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Friday, April 30, 2010

Parenting Choices

Let me preface this post by stating that in no way am I trying to influence anyone else's parenting choices out there. I think every couple should raise their child the way they see fit, as long as they generally follow good social practices and human morals.

That being said, I am floored by how many people seem to have no problem telling you HOW to raise your child or WHAT you are doing WRONG.

So, mostly this post is for me to vent about the obnoxious responses we get from people concerning a certain parenting choice we are making with our daughter.

After that set up you might think some crazy parenting announcement is coming - something like we are planning to breastfeed our baby until she is eight...or that we chant at her at night all sorts of brainwashing phrases. It is nothing like that.

Our crazy parenting choice is that we don't watch TV with Ivie - whenever we can control the situation (ie: at our house). (We don't order our family or friends who have the TV on all the time to turn it off when we visit - that would be crazy and obnoxious). Most of the time we don't even have it on when she is awake or sleeping in the same room. Occasionally, at night when she is in her bed Trev and I will watch a movie on our laptop in our bed.

{Second post disclaimer: this will be a rant against television.Don't read it if it will make you mad}
You would never believe how much flak we catch for this from visiting family and friends or people who happen to find out in passing. Everything from "That's interesting" to "That's crazy" to "That's stupid."

And I think part of the reason it bugs me so much is that this choice is VERY HARD. Those that know me, know that I have always had a show on in the past, not necessarily to sit and watch it, but I like the background noise. Really - try to quit watching TV cold turkey for a week. And sure there are days where I am exhausted and just want to unwind in front ot the tube (possibly becuase it really is a completely mind numbing expereince?) And I know there are probably people reading this thinking, "Yeah? Just wait til Ivie is older and you have had enough of her and need a break - you will be glad to put a TV show on for her" - a comment I hear A LOT about this. And it is probably true that there will be such moments, and I hope I can keep to my goal. Not watching is tough - but it is a commitment that we made and we have diligently stuck to it...even if that means that we have missed out on shows we used to love.

I just don't understand why people are so quick to judge this - and verbalize that judgment - PLUS, doing a bit of research shows that it isn't that insane. The American Pediatrics Association recommends that children don't watch ANY TV before they are two, and then only a half hour of TV after that. Other reasons for our choice can be found here, here and here. And maybe more insane is fact that there are now more than 240 million television sets in the United States. Most homes have more TV's than people living in them. 2 million of those television sets are in bathrooms. The average US high school kid will spend more time in front of a TV than in a classroom by the time they graduate. The average child spends 22 hours a week watching television (that is a part time job). Or, that 54% of those average kids when asked if they would rather watch TV or spend time with their fathers, pick to watch TV. Source Info Here.

It isn't like this is something we simply arbitrarily decided to try just for the heck of it.

Aside from such reasons, the absence of the TV in our house has given us some really beautiful things in its place. We sing more - and I have been learning the melodies and lyrics to all kinds of classic songs to sing to my daughter. If I am not singing to Ivie then I am talking and talking and talking to her. Or if Trevor is home he and I are talking and talking and talking. We read more - in quiet moments we read to Ivie - her books, or ours, I don't think it matters much so long as she hears our voices. Trev and I read more books aloud together, which is something I love. And we listen to more music. And - truth be told, we get more things done as well.
These are all of the things I want to snappily say back to others who keep telling me I am nuts and that I will have a socially awkward child. But - most of the time I just smile and change the subject.

So thanks for letting me get it out of my system and explain my choice. If I am really honest, another reason this rubs me the wrong way is that to abandon the TV has been a struggle for me - and when people belittle the decision it seems synonymous to telling an obese person who has started an intense diet that they are nuts for trying to improve themselves and pick up a red velvet cake on the way home because it will be good for them socially. Is watching too much TV really so different? Especially when you consider the TV is one of the causes for the obesity crisis in our country?

And really - no judgments on if any of you let your kid/s watch TV or not - to each his own. My mom watched plenty of TV when she was pregnant with me and I turned out just {MOSTLY} fine. :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

JAMIE WEBSTER!

This note is for you - asking to pretty, pretty please be invited to your blog. :) I miss reading about you and somehow missed when you went PRIVATE. Shoot me an invite at chelsi.linderman@gmail.com. I need an adorable picture of little Luke fix.

As extra enticement for an invitation - here is a bit of a flashback to our lives pre-husbands, pre- college degrees, pre-children. A time where we wandered around Russia admiring stautes and palaces...
Rode an often very crowded and always very dirty metro to get back to our fabuloulsly grimy apartment...
And where it took an awful lot of help to ever get me to look beautiful. :)
Thanks!

And for anyone who is not Jamie - I love all of you too, and love reading about your lives, and don't want to be left out when you put your blogs under lock and key. ;)

Friday, April 16, 2010

{ love }

Just a quick note to say -

I am doing so much better since a few days ago. After Trev gave me a night off I am caught up with work and recharged. Thanks to all who called and checked in on us. We are fabulous and so very happy.

Here's to more happy days...and to knowing that if there is a little bump in the road the next morning will always be better. :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Minor {MAJOR} Meltdown

Every new mom has one right?
Well, yesterday was mine. To spare my few readers the sad and self-pitying details - my morning started with me caught somewhere between the demands of being a new mommy and the stress of falling behind at work because of being a new mommy. By 11:00 AM I was crying while blow drying my hair. At noon I started to call Trevor - even though I knew he was in class. After the third phone call he figured it must be something important, stepped out of his class and called me back.

I am not sure I even said "HI." I think the conversation pretty much went like this "Please come home now." in a voice full of tears.

He was here in 20 minutes. Even though he had more classes. Even though he had more schoolwork he was planning to stay at campus and do. And for those of you who know Trev and know how incredibly intense and serious he is about school - you know what a big deal this was. (It is so unusual for him to just leave class like that, that his teachers and classmates called and emailed all evening asking if we were ok).

He came home. Let me cry for just a minute and then sent me to my office so I could get caught up.

When I came back at 7:00 pm the house was clean, the baby was calm and he was just getting dinner ready.

We ate together and visited (something we haven't been able to do all week) and then went to bed early where he snuggled me and Ivie until she fell asleep and was moved to her own bed.

More than any piece of jewelry, or any amount of roses ever could have, yesterday reminded me how much my husband loves me and how much he cares for our little family. He is my hero. And I am the luckiest girl in the world.

A day that started with tears and feelings of being overwhelmed ended like this...just as happily ever after as our Linderman Life fairytale has to offer.