Wednesday, 14 September 2011

The television. And other hypocrisies.

Before becoming a Mum, I had a lot of experience with children and babies. I have seven cousins much younger than me, have worked in schools, volunteered in orphanages. Alongside this experience I also had a lot of opinions. I could see what parents, carers and teachers were doing right and what they were doing wrong. I pretty much had parenting sorted.

And then I had a baby. HO-LY SHIZZLE.

People say that you don't know what it is like to have a child until you actually have one. And it's true. And it's true that you will never appreciate how true that sentence is until you have actually had one. No matter how many times I say it to you. No matter how many times it was said to me. Since having my own baby I have learnt a whole heap of lessons and consequently have a whole heap more understanding and a whole heap less opinions!

Since William has started wearing his hearing aids regularly, we have been watching a lot more TV. It is amazing to see how much more he gets out of it now he can hear it. It may sound obvious but when he was younger it was hard to tell what, if any, difference the aids actually made. But here I have clear cut scientific evidence. Without the aids he would have watched for 10 minutes before getting bored and wandering off to amuse himself. Now he will sit for an hour, probably more if I let him.

Watching TV is just one of the many things I had certainty about when it comes to here's what changed...

  • My child was NEVER going to watch TV.
    • It's not like he watches it all day every day but we do enjoy an hour or so of CBeebies and since he has started dancing to the music, laughing at the laughter, hearing the shows it's harder to turn it off
  • My child will NEVER sleep in our bed.
    • I can blame it on the tongue tie but despite feeding all day he actually slept alright at night and he was still in our bed for the first 4 months of his life.
  • My child will NEVER eat crisps or cake or biscuits of chocolate.
    • Come on, if you're eating it, they're eating it. It's moderated but still, he gets his fair share of sugar.
  • My child will NEVER have a dummy.
    • Again I can make excuses about his tongue tie but at the end of the day it was my decision to give it to him because it makes MY life easier. Sometimes that's key.
There are still some things that I am trying to hold on to like
  • My child will not have any advanced technology like a mobile phone, iPod, iPad, laptop of his OWN until he is at least 10 (he can play on ours if the time is right).
  • My child will never have a TV in his room
  • My child will go to school every day, come rain or shine or cough or cold
But I have come to realise that you never know what parenting will throw at you and sometimes you do what you can just to get through another day. Or you compromise your principles because there are larger ones at stake. And, most importantly, that you never know what is 'right' until you are there, in that situation with your children and your partner and your level of exhaustion.

What, if any, of your principles have you compromised?


  1. Wear to begin... the tv is probably the biggest one! The one that we still hold steady on is taking game devices into a restaurant. We will pay for the ones at the table but you can't bring yours in. Makes complete sense, right?!?

  2. My child was never going to "like" a TV show to the extent of her life revolving around it. Obviously we would be too busy knitting yarn and writing poetry with some Shakesperian recitals to pass the time. Eva's first words every day this week, the second she opens her eyes have been "Peppa Pig". It's even downloaded on my phone. Pass me my hat.