I’m just going to start off by saying that I have been guilty of using electronics/tv as a babysitter so I can get some shit done and probably will be again so I’m not judging, I’m just saying.. (Disclaimer, my boys are 10 and nearly 12 and are ready to be by themselves for an hour or so).
The first time I had to run to the store to get an ingredient I had forgotten, I naturally started telling to my boys to get their coats and shoes on. No response. I raise my voice. Nothing. I know they are here. Oh yea they are playing video games..I am now in their face yelling at them to get their stuff on so we can go. They of course ask, do we have to go. Yes! I can’t leave you alone. And then I thought ‘or could I?’
I told them that I was running to Giant Eagle and under no circumstances are they allowed to eat, drink or answer the door. I’m pretty confident that they will not be moving from their Minecraft world but I have to say all the parent stuff to simmer my guilt.
I run to the store get what I needed and come back within 15 minutes. I call out to them to let them know I am back and I continue on with cooking. About 20 minutes later my son Jake runs up to grab something out of the fridge and asks, mah, when are you going to the store because I need something? Are you kidding me? This stays fresh in my mind for the next time I have to go somewhere. Instead of the fight of dragging them here and there, yep I did, I told them I had to run to the store, so go to the basement and play your video games. Electronic babysitter. Eek!
I think I have been gradually working up to this because I remember when my kids were babies and trying to get anything done was a nightmare. Everything is done in steps or phases if you have more than one child. Let’s discuss taking a shower. If you were a mom or are presently one with small children (under 2) taking a shower is an event or even a luxury! You are never alone! My kids are 15 months apart and my husband was traveling so I would have to put my kids in their highchairs or exersaucers (brilliant contraption btw) and drag it in to the bathroom with me. I would set them up in their highchairs, buckle them in securely give them Cherrie o’s and then hop in the shower. Occasionally popping my head out to play peek- a -boo. When they were around 3 and 4 this was not a great idea because the questions started. ’Mommy where’s your penis’ or even better laughing at my girl parts! That’s it for my audience in the bathroom! Next you got it; I started plopping them in front of the t.v to watch Baby Einstein videos. I was good for about 30 minutes.
Clean the house? Right, back in the exersaucers or highchairs and back in front of the tv
Suffering from being with kids all day, plop them in front of the t.v. so you can chat on the phone, catch up on Facebook, Instagram and create some new Pinterest boards. Disengage. Disengage. Disengage. Flash forward 10 years and we are all checking out when we should be checking in. Add this all up, and you would be shocked to see how much time we put our kids in front of the electronic sitters.
No guilt here or judgement. We all need to get shit done, have some adult conversation, a moment to ourselves. Just be cognoscente of how much time, because it begins to get easier, more comfortable to use these devices to watch your kids. It does add up. Just saying..