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Don’t feel guilty: 82% of parents sent kids to bed early for their own TV time

A little screen time counts as self-care—but here’s how to set boundaries for yourself too.

Don’t feel guilty: 82% of parents sent kids to bed early for their own TV time

We all know screen time is a hot topic—when it comes to both how much television kids should watch and how much is healthy for adults too. But for any parent who gets through the tough hours at the end of the day by thinking about how nice it will feel to finally tune into some guilty pleasure TV, know you aren’t alone: According to the new Serious Watchers Index, 82% of moms and dads admitted to tucking their little ones in a bit early so they could watch something with a rating above PG.


There’s no need for guilt when it comes to putting your own self-care first every once in a while, especially when you have growing kids in need of some extra sleep. (Besides, we do learn some valuable lessons from those fictional moms.)

After all, another study recently published in the Journal of Marriage and Family found parents in Western countries today spend a lot more time with their children than parents did in the 1960s. So if your grandma didn’t feel guilty about serving microwaved Spam for dinner, you shouldn’t get down on yourself for wanting to watch a grown-up show on occasion.

The trouble comes when the TV starts to take priority.

The new Serious Watchers survey, conducted by LG USA, found 59% of parents confessed to doing the early bedtime trick frequently. More than 37% of parents said they’d ditched events like parent-teacher meetings or the school play because of must-watch television. And 36% even admitted they cut a family trip short to make it home in time for their favorite show.

Since we live in the age of DVRs, this really isn’t necessary. But, if you still find yourself doing it, it may be time to turn off the tube and set your own screen-time limits. As mindful parenting expert Tejal Patel recommends, you can start breaking your TV (and general tech) habit with baby steps.

Here’s how:

  1. Turn the TV off before your kids' bedtime: It will be much less tempting to send them off to bed early if you aren't already absorbed in a show.
  2. Take the TV out of your bedroom: If all you want to do at the end of the day is crawl into bed, try cozying up with a good book instead.
  3. Set morning and night limits: Start and end the day without TV. Not only does this help you get your head in the right space, but sets the general tone for how much TV is acceptable.

Just like with kids, screen time recommendations should help us create healthy boundaries—which, in your case, certainly allows for some Stranger Things 2.

These new arrivals from the Motherly Shop are *so* good you need them all

Noodle and Boo, Mushie and Plan Toys—everything you need, mama.

Motherhood is hard work—finding great products and brands to make the journey easier doesn't have to be. Each week, we stock the Motherly Shop with brilliant new products we know you'll need and love from brands and makers that really care.

So, what's new this week?

Noodle and Boo: Holistic baby skin care

Through working with chemists who specialize in natural and holistic skin care, Noodle and Boo has developed exclusive formulas that nourish, replenish and protect especially delicate, eczema-prone and sensitive skin—including laundry detergent. Their signature, obsession-worthy scent—which is subtly sweet, pure and fresh—is the closest thing to bottling up "baby smell" we've ever found.

Mushie: Kids' dinnerware that actually looks great

We're totally crushing on Mushie's minimalist dinnerware for kids. Their innovative baby and toddler products leverage Swedish design to marry both form and function while putting safety front and center. Everything is created in soft, muted colors from BPA-free materials.

Plan Toys: Open-ended toys that last

Corralling and cleaning up the toys becomes less stressful when you bring home fewer, better, more beautiful ones. Plan Toys checks all the boxes. Made from re-purposed rubber wood, they're better for the planet as well.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

Mushie silicone baby bib

Mushie silicone baby bib

There's no going back to cloth bibs after falling in love with this Swedish design. The pocket catches whatever misses their mouths and the BPA-free silicone is waterproof and easy to wipe down between uses.

$13

Mushie kids' square dinnerware plate set

Mushie kids' square dinnerware plate set

We're totally crushing on the soft muted colors that flow with our table aesthetics and the thoughtful high-sided design that helps babies and toddler who are learning to feed themselves.

$15

Noodle and Boo nursery essentials kit

Noodle and Boo nursery essentials kit

Stocked with everything a new mama needs to care for her little one's delicate skin, Noodle and Boo's nursery essentials gift set is the perfect way to create a holistic and natural skin care routine from day one.

$45

Plan Toys doctor set 

Plan Toys doctor set

Ideal for quiet time and imaginative role play, we love the gorgeous planet-friendly doctor kit from Plan Toys. The rubber wood stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, thermometer, syringe and reflex hammer pack up neat and tidy into the red cotton case should they need to dash off on a rescue mission.

$30

Noodle and Boo instant hand sanitizer

Noodle and Boo instant hand sanitizer

Since we're buying and using hand sanitizer by the truckload these days, we're thrilled Noodle and Boo has made one we can feel good about using on little ones who cram their hands in their mouths 24/7. Not only does it kill 99.9% of germs, but it also leaves hands moisturized as well.

$10

Plan Toys natural wooden blocks set

Plan Toys natural wooden blocks set

A toy box isn't complete without a set of blocks—and this set is one of our new favorites. The sustainable, re-purposed wood is eco-friendly, comes at a relatively affordable price point and are certain to last well beyond multiple kids, hand-me-downs and even generations.

$30

Noodle and Boo family fun pack cleansing set

Noodle and Boo family fun pack cleansing set

Because their products were developed for delicate and eczema-prone skin, Noodle and Boo's full line of skin care has become a favorite among those with sensitive skin of all ages. This set is the perfect way to pamper the entire family.

$48

Mushie kids' round dinnerware bowl set

Mushie kids' round dinnerware bowl set

No need to sacrifice safety or design with the sustainable dinnerware from Mushie. Their minimalist, functional dishes are perfect for serving up meals and snacks to your tablemates who might hurl it to the floor at any point. They're made in Denmark from BPA-free polypropylene plastic mamas can feel good about and dishwasher and microwave-safe as well.

$14

Plan Toys geo stacking blocks

Plan Toys geo stacking blocks

The best engaging, open-ended toys are the ones that are left out and available, inviting little (and big!) ones to play. These beautiful gem-like blocks make for addicting coffee table play for the entire family.

$30

Plan Toys wooden green dollhouse

Plan Toys wooden green dollhouse

Energy-efficient design isn't just for grown-up real estate. This green dollhouse includes a wind turbine, a solar cell panel, electric inverter, recycling bins, a rain barrel, a biofacade and a blind that can adjust the amount of sunlight and air circulation along with minimalist furniture we'd totally love to have in our own houses.

$250

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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