Hardcore Television Challenge

We have done only thirty minutes of television. PER WEEK!

I’m VERY proud. And extraordinarily exhausted. Oh and my friends think that I’ve died. They sent flowers. Which was nice but weird.

Other ways my life has changed:

  • E comes with me to read with N for her naps which sweet and helpful. Except when he won’t come. And instead puts lipstick on.
  • I am not on the computer as much and cannot answer the phone easily. But I just think of SAHM-ing as a job now and most people can’t just chat anytime at their jobs. Or maybe they can. When I talk on the phone, the other ends hears a consistent AHHHHHHHHH in the background until I finally give up.
  • E is doing nearly an hour of quiet time during N’s afternoon nap. Learning to amuse himself is such a GOOD thing. I can’t wait for him to teach me.
  • I’m totally exhausted at the end of the day. But I also feel good with all the cute art projects to show for my hard work. Until E decides to remove every paper glued down and N eats them.
  • We have play dough EVERYWHERE. But it hides the food on the floor.
  • I cook during the quiet time so we eat a lot of room temperature meals.

I got so many great suggestions on I Ask that I couldn’t include them in this blog post. Or it would go on for two days and you would never realize what I have in store for you!

Do you want to join me on the Late Enough Hardcore Television Challenge? I have two buttons for two separate challenges. The SERIOUSLY DUDE 30 Minutes Of Television A Day or the SERIOUSLY HARDCORE 30 Minutes Of Television A Week.

We’ll do it for the month of July. With weekly updates (support, hugs, maybe candy). I plan to post my update every Thursday. So come by to link up Wednesday night/Thursday morning. If we have no interest, I’ll just be the lonely hardcore mom not getting any rest. And you can at least laugh at me.

Comment here or email me if you’re interested. I’ll email you the badges or you can grab them below. (Just grab the html code. If you need help with using them let me know.) I’ll list out all the blogs participating.

And I’m thinking #tvchallenge as the Twitter hashtag. Or maybe #icantanswerthephonebecauseiamplayinggofishforthe300thtime. Oh wait that’s already 140 characters of DESPAIR.

If you don’t have a blog, you can write out your experience on your Facebook notes and we can link it into the Late Enough Facebook page. Here are the Facebook note: Television Challenge Info For Non-Bloggers.

And if you don’t have Facebook or Twitter or a blog? How the heck did you even FIND me? No, seriously, just email me your experience at [email protected] and I’ll get it up on the site.

If we get enough people, I’ll look into sponsors. Maybe we can get some help with amusing our children. Or even start a revolution. Watch out Panasonic and Sony. (But don’t go too far you big hunks of electronic. I may want to watch a movie when the kids go to bed.)

Meanwhile you can peruse the comments section of my original post on giving up television to get ideas.

UPDATE: You can take the challenge yourself. I’ll make you a button because I love you. Email me and let me know.

<img src=”http://www.lateenough.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Television-Challenge-Button.jpg” alt=”” title=”Television Challenge Button” width=”196″ height=”150″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-743″ />

<img src=”http://www.lateenough.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Television-Challenge-Button-2.jpg” alt=”” title=”Television Challenge Button 2″ width=”195″ height=”150″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-741″ />

Weekly Updates

Week 1: Without Television, We All End Up In The Backyard Without Pants On

Week 2: I Rue The Day I Created The Television Challenge. But Who Doesn’t Like A Good Rue?

Week 3: I’m The King Of World! Hungry And Without Television. But Still King-ish.

Week 4: Say Bye-Bye Television Challenge. Bye Bye.

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on LateEnough.com, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

53 thoughts to “Hardcore Television Challenge”

    1. Ooh, that’s exciting! (Well, hopefully it’s for a good reason and not a we-are-drowning-in-debt-and-I-dont-want-to-work reason. Although getting out of debt is good too. SO YAY! MAYBE!)

  1. Wow, pretty impressive… don’t have kids (do cute dogs count?) so gonna make this all about me! Am not sure I could do just 30 minutes a day, that would be just Jon Stewart and nothing else. Well maybe on some days. Am watching less as I write more, so less of their opnions and more of mine. Is that better?

    Great post!

    1. Cute dogs are actually a LOT like kids. Except for the crate part. Usually.

      You can totally take the challenge yourself! I’m going to update the post. And I’m pretty sure that Jon Stewart is all you really NEED anyway.

  2. I’m afraid – very afraid. Like in the woods with Blair Witch afraid but will give the 30 minutes a day challenge a try. Hubby works in NOVA and I’m often alone with Gnome before and after work until about 8:15pm so the TV is usually the only time I have to make dinner. We may starve to death but I’ll have a snappy cool button! Woot!

    1. It’s totally terrifying. Trust me. If you actually cancel cable, you can afford take out 😉

      Seriously tho, get a toy or something that the gnome only gets while you cook. It’s worked WONDERS for quiet time.

