I’m guilty of using the TV/games as a babysitter….so shoot me!

Asalaam Alaikum/Hi All
Yes I am guilty of using what are known as the 21st century babysitters – the TV, PC, Wii, Nintendo DS.
So shoot me. 
Now don’t get me wrong, munchkin is not permanently stuck in front of technology while I ignore her. However I do use it if there is no alternative and I need to get some housework/cooking done.
Let me give you an idea of my daily routine.
Munchkin has to be in school for 8.45am, I have to be at work for 9am.
I work nonstop from 9am to 3pm and just munch a sandwich at my desk.
Have to pick up munchkin at 3.15pm
We then usually go to my parents house so she can have something to eat and to allow me to have a bit of a breather.
We usually come home for around 5pm.
I then have to cook, (I hate cooking) before hubby gets home which can be anytime between 6.30 to 8pm, clean and basically do anything that needs doing. I usually make enough food to last 2 days so I am not cooking every evening after work. I also try to get as much done as I can over the weekends.
Even if we are home and I need to do some housework I always push her to go into the garden if the weather is nice. She then proceeds to terrorise the rabbit who is usually running around so I reckon he would prefer it if she was sat in front of the PC/TV!
Now this is the bit where this post turns into a bit of a rant.
I am sick of unmarried, or newly married girls, or the new parents, or the ‘perfect parents’ with their smug attitudes ‘Oh I would never let my child sit in front of the TV to keep them entertained while I do other things. You could always do housework when the child is asleep or at school..’
They make you feel as if you are being a bad parent. Frankly, it irritates the life out of me when people who do not have children feel they can comment on how you raise your child or how they would raise their child in the future (they will soon learn!). But I find the ‘perfect parents’ even more irritating. They literally look down their noses at you.
Munchkin has always been a bit of a late sleeper and most evenings is awake until 9pm. Even if I put her in bed at 7.30, she is usually still awake an hour later. (Ohhh another reason for the perfect parents to frown).
So if I waited till she slept before I did anything then frankly I would be up all night and I would never have any relaxing time!
Oh and then not to forget fellow sisters who turn round and say well as a muslim woman your husband should provide for you and you shouldn’t have to work – so you can stay home and do the chores while she is at school. If only life was as black and white as that.
I like to have a nice comfortable life and I like to have my own money to do with as I please. So if I want to splash out on a new car I can do, if I want to give to charity I can do etc etc. And I can do all this without asking hubby’s permission or asking him for money (before anyone gets outraged and says I am not being a good wife, I DO consult him on major purchases ie the car).
We would struggle with just my hubby’s salary and to be honest I enjoy working. I cannot sit at home and be a housewife. 
That is not me and never will be. I am not a house wifey kind of person at all! Not that I have anything against housewifes, see my post here.
I do not feel that munchkin is being deprived of my love and attention just because every now and then I will stick on CBeebies on the TV or on the PC, or I will let her play the Wii or the DS while I am busy around the house. So I will continue to use my reliable ‘babysitters’ as and when needed.
So all those who look down on parents who use technology as babysitters at times, all I will say is, ‘Wind your necks in!’

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  • I think we are all guilty of doing this, I know I am and I actually think some of Cbeebies is very educational 🙂

  • Wow! I am a housewife with two kids under 4 and lemme tell you, my life is not easy in the slightest. My 3 year old spends the majority of the day in front of the pc and I HATE HATE HATE it, mostly because I have noticed how he is not social with kids his age. Adults, yes. He never stops talking to adults! But he has no idea how to socialize with other kids because he doesn't get the chance to see them. With he and my 7 month old, cleaning the 3-story house, cooking every day or every other day, teaching the class at our mosque, preparing for class and grading papers, finding time for reading Quran, making salat, doing laundry and dishes, washing cloth diapers, and helping hubs with anything he doesn't understand in English, I hardly have time for reading, crocheting, or any of the things I like. And since I don't work, we can't afford to put my son in pre-school. So, he suffers and I suffer. But what is one to do?
    Anyway, I am not housewifey either but have found this is my only option of being able to personally raise my kids, or at least be the one deciding what they will watch and hear, at the very least. There are legitmate studies on the effects of watching t.v. on a child. Such as one I read in which they did a study and found that for every one hour a child under 12 months watches t.v., their chances of having A.D.D. or A.D.H.D. go up by 10%! Or the story of Josh Harris, a fabulously successful internet entrepreneur from the 90's: his mom worked a stressful job and his dad was always away on business trips and he says that he came home to an empty house, plopped down in front of the t.v. and when mom came home, she plopped down in another room, drank a few martinis and told him to fend for himself for sinner. He was so lacking in social skills that his own brothers don't remember him having any friends growing up. And, when his mother was dying from cancer, he was so unable to communicate effectively in person that he made a video and mailed it to her, telling her goodbye and he loved her.
    So, it's stories like that which TERRIFY me when I think about just how much time my son watches shows on the p.c. (we dont have cable or anything.) Granted, he is usually watching educational shows like Dora and Team Umi Zoomi and the like, but still…it isn't healthy.

    Anyway, sorry for that long comment! I know your children get the social outlet they need and the food they need, inshaallah. I was just talking about my own reasons for feeling uncomfortable with my own kids watching t.v. all the time.

