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What does Netflix have to do with Quiet Time?

I never thought I would be one of THOSE parents. The ones who hand their kids tech to keep them quiet. I mean, do some parenting, people! Raise your children! Teach them to behave appropriately. Put in the work to engage them, play with them, pay attention to them.

Oh, silly me. Silly, sweet, naive, arrogant, judgmental, pre-kids me.

I have come to the conclusion that technology is seriously the best. You can bet your bottom dollar I ABSOLUTELY use technology as a crutch with my kids, and I don’t even feel a little bit bad about it. How else am I supposed to go to the OB/GYN if not for streaming video? I mean, really.

When there is a sick day, I have zero qualms about handing out devices, turning on televisions, binge-watching Netflix kids. I care not for the American Academy of Pediatrics screen time recommendations because, honestly, I don’t think the AAP really cares that much about me. Their studies on screen time make no mention of the loss of sanity suffered by moms whose children have zero screen time, especially with three small children under one roof taking turns puking. During those long, dark months known as cold and flu season, when I’m basically housebound while my children play “swap the sickness” over and over and over, I thank the Lord for Walt Disney and his addictive family films.

But where technology really comes through for me is in my quiet time.

I hear these sweet women suggest waking up before your kids to get the day started with the Word. Or to tell your kids to play in their rooms while mommy spends some time with Jesus. Or to plan a family devotional time where you can all study together. These are all wonderful ideas, and I know actual real people who do these things, and they WORK for them. Not in my house.

Perhaps I have the wrong brand of children, but under my roof, waking up early is a fool’s errand. Someone will just wake up earlier than me anyway. “I see your 5:00 and I raise you 4:30!” Thumbs down to that idea. As for playing in their rooms while I study, it’s really laughable how horribly that goes down. If I attempt doing ANYTHING alone and encouraging them to do something else, I am immediately surrounded. Cooking dinner, going to the bathroom, reading a book, studying the bible, making a phone call, having a snack. I am never allowed privacy or independence. I am constantly surrounded by tiny people who want to be in my lap and on my face and all up in my business.

None of the ideas that involved actively parenting while attempting to have time with Jesus ever worked for me, so I turned to my old friend, Technology. He had served me so well in fancy restaurants and at the doctor’s office. So I turned on the TV and went in the other room to be with Jesus for 30 minutes. One episode of Sesame Street can buy you a good amount of time with God, believe me.

We are in the trenches here in early motherhood. We need to be armed and ready for daily battle. We need to stay connected to Christ in whatever way possible. If my kids watch a little extra TV or play on my phone for a few extra minutes so that I can get grounded with God, that’s an easy decision for me with no guilt whatsoever. They need a Spirit-filled mom and if that means more screen time, so be it.

Now, don’t get me wrong, technology isn’t the only weapon in my arsenal, but it’s one I shout from the rooftops. It’s one I want to give other moms permission to use. Use TV time to your advantage. Use those video games, iPads and Apps to distract them long enough for you to connect with Christ, and don’t feel guilty about it for one minute. What a victory for the Enemy if women were so guilt-ridden over screen time that they persisted in frazzled parenting in their own power, rather than turn on Daniel Tiger and open their Bibles to be filled with the Spirit?

Girl, you do what you gotta do to get with Jesus. There are a lot of good, wholesome apps, games, shows and movies out there that will not harm your child for one minute. What they WILL do is give you the time and space to be present with Christ even in the busiest, most demanding seasons of raising littles.

So I raise my remote with you, my friend! Praise Jesus for PBS Kids.

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Showing 18 comments
  • Juliette

    I hear you sister!

    • Breana Lenninger

      LOL toddler snot stains are going he new black!

  • Natalia

    Well said!

  • Kwell

    Preach sister! I did so much better with this with child one but child two is a different story. Screen time is my only quiet time. Thanks feeling much less guilty now.

  • Jennifer

    Love this article!!! (Your link isn’t working: 45 LEGIT Quiet Time Strategies for more ideas)

    • Teresa Jones-Simpson

      Can we shout it from the rooftops?!?! I’m a Netflix mama too. That’s the only way I get to read these articles! 🙂

  • Janelle

    I feel like I’m reading a post from myself! I have had so much guilt that my oldest spends the younger twos nap time watching Netflix. But honestly, it’s my alone time! I was very much against them watching tv in their younger years but now I realize that a stressed out mom is way more harmful to health then an hr of TV.

  • Tricia

    LOL!! So funny! And too true! Thanks for the encouragement today.

  • Julie Bussis

    I totally agree with using technology to help mommy get some much needed quiet time. However I recently signed a petition asking Netflix to remove a movie that is a total mockery of Jesus and they have refused, so I deleted my Netflix account. So can I just suggest PureFlix as a great alternative to Netflix. It has great kids shows and you don’t have to worry about our Savior being made into a mockery.

  • Andrea

    Thanks for your refreshing honesty that helps the rest of us feel relieved to know we’re not alone. My plan to get up before the kid always backfires too!

  • Tammy Whyte-Ownlea

    Could I get more information on how I can also set this up for my kids?

  • LT

    I love it and thank you! Coming from a mom of 3 girls who works and is super involved in church, I need to not feel like I’m “the bad mom” when I try to steal a few minutes away for Jesus, the bathroom, my husband, a haircut or simply to catch my breath. You’re Awesome and I pray God continues to grant you strength and a fully charged tablet to help you get through the day🙏

  • Pilar

    Love this! Great idea 🙂

  • Not easy

    We wonder why children are impatient, can’t think outside the box, need better critical thinking skills
    Learning how to be patient, respectful, considerate and kind human beings do not need distraction. Deep inside you give yourself permission only because you know it’s not right. With this kind of conditioning, are these children really going to understand how tough life is? Have you listened to psychologists and experts on this really terrible human experiment on how technology has downgraded human life in terms of social media and subscription watching like unmonitored YouTube or hours of Netflix. I’m
    Not saying you do this. The pattern of turning to a screen and All will be better, is this godly? I hear God saying provide what’s timeless, provide real world experiences, can they read? Draw? Create art projects? Sew, listen to classical music, write in a journal? Play with a rubix cube or a travel board game? I just wonder if this is really what god wants for us. Are we justifying our choices or is god really about quick fixes without seeking other possible options, turn on the screen. I empathize with you, there are tough moments. Just wondering is this the best way? Bless your bold post. Many many moms do this. We are our kids main teachers of what’s wrong and right. I just wonder what God hopes for us.

  • Vickie

    As a mama of five i understand the struggle of carving that time. I believe God does too. I am however wary of your “Netflix” suggestion. Reads almost like an endorsement. My quiet time is a desired goal and discipline to grow in the Lord. This growth is i believe one that is in alighnment with Joshua 24:15 declaration. If my end goal is the desire to know God more and serve him, why would i want to dig in His truth while my kids are “quietly” being fed lies and world views contrary to the truth i am seeking?
    Yes, screen time can be relieving..there are many wholesome shows my kids can watch for them to also know God more.
    That “sesame street” is notorious for having pop culture icons as guests not a show i would want my kids watching. May i suggest you check out Right Now media as an alternative. Your kids can be learning bible verses in catchy tunes during that time too.
    I would be happy to add you to our church group subscription for a free membership.

  • Kristen Ray

    thank you for this encouragement today!

  • Andie M

    I totally love this article! In part, because I was that pre-kids parent! LOL! Now I have an adult daughter and an at-home son. Boy was I wrong! And still feel ashamed of my thoughts

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