Wednesday, September 17, 2008

This really IS hard....

No one ever said parenthood was going to be easy. And I never assumed it would be. And yet, somehow I find myself surprised by the fact that it really is difficult. At this point, Eli is starting to become a pure joy. He's mostly sleeping through the night, he's smiling all the time, and is generally a happy little guy with limited amounts of fussiness. He's not the problem - I am. I've discussed how I'm trying to overcome my selfishness in terms of having less quality time with J.C.. Another thing that I'm struggling with now is trying to learn how to sacrifice my bad habits in order to raise my child the way I know is best.

I am a TV addict. I am basically an only child and I grew up with the television as my constant companion. When I'm home, regardless of whether I'm sitting down to watch it (which I really don't do too much), I like for it to be on. I feel like the house is too quiet without it. And now that I'm home full time this means that our TV rarely gets a break. Poor thing... Do I think this is healthy? No. Do I want my kids growing up to be TV addicts and watching all the unhealthy things that are on all the time these days? Definitely not.

Before I had Eli, I told myself (and J.C.) that I was going to try to break this habit and learn how to be at home without having the TV on. I've felt for a long time that I needed to do this and somehow thought that having a child would automatically give me the motivation I needed to overcome it. How naive.... When we first brought Eli home from the hospital, I justified having it on because I was feeding him (or pumping) almost constantly, and what else was I going to do all day? Look at the walls? And besides, how much could he really be absorbing as a newborn? It's not like I'm watching anything "bad" like talk shows and soap operas. I'm watching things like HGTV and Baby Story on TLC. No biggie, right? Excuses, excuses.... I could come up with a ton of them because I really don't want to break my addiction. I really like TV. And unfortunately, having a child hasn't taken away this affection and magically transformed me into the parent I aspire to be.

Ridding myself of this bad habit isn't only good for Eli, but good for me. I've been reminded in several ways recently that I need to focus on the things that are important and have eternal significance and not spend my time and mental energy on the silly and potentially harmful things like TV. So, I guess I'll do what I should have done in the beginning - realize that it's not by my strength that I will overcome my shortcomings, and turn this one over to the Lord every day.

And on an unrelated note, here's the latest pic of my little cutie pie.

12 comments:

Gina said...

Yay for the new post. :) That picture of Eli is too cute. :) As for TV, I gave it up mostly a long time ago. I've gotten to where I watch it more now that I'm dating Alex because he watches TV all the time, but I'm the complete opposite of you. I'd rather sit at home and not have it on because I know how completely bad it is for me. I tend to keep myself really busy though since I'm still in school, so I don't have a whole lot of time for TV anyway. Good luck with breaking the TV habit. I broke most of my bad habit when I was a teenager...You have to learn to consume your time with other things. Reading your bible, scrapbooking, going out for a walk, going to the park, any of these things are better than watching TV all day. :) Good luck. :)

Greta said...

Oh gosh...Eli is SOOO cute! He loves that Bumbo doesn't he?! Can't wait to see him soon :).

You've probably already thought about this but what if you had CDs or the radio on to provide some "background noise"?

brooke said...

I have a lot of comments:
1. You know I'm so with you on the t.v. thing. The only way I can control it is by having designated t.v. times. Otherwise it will get out of control.
2. Music most definately helps because I like the noise too. Although sometimes with two kids it can get a little too noisy!
3. You have a lot of people read your blog and comment. I have blog envy.
4. Someone (Gina) is actually excited that you posted a new blog. I guess I need to be more interesting...or find more friends.

brooke said...

I forgot my #5. That is a super cute pic of Eli. I love his shoes!!

Gina said...

I'm excited about her posting a blog because I like seeing pics of Eli. I've been following the Eli story for a while. I like to see him. I guess I've gotten to know Lindsay a bit through Rachel Callahan's blog. :) I've also been posting comments asking her to write a new blog. I get bored, and enjoy reading about other peoples lives. :)

Leanna said...

I too am a TV addict mostly for the noise I rarely actually get to watch a real show, except Lost I make time to actually watch that..otherwise well you get lost (pun intended). So pick your favorite shows and make time to watch them and then turn it off and do something else (I know easier said than done)once Eli gets more mobile it might be easier to be otherwise occupied. Playing outside and such.

I agree with Greta that the radio or CD's help. It does me I have to have noise that is true even at work. I have my cd's on at work just for the noise.

And as always Eli is just the cutest thing!!!!! I love his little outfit.

Reese said...

I think that HGTV can be an addiction all by itself. They trick you into watching the next show by not putting commercials between them. Yes I too am addicted.

I was also thinking of suggesting the radio, but taking Eli outside on a blanket and reading a book is also a great idea.

I love that picture of Eli. He looks so big in that little seat of his.

Anonymous said...

Two words - trashy magazines :)

A few subscriptions to People and In Style (or slightly more edifying fare such as Time, Cooking Light, or Parents) might be a good TV substitute. Plus magazines are easy to read if you have one hand busy with your adorable Eli.

Kristine

Lindsay said...

Yep - J.C. has suggested that I play music as well. I'll try it, but I doubt it will be the same as my beloved television... Sigh...

Jennifer said...

Lindsay, I too, was very addicted to TV - especially when my first child was an infant. I would pray and ask God to help me break my habit, and He would give me ideas that sounded just too radical to me. (like fasting from TV)But finally, He convicted me and empowered me to do just that. I fasted from TV. (by this time I had Harris and David, I mean, this was just a couple of years ago.)It wasn't super long, maybe 2 weeks to a month. God didn't have me set a time, He just told me to turn off the TV - at least for my personal viewing - until He gave me permission to turn it back on. After I felt like I could watch it again, I just didn't have the desire to. Now, there are a couple of shows I follow - although both are having their series finale next season - and I have weak moments when I will veg in front of the tube (only every rare once in a while), but with those 2 exceptions, I rarely watch TV anymore. So praise God! And you are doing the right thing by turning it over to Him.

Hannah Attaway said...

Lindsay, you're gonna make it! You're doing just fine. Eli looks like he's doing great. Such a handsome little fella.

I'm not going to give any advice, because you've gotten several wonderful ideas already. Just know that every change takes time. There are moms that I have concerns about if they can do a good job; you're not one of them. :)

angie said...

Great post! I, too, am an addict. I had to cut myself off completely, so I haven't had a working TV for over a year now. I thought the silence would kill me, but it's one of the best things I've done, and now I don't miss it at all. ...and I can watch Lost online. ;)

Eli is such a doll! I love this picture of him. I'm enjoying your blog!