switched off

One of the little downsides of summer with small children
is that the lighter mornings often mean earlier wake ups.
Our children are, on the whole, fantastic sleepers,
but some mornings they get disturbed by the over enthusiastic dawn chorus
and the fact that it looks like midday by 6am.
Anytime after 6am I can just about deal with,
after 7am is the norm,
and any time with a 5 at the beginning is still night time if you ask me.

So a 5.10am wake up call was really not what I wanted
particularly when I'd already been disturbed at 4.40am
by a husband on the way out of the door on his way to Paris for the day.
The little man who gave me the 5.10am alarm clock,
also managed to disturb his sister,
so by 5.25am our day was starting,
and I felt like I'd just gone to bed.

Luckily we had a lazy day ahead,
and I decided there and then,
as I opened the curtains
and looked out at all my neighbours' homes with theirs still firmly shut,
that I would not let this beat me.
Yes I was going to be parenting solo right through until bedtime,
and bedtime was still a loooong way away,
but good days with my little ones are all about positive mental attitude.

No TV, I decided.
It becomes background noise in our house all too often.
We would play with their many toys instead.
There would be educational games,
and fun games.
And they would help me with household jobs.
We would listen to music.
Dancing and singing would be on our agenda.
As would a trip to feed the ducks.
I would be a happy mum,
and I would have happy kids.

And do you know what, it worked.

My super long day flew by in a flash.
When my beautiful girl fell asleep for her nap
three hours too early,
I didn't worry, I went with the flow.
When my beautiful boy asked me to help him write 100 different words,
I obligingly spelled them out for him,
praised his hard work and corrected his letter formation.
I didn't rush from the dinner table
to hurry them into the bath,
instead I did a lot of dancing involving jazz hands
to keep the little lady happy while her slow eating brother finished his meal.
We all laughed a lot
and I found myself lingering over their bedtime story
and kind of wishing they didn't have to go to bed already.

I felt like a super mum today.
Albeit one who didn't brush her hair or put any make up on.
But we were all so happy, all day.
We loved our day of simple pleasures,
of turning off the television and singing songs instead,
of popping out to feed the ducks instead of walking all the way to the park,
of bouncing in the cot while Mummy put away laundry,
of leaving my phone in the music dock instead of checking social media,
of measuring out the rice together for dinner,
of sharing bananas,
of dancing until we were exhausted
and laughing so hard we fell over.

It was a good day
and one that made me think that I'll switch off more often.
I don't want my children to think that home is where the television is,
or that life is lived in a mobile phone.
And one day of switching off all the technology
really made me realise how many interactions we miss out on,
how many possibilities to talk and learn pass by
because the children are staring vacantly at the television,
or because I'm just answering a quick email.

Because as my children race to grow up,
I know I won't look back in the future
and wish we'd spent more time watching children's tv…
… not when I'd rather be looking at these beautiful faces.


  1. That sounds like a wonderful day! We've been having a no tv rule during the week for the past few months because like you I found it was becoming background noise a bit too often and I've not found we miss it - we still have Sunday film time though but that's as much about all snuggling up together as it is anything that we're watching!

  2. oh how lovely, I find our best days are those where the tv is off and we can go and have adventures. I think when you do it all on your own it can feel such an accomplishment that everyone has gone to bed with a smile on there face.

  3. Oh what a lovely post. Sometimes it really is the simple things and it's amazing how a day without technology can actually be easier and more enjoyable than one with the TV on! I'm glad you got through it and so sorry I didn't get a chance to say hello at BritMums x

  4. This is such a timely post... I've been soc conscious over the last couple of days how much time I spend on my phone/ipad while the kids are around and it just doesn't sit right with me. I KNOW it won't sit right with me when I'm trying to get them off screens in a few years and they throw it back in my face. I need more switched off days. Thank you for being the final link in a chain my brains been working through for the past couple of days.
    Switching off tomorrow.
    Over and out. xx

  5. Lovely post, I find myself switched wnen we are out and about, I now try and make a point of not going on social media when we are having family days out but I definitely need to do it more at home. Sounds like you had a lovely day with the kids and appreciating simple joys of life.

  6. I am thinking of doing more techno free time as I am so distracted by my phone and the tv is on far too often. It has only recently become an issue as Dylan will now sit and watch it, whereas it did use to be just a noise.

  7. What a beautiful day Lucy. It's so good to remember to switch off and live life for life in real time and not through a computer which I really struggle lately to do. I am hoping going home where cell phones don't work and there is few places for wifi I will be force to get back to what's so important. What a beautiful post here the photos are always stunning and I actually almost cried. You have motivated me to focus more on the important which I need and get off the computer as I embark on my trip in a few hours, I shall keep this post in mind to remind me the beauty of being a mother and what's right in front of me. Two beautiful children. You are such an amazing writer. Love this! Great tribute to yourself and your gorgeous children! ;)

  8. I totally agree about the telly being background noise and haven't been putting it on for the last few weeks, although having said that Cherry does have quiet time on the iPad for an hour in the afternoon sometimes. I've found the nice weather has helped as we've been outside a lot and they are happy to play all day with nothing but water and stones! I've had a really tough week though and haven't been very positive at all, I think it's taking me a while to get into things again after my operation and I've been so bloody tired and way too snappy. Here's to a better week, I'm going to try the jazz hands tomorrow ;) x

  9. Lucy you are such an amazing mum! Mine are not that big on TV anyway but i am a terror with my phone. Tomorrow i am going to try and leave it alone xxx

  10. Sounds perfect, it's so important to just be with them sometimes without any distractions. It's something I find so difficult at the moment as I always seem to resort to the tv when I'm feeding the babies to keep Lucas entertained but I'm trying to be better so hoping for a few more days like yours. Positive parenting attitude! It does help when the sun is shining too and you can get out with that lovely duo xx

  11. What a beautiful day. Sounds lovely. I managed something similar yesterday, if i'm honest I tend to switch of my 'mobile' interactions when daddy is present knowing that one of us will of course be on entertainment watch or supervision whilst Lil G plays. However as Daddy wasn't present and I had the whole day to smother Lil G with Mummy Daycare it was lovely spending 90% of it focussed on him and not my social interactions, i'm guilty of answering work emails on a weekend when in fact 'not important, not urgent' can wait until Monday morning. I love this post and will remember it! Enjoy your week ahead x

  12. This is so so true, our house always starts with a 4 or sometimes if I am lucky a 5. It makes for moody bubbas, I have been trying hard to remember that soon they will be in school and for 6 hrs each day i will not have them to hold.
    Grayson being gone is so hard, but it is school hols and in between the work days we are going to have fun I am sure of it x


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