Life is good as the mother of two little ladies. Rosaleen is sleeping very well, and Hazel is a loving big sister. Despite the extensive parenting responsibilities that come with having no summer day care, Josh and I have been able to do most of the other things we want to do: garden, read, run, and have uninterrupted conversations with each other. We just talked about the one thing we are still missing: television. It took us all of last week to watch one 22-minute streaming episode of How I Met Your Mother. Rosaleen is sleeping too well for us to do a middle-of-the-night marathon, and Hazel is falling asleep so late we don’t have much TV time in the evenings.
Depending on baby/child sleep schedules, parenthood, and motherhood in particular, can actually lead to more marathoning. Interviewee Josie (a pseudonym), watched Battlestar Galactica with her wife around her wife’s pumping schedule. The couple also read The Hunger Games trilogy aloud together, with that serving as another bonding experience while they fought exhaustion as the mothers of a toddler and twins. Talking about cylons and tributes presented a nice break from the baby talk that dominated their days.
I also asked two of my college friends about their experiences with motherhood and marathoning. Addie, mother of two adorable girls, said she “relied on media marathoning as a coping mechanism for the anxiety” she felt when her first child arrived. Her marathoning of Veronica Mars, Bones, and Survivor “was sort of an escape when I felt so trapped in my apartment and it made the long nights awake much easier to deal with.”
Hope, mother of two handsome boys, did some marathoning “while pregnant, in labor, and during the hospital stay” with her second child. It was fitting that Hope selected Parenthood as her television marathon.
These two experiences fit into a broader trend I’ve seen of people marathoning to get through various health crises or difficult life changes. When you have to wait out an illness or a rough patch in life, marathoning is a great way to quickly pass the time in an enjoyable way. I wasn’t able to marathon while in labor, but I do recall that the easiest half hour of the night was watching New Girl
As any parent knows, the ability to multitask is essential to staying sane. To solve our TV dilemma described in this post’s opening, Josh and I should just combine two of our activities. We can follow the cue of interviewee Jillian who marathoned Buffy while running on her treadmill or this woman who completed a running marathon (of the 26.2 mile variety) while marathoning the Lord of the Rings films. Do treadmills come with Netflix these days?