I was looking back at my daughter’s first few months with fondness the other day. Not holding her tiny little hands or those snuggly newborn cuddles on my chest, but all the Netflix I watched.
Oh man, was there a lot of Netflix.
She did little else but feed and nap on me during those early days, and every time she did, I turned on Netflix. I used to be an avid reader, but my mind was too muddled with sleeplessness after she was born to do anything but stare at a screen.
And stare I did. It was EPIC.
I watched three seasons of Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends and five seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race. When my husband went away for a conference, leaving me alone with a 5-week-old Popple, I watched 14 episodes of Pretty Little Liars in a single day. She was well into her non-stop screaming phase (a phase that would last another seven weeks), so I was too afraid to leave the house. We sat on the couch for most of the day while she alternated between feeding, sleeping and crying, that ridiculous teen drama on mute with subtitles.
I got through six seasons of that crap without ever once turning on the sound.
The baby days also introduced me to Making a Murderer, Sing It On and Scrotal Recall (which, disappointingly, has now been renamed Lovesick). Stories of murder, college a capella groups and awkward British love triangles were my reward for waking up at 3am for yet another feed. I told myself that it was actually a good thing that she was awake yet again, because it meant that I got to watch another chunk of the ongoing saga between Steven Avery and the Manitowoc Police Department.
I almost looked forward to those late night feedings. Not quite. But almost.
The baby stage was hard, but the TV was great. And I miss it. Yeah, I still watch TV now, but I can only manage one episode of a show per night, and often not even that. There are, after all, lots of other things I need to be doing. Cleaning. Preparing meals. Actually spending time with my husband. Blogging, obv.
But when the Popple was a newborn, no one expected me to do anything but care for her – and I didn’t expect anything more of myself either. I never felt guilty about losing myself in show after show, because what else was I supposed to do while she was boobin’ and napping?
I’ll never have guilt-free TV time like that again.
And that’s okay. I know it’s healthy to have other interests and obligations that go beyond the screen. Still, there are times when my urge to binge watch feels almost like a physical craving. I’m desperate to consume a series the way I did back in those newborn days, stuffing it in almost whole.
A stupid teen drama, preferably.
Maybe with the sound on this time.
A version of this post originally appeared on MeetOtherMums.