April 28, 2016 by Katia
The transition is smooth and seamless. One day you’re amazed to be turning thirty, because that’s officially grownup. You switch a few jobs, shop for some new clothes, continue wearing some of the ones you wore in your twenties, drink a few Cokes, have a couple of kids, read some books and all of a sudden the next day you’re forty even though you still own and wear some of the clothes and shoes you wore not too long ago, in your twenties. The transition is smooth and seamless and I don’t feel a drastic change. I’m still me with the same old and new clothes and the same old and new insecurities. Nothing in my reality suggests any dramatic chronological changes.
Yes, the kids turned my life upside down. Yes, the Me I was before them went into hibernation for a while but she didn’t go away. I knew she was still there, intact , simultaneously ten, sixteen, twenty three year-old and every other age I’ve been, and continuing to gain experience in being Me in this world even though I’m also new. I’m new.
Until I watch TV, that is. That’s when I’m confronted with the fact that things really did change.
A few days ago I was filling out a form for Yummy Mummy Club, a website that I write for and one of the questions read “which TV mom is most like you?” and I knew exactly what to say (Patricia Heaton’s character from the show The Middle).
Just like everything else TV too gained additional layers of meaning after I became a mom. I watch TV differently now. Some shows – highly and unanimously recommended as they may be — are too charged for me to watch (Broadchurch – recommended by my friends across the board when I asked for show recommendations on Netflix) others, despite some similarities in the plotline, are a bit farther removed from home and make for a compelling post bedtime viewing (The Killing). I may have eliminated entire categories from my viewing (horror) yet I am paradoxically drawn to criminal dramas and even the zombie apocalypse of The Walking Dead. These shows mark the transition between being “mom” from 7am to 9pm and being me. It’s the equivalent of the mommy wine. So maybe both preferences — watching violent crime shows to mark the difference between day me (new me) and evening me (old me) and not watching horror movies to protect my nerves – actually have a common ground and both stem from spending such significant amounts of my day being mom.
When I watch TV, the mom character, once irrelevant and matronly is now (no matter how comical or even grotesque, see Schitt’s Creek mom) relatable and generates empathy.
The TV is an enemy and an ally. Its hypnotizing power allows me to navigate my children when I desperately need to create a distraction for them, occupy them in a way that would guarantee I can finish a task or even appease them. It’s the same hypnotic power that concerns me.
TV separates my three year-old from his six year-old brother and generates some of their fiercest fights and disagreements. TV also unites them. I’ve watched the same kids who fight so fiercely defending their rights and preferences pause the TV for one another and selfishly wait when nature calls. Some of the shows they like watching together on Netflix include: Larva, Oggie and the Cockroaches, Puss in Boots, Garfield and the Minion Movies.
Netflix came up with several Sibling Playlists and sent them to its Stream Team members. We’re going to try their Meet in the Middle which includes All Hail King Julien, The Adventures of Puss in Boots and Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday.
This post was a Netflix Stream Team post on the topic of Sibling Playlist. All of the mentioned shows: Broadchurch, The Killing, The Walking Dead and Schitt’s Creek are all available on Netflix Canada.
Have your feelings and emotions around the TV changed after becoming a parent?
Which shows do your children agree on?