After a year or so of hearing all the great shows my friends were watching on Netflix, I finally broke down and joined the service. For the first few months I watched things occasionally, and then even less so when our TV somehow decided that it would only keep a wifi connection for intervals of 5 minutes of less. That made it nearly impossible to watch on TV, and I can't sit in front of the computer watching TV or movies. But then came along the iPad, and this is where our story begins.
It was the perfect storm: new baby, iPad, Netflix. These three things have conspired to keep me in my bed and away from my family. It is really bad. I think I may have a small addiction that could require it's own 12 step program. I even take the iPad to the gym so I can watch Netflix.
I'm not watching anything earth shattering, because, lets be honest there isn't much of entertainment that is also valuable... it is entertainment after all. I have watched several documentaries and can say that I learned something that I didn't know before. But, for the most part I have been consumed with BBC period dramas. I love them. They are the perfect cure for overcast, gloomy days and we've had a lot of them lately.
I seems that I find just about any reason to go into my room, lie down with the baby, and watch! It is awful. As I am writing this I am debating whether or not to take a day off from Netflix.... but can't commit to it! I am addicted. I have a few shows in my queue I would really like to watch. And feeding the baby must be done. Why not do it while watching a movie? Exercising is more fun with it. Maybe it even was responsible for pulling my weight from the overweight category to high-normal. I can't seem to limit it to just feeding and the gym. It calls to me. These BBC dramas that I love go on for hours. One I watched was nearly 8 hours. The last one was 3 1/2 hours. It was good.
Even when my DrH is home I find myself wanting to retreat alone to watch. I should be spending those precious minutes and hours with him. I complain about never getting to see him, but when I can be with him I choose to do something else. I do feel terrible about the whole thing. The other night he was watching something on the TV and studying and I was in the bedroom curled up with my iPad. Hardly the recipe for marital harmony. And my poor children. What about them. Forcing them to take naps so I can "take a nap" with my Netflix queue.
Netflix may be the end of me and my relationship with my husband and children. I can see it now. A year from now some bad day-time TV talk show will be interviewing me via satellite because I can't take my eyes away from the movie I am watching. My husband will have taken the kids and found a new wife because I haven't been able to leave the house in months and let the garbage and dishes swallow the entire house.
There are so many things competing for our time. When I think of all the things I could do with the time I have already spent on Netflix I feel ashamed. If I devoted even half of those hours to spending time with my kids and my husband how much happier would we all be. Don't get me wrong we are happy. But could we even be happier? I have a to-do list that hasn't been touched in weeks with plenty of things for me to do that would actually be considered productive.
I've thought about this concept of competing interests for a long time. Occasionally it's a blog that gets all the attention. Other times, it is keeping up with Facebook. Really? Who cares what all of my acquaintances are doing every minute of the day, I will live if I don't know for a day or two. Won't I? Other times it is window shopping on the internet with an impulse purchase here or there. There are so many ways to waste away our day. Truthfully, that's all I want some days. But every day shouldn't be like that!
As a mother and wife I have other responsibilities that are important that I often let go in favor of wasting time. I should be doing the things that matter. Reading to my kids before naps, not rushing them off to bed so I can do something else. Making healthy food for my family (including shopping for it), not scrambling come dinner time because I've been "too busy" to think about dinner. Planning fun things to do as a family. Playing and having fun together without electronic interference. Right now I'm obviously typing this and my two little girls are watching a movie, and the baby is sleeping in her swing.
I know the answer is balance and moderation in all things. Isn't that the standard answer for everything? OK, I've decided. Today will be a no Netflix day. I can do it. I do have some discipline, or at least I hope I still have some. I can do this. It's 10:40 and I have spent just about every minute from 8:30 this morning on this darn computer. Already updated 2 blogs, email and Facebook.... I can do this. I am starting to feel anxious when I think about the hours ahead. What am I going to do? Wish me luck!