“Uh oh, it’s broken!” I mumbled.
My kids glanced over at me suspiciously before eyeballing the TV. That golden altar on the wall? How could that beautiful magical screen break?
I couldn’t believe I said it. Even more, I couldn’t believe I had the guts to go through with it. I’d been thinking about it for months, though. How this damn TV seemed to cause more trouble than it was worth. Fighting, tuning mom and dad out, arguing over shows, episodes, and volume… and the hours of screen time. Hours and hours that ate at me. Guilt and shame consuming me as I berated myself as the “bad mom” and “lazy” in my head.
And BOOM. Just like that, my white lie suddenly took shape. Yep, it broke. No more TV.
I put a bed sheet over the TV, like a newly minted corpse, and quietly bid farewell to our old friend.
The first day wasn’t so bad. The kids were more curious about how it broke than struck by the realization all their favorite TV shows were no longer a remote control away. But by the second day, the jig was up and my three-year-old began coming to terms with the reality of the situation.
“The TV isn’t broken, mommy” he huffed at me in frustration. He pulled the sheet off the TV and lashed out, “Don’t cover it!”
Damn, this kid is good.
“No, it’s not broken, is it? But we are not going to watch it anymore.” I cringed at what I just said, knowing there’s no going back now.
Once everyone was being completely honest with the situation, the transition to no TV was smoother than expected. The kids knew there was no persuading us into TV, and we never caved to the pressure to turn on the “zombie device.” Soon, we hit a groove that smoother for the whole family.
It’s been a few months now. I admit we do put cartoons on weekend mornings. Waking up at 6 am every Saturday and Sunday is grueling, and sometimes I can fall back asleep on the couch while the kids get to enjoy a few episodes of their favorite shows. Win-win.
But the weekday morning rituals remain TV free, and it’s better for everyone. The kids don’t fight as much, mommy has less guilt over screen time, and by golly, we haven’t been late to school once!
I’ve done some pretty stupid stuff as a mom, but I’ve also rocked it one time or time. I definitely put this on the ROCKIN section of my journey, and I would encourage everyone struggling with the dreaded morning routine to consider it as well.