A couple of months ago we invested in Netflix streaming.
As many of you know, we gave up TV service in order to save money about two years ago - maybe more than that now - maybe 2.5 years ago, not sure...regardless, we gave it up and I really feel it was a GOOD decision.
Another decision was this Netflix streaming thing.
We thought it would be a good way to access quality movies and programming for the kids and for us without having to pay for the TV service again.
I'm not sure this was the best decision - looking at it now.
It's sort of like the kids still have TV.
Granted, we can monitor what is viewed very closely by using our queue and teaching the kids from where they are allowed to choose their programming, but TV has sort of crept back into the house like a monster on tiptoe.
I'm not sure what to do about this.
Some days, I just want to throw the TV out the window.
Other days, when I'm snuggling with my kids eating popcorn and watching a great movie - I'm so glad we did what we did!
A lot of people have been telling us we just need to invest in an antennae for the house so we can watch local broadcasting. This is a thought, but it is an item for which we would need to budget. It will have to make it onto our list of priorities and make it to the top. I'm not sure it's looking so good for that particular item. Our budget is TIGHT. I'm not sure everyone around us understands just how tight we're talking about here - but it's a tight budget. I don't know how to better describe it without giving you the numbers to the decimal places.
We are doing better than we were in the past. When I first started this blog we were having trouble putting food on the table. Period. We've moved passed that point now and we are okay with getting food on the table, but buying clothing, for example, is a struggle. So dropping $25 - $50 on an antennae is a tough call. I know it will pay for itself if we drop Netflix. I get it. But it's still a line item on the budget that is more than double the cost of the monthly Netflix fee. Yes. I realize that the antennae would be a one-time fee. But what if it doesn't work? At our old house we did this and the antennae picked up zilch. That's when we first got Direct TV.
I think that, in all honesty, we WILL get an antennae one of these pay periods. I'm not sure when that will be. Right now I'm focused on getting the kids into warm clothes for the fall.
In the meantime, I'm having hard time maintaining diligence when it comes to TV watching.
All of my unschool peeps seem to feel that TV watching is positive, and that kids can benefit and that restricting the amount of TV kids can watch is detrimental to the whole philosophy (I know that you non-unschooling parents feel differently - you don't need to tell me all about it - I know, I promise.). I see the point in this - but Jonah is SO emotionally connected to the television. He's started a fear of ghosts because I allowed him to watch Scooby Doo - thought - what's the harm? Obviously, I was wrong about that. He's SO sensitive.
And the tantrums have started again. From Maeryn this time.
Her favorite activity seems to be watching Dora or The Wonder Pets.
I know these are great shows for kids - but really?
I'm working on being more attentive. Taking my creativity more to the table and brainstorming better ideas for keeping the kids occupied and making "real life" more interesting than television. But I've got a long way to go.
So I guess what I'm wondering now is - do we keep the Netflix? Or do we cancel it so our kids won't have the access? Do we go back to library DVD rentals? Do we chuck the TV out the window?
I know this is a question of my own self-discipline. I know that I should have more than I do. But when it comes right down to it, I need to step up to the plate and just come out and say - I am sometimes lazy. I sometimes allow the television to babysit my kids so that I can get things done around the house, so that I can read in peace, so that I can yes - write on this very blog. Maybe I need to cancel the Netflix subscription for ME. So that I can get off my duff and be a better mom.
I think that's the bottom line here.
It's not them. It's me.
And that is my argument with myself for the day. See - I learned something!