Welcome to Mommy Monday, which sometimes deviates into Marriage Monday. I make up the rules as I go. Regardless, the first day of the workweek is always about family at Hollywood Housewife.
When we started looking for new houses earlier this year, I specifically wanted our change of a physical structure to reflect a change in lifestyle. Our complete kitchen remodel at the old house had changed the way we lived there, bringing us more often into the kitchen and living spaces and out of the bad habit of spending all our time in the bedroom.
To that same end, I was determined that in the new house there would be no television in the master bedroom. I believed Oprah when she said that the bedroom should be a sanctuary, a place for only the adults in the home, a soothing place to start and end the day. I felt strongly that The Gorilla and I spent far too much time zoning out to the television in our bedroom and that it was influencing our time together and our sleep.
In short, I bought what all the experts told me, hook, line, and sinker.
The Gorilla rolled his eyes, but was fine with the decision. His caveat was that the bedroom would also be a laptop-free zone, which I agreed to. He looked forward to purchasing a new tv for the living room, something we didn't have in the old house. (That's right, in the old house we had a tv in the bedroom but not in the formal living room.) We both felt strongly that we didn't want the master bedroom to be a "hang out" space now that we were a family of three, so family time would be moved out of the bedroom and into the living room.
We moved in June. As of last week, there is now a shiny new television in the master.
Here's what happened: In my effort to spend more quality time with my husband in the evening, we actually ended up spending less time together after dinner. I inevitably have something to finish on the blog or email at night. The Gorilla likes to unwind by watching tv. In our previous situation, these things were compatible. We would sit in bed, my husband watching endless animal and/or cop shows, and me on my laptop. I would read aloud from the computer, he would back up the tivo to show me something. Usually, our toes would touch under the covers. This is, invariably, how we would spend the 9pm-11pm hours. With my new No Bedroom TV rule, we would still do our evening routines, only now we were in separate rooms. My whole plan completely backfired.
Let's face it: The Gorilla and I are not going to start spending our weekday evenings playing board games or staring into each others eyes amidst the candlelight. Our weekends are relatively tv-free, and we have regular date nights. In this busy season - and in the forseeable future - the evening hours need to be used in our own way: me for productivity and him for mindless relaxation.
Another twist also appeared. My husband and I spend many a night apart due to our travel schedules. We both prefer the company of the tv to silence on those nights we're not sharing a bed. We prefer it enough that it became a major factor in the decision reversal.
I got it wrong: I tried to change our lifestyle to accommodate a (fake) need, instead of letting our actual needs dictate our lifestyle. I believed in something I "ought" to do instead of believing something was working. Because how could something work if it wasn't the right thing to do? But television in the bedroom isn't a moral issue. There's not a right or wrong to it. I believe that in marriage and parenting you have to do what works for you, and you can't get sucked in to the vacuum of what someone else says is "best."
If you keep following what "they" say, you just may end up three steps away from where you were trying to go.
Do you buck the system? On what issue?
photo by angelrravelor