  • lovely post.
    Ignore those so called perfect parents. Theyre not perfect, theyre just annoying!
    I think letting your kids play with technology is not toooo bad of a thing. When you see them completely locked in their room with their ipods plugged in, and fingers dancing on the blackberry then you have a problem. but im pretty sure your little one is far away from that. And you're smart enough to not let her reach that level of addiction.
    Just relax, don't take those "parents" seriously! 😛 x

  • Assalamu Aleykum,

    I do let me son watch tv/dvd and play video games as well.My husband hates all those things (especially tv), so when he's home, there might be changes InshALLAH.
    I myself feel really guilty to let my son spend so much time in front of screens, and would love to have a "tv free" home InshALLAH.

  • Thanks for dropping by my blog Supermum! I think many parents can be guilty of it, just won't always admit it. I also find some of the programmes educational, my munchkin actually picked up her numbers from watching Numberjacks!

    Thank you for your comment Kaighla. I understand that being a housewife is not easy, in fact it can be one of the hardest jobs around especially if you have more than one child. A few of my friends have 3/4 children and I'm always in awe of how they manage to cope. MashAllah it sounds like you are busy and I applaud you for all that you do.
    You are right though, if my daughter was stuck in front of the PC the whole time then I would hate it too. At the moment during the school holidays she is with my parents and I think they will stick the TV on for her a lot of the time and I hate that, so I know where you are coming from.
    That story of Josh Harris is so sad. However my munchkin will never come home to an empty house. I have arranged my working hours so that I drop her to school and pick her up so she is always with me when she is not at school. I will never take a job that will lead me to come home when shes in bed.

    I just think that occasionaly, putting on the TV or allowing her to play a game is not a problem and won't damage her.

    @Yours Truely, completely agree. The problem is when the kids are just stuck in their room the whole time. That is wrong. I will never let my daughter get to that stage inshAllah. I just got a bit fed of the 'holier than thou' attitude I come across a lot. x

    Wa alaikum asalaam um zakarya. Not having a TV can be a good thing. I have a friend that grew up without a TV (now that she is married she has one though!)

  • Salaam Alaikum!

    I admit I am guilty of using our pack N play and/or bouncer as a temporary babysitter during the day when I am extremely busy and need my hands free. My daughter is 11 1/2 months and crawls/walks all over the place so my only option is to put her in the pack N play or her bouncer while I get things done. The longest she will sit in it is 15 mintues before she gets bored and wants me to get her. Ive tried putting her in a carrier but she never wants to sit in it for more than 15 minutes or so. Its hard being a mom, especially if you have multiple kids. I have no idea how I will manage with more than one =/ As for TV, we dont have one (by choice) so when our daughter is a bit older she will have to entertain herself with coloring books and toys or help me with the cleaning and cooking =) Times like this I wished my in-laws and/or family lived near us (we live in Spain, my family is in the US and my husbands family is in Morocco).

  • Oh, cooking in batches and freezing it is an excellent idea! I usually surface clean during the week (unless our daughter takes a long nap during the day, but usually its 1 1/2 hours which gives me just enough time to exercise, clean and prepare food for the evening) and thoroughly clean during the weekend (when my husband can watch her), although my husband usually puts her on his lap while he surfs the net lol

    I completely understand not being a "housewife" I never had to cook or clean growing up so now that I do its hard…… and soooooo boring lol. My husband and I both hate cleaning (hes actually better at it than I am lol).

  • Thnaks for your comment muslim mom in suberbia 🙂

    Wa alaikum asalaam Rene, thanks for dropping by my blog. Yes it can be handy having family close by, my parents live a 15 min walk away and it can make life a bit easier.

    Same here, growing up I never did the cooking and cleaning (my older sis did). I hate cooking! I pretty much learnt after I got married (poor hubby had to put up with my dodgy cooking!!) Only thing I don't mind is baking cakes lol.

  • Oh hello!
    Has your layout changed? pink hearts? Are you a girly wurly? 😛

    I think perfect parents are missing the point. You can't spend 100% of your time with your child, you'd get nohing done. But at the same time, like some of the other commentators above me have said, you should spend enough time with your child as to develop a relationship with them. Spending too much time can cause repulsion, as can spending too little time. Children should be allowed to 'explore' and spend time in their own company too. That is very important.
    But as a parent you do have to make sure of the basics; eating, feeding; sleeping; education and all that. But the more tick boxes you have, the harder it'll be.

  • Hey Nas, no its been pink for a while. I don't usually go for pink but this was cute!

    Thank you for your comment, agree with all you have said.

  • Salam Alaikum

    I don't have much more to add, as i agree and am guilty of it myself.. as long as it's done in moderation, i'm fine with it..
    I'm a housewife, so when kids are on holiday and during weekends, i do go out quite alot, mainly to the country side or seaside where they can run of some steam..
    Children weren't born with a manual, something that suits me, might not suit u and visa versa, some people just need to lay back a bit and hold their judgemental thoughts to themselves InshaAllah

  • Wa alaykum salaam,

    Here also no tv, but that doesn't mean I think less of all the parents who put there kids in front it. If you do only for a short time because you need to get something done than that shouldn't be a problem.

    And by the way, every kid is different, what works for 1 parent might not work for another.

    You want the best for your munchkin, that is what I feel from everything you write about her. So to me that sounds like a very very good mom.

    Even mine goes to bed now after Maghrib or Isha, not the time most kids go to bed. But at the moment I couldn't care less. She sleeps till late in the morning. At least I get some sleep now aswell, otherwise I would have been a wreck even before the new one is born.

    Ramadhan Mubarak!

  • wa alaikum asalaam sis Aisha! Thanks for your comment! Unfortunately there are judgemental people all over the place!

    Umm mini, thank you for your kind comment that I want the best for munchkin. Yes exactly, for a short time I don't see what the problem is! Ramadan Mubarak to you too!