      And the button is pretty cool.

  3. I’m in total awe! You are AWESOME!!

    I’d like to say that I’m up for the challenge…but that would be a lie. NO WAY that we’d be able to do it in this house!

  4. This is a great idea! I added the badge to my site and we will be taking the challenge! I am including playing Wii with TV viewing because that is my son’s source of entertainment while staring at a TV screen.

    I wouldn’t normally plug my blog post in a comment section, but my post (see below) might give moms and dads ideas of creating a summer plan. If you feel the strain of no TV coming on, you can quickly look at your summer activity list to come up with an alternative activity.

    I plan to blog about our progress taking this challenge throughout the month too.

  5. So…if my kid already watches only 30 minutes of TV a day, does that mean it wouldn’t be a challenge for us?

    I don’t think I can go the SERIOUSLY HARDCORE route though. That’s the only time I have to cook – we can’t just eat once a week…or can we? It IS bikini season……….

    1. Dude, you can totally take the 30 minutes a day button! That’s awesome! And you can talk about how you are able to limit your daughter to 30 minutes a day. Maybe you won’t post every week but the encouragement that it is possible PAST the month of July would be awesome!

      However, I don’t recommend eating once a week. Although you ARE the second person to be concerned about starvation… hmmm… maybe i need to be sponsored by a take-out restaurant.

  6. Fine with me. My kids mostly watch tv on their computers now, anyway.

    The problem would be what to do with hubby’s twitchy right hand. If he didn’t have a remote in it, there’s no telling what he’d do.

    I really don’t have time to retrain the husband. I’m already exhausted trying to fight off the 60″ plasma tv that is haunting his dreams.

    1. I’m pretty sure watching tv on your computers counts. I’ll check with the judges though.

      Maybe your husband would clean the house with his freed up hand… Or maybe the 60″ plasma could be his August 1st reward! Now that would be swag that I’d have trouble giving away.

  7. I CANNOT believe that I come to your website for the first time and THIS is what I find. Look, that TV is my friend, the computer my lover, and the wii my playmate. I just CANNOT do it.


    But, don’t let my ‘bah,humbug’ stop you. Go on with your bad self!


    1. Dude… yesterday post’s was on my daughter eating people — does that help?

      I actually adore television as parenting crutch. But my son? Well, he’s already pretty active and moody so an hour or more of television puts him in crazyville. So instead I’m heading to crazyville and begging my readers to ride along. I get lonely.

  8. I’m impressed and inspired. Like I’m totally bowing down to worship you right now. For reals. But I’m not sure if I am hardcore enough to take the challenge. Because you see I’m afraid I might kill myself or my chidlren without the use of TV sedation. For random occasions whenever I most need it. But maybe I will do it privately, so I don’t have to be completely ashamed when I fall flat on my face and fail horribly during the first week. What do you think I should do, Alex? I’m seriously impressed that you did it!! Kudos to you and your art project eating children.

    1. Dude, you should do it! I’m terrified to fall down, too. But that’s why I want company! So when I’m crying and tearing my hair out, I can think of the other parents and friends. And maybe I’ll get through it with a little more dignity than if I was alone. Or maybe I can at least say: What a hilarious post this will be! Instead of yelling: I SUCK. Or maybe I will turn on the television. And know that you will understand. Because I would understand.

      And by the end? When you and I are making a three course meal with our children balancing on our heads? It will be AWESOME. (ha!)

      Try the 30 minutes/day first. If a week into it, you hate me and your kids, write a post about how it’s not for you! Or don’t. I’ll still love you.

  9. I aspire to this. Give me a few months, when we’re all sleeping through the night. Okay, when the baby and I are sleeping through the night. Right now, the one-two-Clifford-Word World-punch is my only chance for a nap. But one day …

    1. A little secret: my kids are NOT sleeping through the night on a regular basis. It’s been four years. However, when N was as little as your newest edition, I desperately needed tv, too. I’m actually impressed that you are only doing an hour a day.

      But if you change your mind, I’ll be here. And tired.

  10. I am gonna one up you and do NO TV for my child AT ALL – ANY DAY! Of course, he’s only 1 and I’ve read the research, I’m a teacher for crying out loud. I blogged about it on my work blog (oh yes, my county is just that hip and with it). I run a program that tries to help the TV/DVD/Video game zapped students of America (not really, but I target the strugglers – which tend to be zapped as well as other things). I know better. When he was really little, TV kept me from going post-partum, but he didn’t pay any mind to it. Once he started staring at it as he laid on the floor, we turned it off. However I occasionally put on On Demand of Sesame Street when I’m trying to survive the last half hour before daddy comes home. (Being a teacher, I have recently gone from FT worker to SAHM for the summer and it has been quite the jolt – lovely as it is of course.) So since he only watches about an hour total a week, I’m gonna challenge myself to do none at all and then when he hits 2, keep it at your 30 per week challenge.
    Misery loves company. Troops – DEPLOY!

