My kids have never had more time in front of screens than they have during the last six months.
And, I’m ok with that.
Woah, woah, woah. Hold those pitchforks, Sanctimommies and all the “Perfect Pre-Parents” who have yet to raise children. I see you coming for me.
Hear me out…
No, I am not proud of the amount of screen time that my kids have had recently.
It actually feels like a dirty little secret.
There is a lot of shame and mom guilt associated with letting your kids zone out in front of that mesmerizing blue light.
The stigma surrounding screens is strong and often makes me feel like a lazy or neglectful parent. You know, like I am rotting their brains like our parents used to tell us about watching too much TV.
But, here’s the thing. Sometimes parenting is all about survival.
I don’t know about you, but for me these past six months or so during the pandemic have been extremely difficult in many ways, but especially when it comes to parenting young kids.
Stay-at-home orders and CDC recommendations have really limited the ways that I can entertain my children. And, as a germaphobe, I am exercising an abundance of caution in these areas – but that’s a whole other article right there.
Pandemic life has basically tethered parents like myself to our kids 24/7 with absolutely no periods of respite.
If you are a parent, you understand what this does to a person. I love my children with my whole heart, but not having a break is a soul-crushing, energy-sucking, sanity-stealing problem.
Everyone needs time to themselves, even moms and dads. We need time to think, to reenergize, to BREATHE. It keeps us mentally and physically healthy. And you know what? We deserve that. And, our kids deserve healthy parents.
Let me say that again in a different way –
OUR KIDS NEED HEALTHY PARENTS MORE THAN THEY NEED LESS SCREEN TIME.
This is a fact. Our kids will not thrive if we are constantly frustrated, anxious, and exhausted. So if allowing our kiddos to binge some Netflix or Blippi videos is what we need to do to save our sanity, I think we should do it.
No, having a lot of screen time is not ideal. Like I said, I’m not proud of it. Before I had my kids, I never thought I would parent this way. (“Perfect Pre-Parents” take note). But, this is what needs to be done right now given the circumstances.
This won’t be forever. Things will get better, and I will tighten the reigns on time limits for electronic devices again at some point.
But sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do to get by.
If you are in the same boat as me, I want you to know it is ok if you are using the same life preserver, too. Sometimes, during times of crisis, we just have to make sure we are treading water.
It will be ok. We will be ok. Our kids will be ok. Screens are the least of our worries right now. Sending love and solidarity vibes.
So now that you know my secret, go ahead and try to judge me, Karen. I dare you.