. And the husband worked late into the night, sometimes with a show playing on the side. 

When we had Bandar, we simply stopped having time for that much weekday evening TV as before . The first year is definitely a blur but we had some family help and still found it hard to give up on all our pre-baby TV viewing. So we did watch a few of our favorite DVR’d shows that year. But then family left, we became just a family of three for the first time and we buckled up and got responsible. Our evenings were filled with getting Bandar fed, ourselves fed, Bandar bathed and finally put to bed. Exhausted ourselves we then sat down to work most nights and only occasionally the TV went on. We both managed to keep up with our favorite shows on our own time, mostly on tablets and laptops , but not really sitting together to watch as many shows as before .

With Bandar now four years old and quite independent and also the fact that we no longer cook everyday, we recently found ourselves reaching out for the remote on some weekdays around 7 pm. Bandar is usually fed by then and playing around before bed. We usually went to our favorite cooking competitions and started watching , with Bandar showing some interest too. While this was a fun activity to do as a family, I have over the last week put an end to it due to a few reasons.

 Firstly, even a one hour show results in a much later bed time for bandar . She is not as fresh as a daisy in the mornings after watching TV till around 8 pm. There is a stark difference in her morning behavior when she is well rested. 

Then on top of this, we are not  huge fans of screen time for children to begin with ( maybe with conditioning through my childhood and the husband’s ) Bandar watches 20 minutes of TV on Friday, Saturday and Sunday  which add up to one hour a week. This is a specific show that she likes.Sometimes we will let her watch the only Disney movie she cares about – Frozen in a weekend in exchange for two of these days. And with her watching MasterChef with us on weekdays, even just partially watching , it all added up to way more TV than I was comfortable with in a week for a four year old.

 Then finally this evening TV watching put a lot of stress in getting the remaining bed time activities done faster . This made me miss the quality time I actually enjoyed with Bandar in the evenings prior to restarting this habit. It usually takes us 45 minutes from the point we go up the stairs to actually switching off the light. So taking Bandar upto bed at 8:15 pm instead of 7:30 pm definitely added stress to the routine .It meant I couldn’t find time to be silly with her as we brushed our teeth and often wanted to cut the conversation short in bed to have lights out by atleast 9 pm. With no TV in the picture, lights out usually happened by 8 or 8:15 and Bandar and I were both more relaxed as we cuddled in bed.Goijg to bed later also obviously meant she slept later and just even took longer to actually fall asleep, maybe the extra stimulation TV viewing before bed provides. This also stressed me out as I had a dirty kitchen below to clean and office work to get to and I couldn’t get to any of these till she actually fell asleep . I ended up falling asleep before her and woke up to piles of work and a dirty kitchen at 5 am.
So with all the above reasoning , I cut out our evening TV viewing this week. Bandar asked me after her dinner if we were going to watch big people cooking and my “No, not today”  answer didn’t upset her. She proceeded to play an imaginary game with her dolls and I joined in with a side role. ( Always the assistant teacher, never the main one )

So this week she has been sleeping earlier and better. I can truly say I feel a sense of peace cuddling her in bed . Our mornings are rushed anyway and I always want to feel the three hours we spend each evening together are relaxed. We might still watch a cooking competition together occasionally, but it won’t be on weekday evenings.

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6 Responses to “Day 20 – Weekday evenings”

  1. anisnest January 21, 2017 at 2:22 am #

    This is exactly what is going on at my household currently with LHB. I had this no TV on weekday evening rule last year and it vanished in thin year during holiday season. Since then LHB started demanding for TV every evening and we were budging to it for some reason or the other. I had put an end to it this week. I brought back the rule of no TV on weekdays and I must admit yday evening was bliss. We played legos, formed team, played silly and went to bed at 830. This gave us good time to read books. Adi also joined us with her book. The little guy was in splits all evening and never demanded for TV. One thing I realize is we have to give our 100% undivided attention to them when we say no TV. Thankfully I was able to do it yday but it is going to be a struggle to do that every evening given the other evening chores waiting for us!!!

    • popgoesthebiscuit January 21, 2017 at 2:35 am #

      Yes, absolutely agree. They need our attention with no TV. Hence I outsource cooking. Also my mom likes to remind me this is only till our children are maybe teenagers. They will not need you to play with them then or be silly.

      • anisnest January 21, 2017 at 2:43 am #

        Exactly.. realising this I make a conscious attempt to spend time with kids while at home. This is the same reason I outsourced cooking too. Now my evening is light and I can spend more time with kids..

  2. princessbutter January 21, 2017 at 4:36 am #

    Lol at the asst teacher part. I was the same. But I also hit my parents’ palms with scale. 🙈
    I think it’s a great idea to limit screen time with kids. Every other kid I see is stuck with iPads and phones. The other day we were at Buffalo Wild Wings and there was a family of four. It was sad to see mum n dad eating and the kids(under 10 easily) on their individual phones with headphones on! I was telling mom about you-Bandar, R’s mom and Sayesha from Singapore who are actually doing the right thing and she agreed. Our topic started because of niece who is 7 and plays ALL Facebook games on her mom’s phone and is always with a tablet. Cousin got her a kindle so that she may start reading on that tablet atleast. 😦

    • princessbutter January 21, 2017 at 4:37 am #

      I was gonna give her my old Harry Potter since I am ordering new ones but I am re-thinking. I am VERY attached to them and I will be upset if she doesn’t treat them right. Lol

      • popgoesthebiscuit January 21, 2017 at 11:16 am #

        Ya sad to see families all on their phones when out for dinner . But it’s a common sight these days unfortunately. Most 7 – 9 yr olds I know ( colleagues kids) have their own cell phone. Regarding HP, 7 yrs old is way too yoing in my opinion. Lots of other wonderful books to read at that age . Save the HPs to gift when 11 or 12 and one at a time maybe. Also you can discuss each one then and maybe make it an aunt and neice thing to sharem

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