    Oh, I don’t blog, I don’t Tweet – I facebook a little too much for everyone’s good. But your husband clearly picked up on my sarcasm and my “eh, I do what I can do in order for us all to survive” attitude at tri-monthly check ups and suggested I check out your blog. You can consider him part of your fame (and fortune?).

    1. YAY!! You’re in!! You can totally use Facebook. Make sure you “like” the site on FB and let me know there when your weekly write up is in your notes (preferably Wednesday night). We’ll get you connected.

      Also, if you can post this link on your facebook profile page! YAY!!

      Way to go hubby, for hooking you and I UP!

  11. A year ago, the tv was always on in our house. Now, unless it’s a really special occasion we don’t turn it all while DS is awake and most days I don’t turn it on at all. i can honestly say I don’t miss it at all and actually find it a bit jarring when I do watch it.

    1. You are our HOPE! You can totally play. Even though you have the advantage of being a pro — we NEED that! Plus, I’ve been doing it for two week now before I begged for company.

      (I can make you a special badge for no tv if you don’t want the 30/week one. Let me know!)

  12. Alex, when my kids were younger, they had a very strict tv schedule because I was SUPER MOMMY. Now I’m just too old and tired. Plus there are four of them and only one of me. And my husband works looong hours. Excuses, excuses. Actually, my sons don’t watch any tv. But they are playstation addicts. which counts, I bet.

    Seriously, you go. That is so great that you are instigating this challenge.

    1. Thanks. And all I’ll say is I am NOT super mom. Which is why I’m enlisting all this support. And maybe you could TRY! Failure can be apart of the plan. Shhh…. It’s ok. In fact, you may have lots of company 🙂

  13. I’m late on this, but just thought I’d pop by and cheer!

    I’m somewhere between your two challenges. My 4yo son only watches TV on Sunday mornings. Really. At 8 I’ll trudge out of bed and put in a movie for him, the deal being that he gets the movie, I get to go back to bed. We have to be out the door by 9 on Saturdays, so IF the TV goes on it’s only for a half-hour-ish.

    The rest of the week? There’s just no time! We’re far too busy doing other fun things.

    Hmmmm … might do a blog post about this.

    1. YOu should TOTALLY do a blog post on it. Link it up on Wednesday night/Thursday morning! I’d love to hear how different people do it. I’m not sure if it’s days or minutes or what about television. Honestly, I think the challenge is supposed to be about awareness and support. (So the CHEERING is definitely needed!) And for me, its forcing me out of my comfort zone of parenting. Which is good. And disaster-y. So at least it’s FUNNY!

  14. I love this challenge! I just now saw this, so I’m late for July. July is actually our tv month, though, so it wouldn’t work here for this month. We are big cycling fans and watch the Tour de France all month- usually when the kiddo is asleep, though. We watch football on Sundays in the fall (unless the 49ers have a really bad season, then we don’t watch). Otherwise, we have our tv service turned off the rest of the year. My three year old watches about 30 minutes of video a week, which we just started letting him do.

    There is so much fun stuff to do when the tv isn’t on! We play Candyland, read books, go for walks, cook together, take day trips to hike, draw, paint, create various other messes with art suplies, hubby and I play Scrabble at night… and TALK! The tv-free life is a good one!

    Someone asked my little boy what he likes to watch on tv and he looked at them like they were crazy. He said, “I don’t watch stuff on tv. I play.” I had a proud mommy moment!

    1. We watch football in the fall too — New York Giants. (Which is why I could have NEVER done this then.)

      I love that your little boy said that. You SHOULD be proud!

  15. Television just isn’t enough of a big deal in our house for me to have considered this a challenge. I don’t really like TV, my kids prefer to do other things.

    Honestly? I thought maybe you were challenging me to watch 30 minutes of TV a week, and I kind of groaned.

    I think I’m probably not the target demographic here, huh?

    BUT – If you ever tried to limit me to 30 minutes of internet a week I’d probably go insane.

    For reals.

    Actually, there might be an even BETTER challenge in limiting internet time.

    But I don’t want to do it.

    1. A friend sent a link to how smart phones were damaging parent-child relationships. I wrote a long and defensive reply. Since I never plan to give up the Internet. {softy stroking my computer}

  16. I just found you but I’ve been doing this all month. I am allowing one movie per week as that’s our family tradition, dinner and a movie once a week.
    I am ridiculously exhasuted and there is glitter glued to my entire house. But after 3 weeks the kids have FINALLY stopped asking for TV all day everyday. It’s replaced with can we do a craft demands.

    1. I’m so excited that you found this and that you are PSYCHIC and have already been doing it!! I love the idea of the one movie per week — we did movie night for awhile and I definitely want to reincorporate post-tv-challenge. I have links to how my weeks are going at the end of this post as well as each post has the 4-5 blogs participating in the linky for some more support!

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