I have been with Netflix since the beginning. I remember the thrill of the red envelope and the disappointment when a disc arrived scratched. I logged hours, perhaps days, of time rating movies and fine tuning my taste profile.
It paid off; Netflix knew me well.
Every suggestion, no matter how out there (Teeth anyone?), was a winner. Netflix got ME. It took my disjointed tastes and figured ME out, not an easy feat as my husband would attest.
When I got married, I quickly set up a profile for Tim so his choices wouldn’t confuse Netflix. What would Netflix think if I put an action film in my queue? When Hadley become old enough I did the same for her. I didn’t want Netflix to think I was choosing to watch Octonauts on repeat.
Sadly, my efforts were for naught. Here’s how having kids ruined my Netflix, and stole my chill as well.
My “Top Picks” are Unreliable
My “Top Picks” look like the choices of a 5-year-old with a dark side. Kid’s accounts don’t have queues and, until recently, kids weren’t allowed to search a specific title. If I want my kids to watch something specific, especially something outside the age range on my parental controls (like Hook), I have to add it to my list and play from my account. I also have my mom, mother-in-law, and various other sitters using my account while babysitting.
The result? Netflix no longer knows who I am … at all.
Picking something to watch was once simple. I would go to the suggestions knowing Netflix would be spot on. Now I have to search, and search, and actually come up with movies or shows on my own (like out of my head)! This takes way too much time. The recommendations from my once reliable friend are now tainted by choices of the littles.
It’s Basically Like Cable
One of the main reasons we don’t have cable is to avoid always having the TV on. Since I am not much of a show watcher, the autoplay feature of Netflix streaming was never an issue. If I got sidetracked during a movie, the TV would cut off at the end.
Unfortunately, and much to my chagrin, my daughter LOVES shows, probably because she has figured out that the shows keep playing! Unless I am policing the TV watching rather than cleaning, or bathing, or doing anything else SAHM’s do with an hour of free time, the shows keep coming … and coming … and coming … and it’s basically like we have cable.
Netflix and kids mean I actually have to remember to turn the TV off, and with a crawler in house, remembering doesn’t always happen. Thanks kiddos … my number two reason for not having cable is now dissolved.
My Chill is Gone
Netflix has long been my favorite way to tune out at the end of a long day, or waste away a lazy Sunday. Whether I need a movie to make me cry, think, laugh or jump … Netflix is always there with chill time. Unfortunately, my kids have ruined this for me. There is no more chill. It’s a guarantee that as soon as my butt hits anything comfy, my littles will need something. If I’m lucky, it’s not too important. If I’m not, there is probably poop involved.
Trying to Netflix and chill at the same time is now a luxury.
The 30 minutes it takes to choose something from my confused list, and get situated with blankets, wine and snacks, is the EXACT amount of time a toddler needs for a night-time power nap. The sound of an opening door and the thump, thump, thump of toddler feet is the battle cry of Netflix and chill nights.
“Mommy, I forgot to brush my teeth,” “Read me a book please,” “My ice water is empty”…
Once you’re finally back to your chill, the snack must be re-heated, the cuddle re-found and the movie must be queued again. Of course, that isn’t the end … during the most cuss-filled, violent, scary and/or sexual part of an otherwise innocuous film, without fail…
“Mommy, I have to go potty.”
Finally, with toddler back in bed, you ask your spouse if a wine refill is needed. Spouse is asleep. Netflix and chilling is just too hard. Don’t even get me started on the other meaning of this phrase.
The Changes in Netflix Mirror My Life
The ways my children impacted Netflix mirror how they have impacted my life. I changed, it’s true. I really don’t mind watching cartoons, and I do have a special affinity for Doc McStuffins and Princess Sofia.
My house, like my Netflix, is filled with signs of children. My life is busy, and crazy, and sometimes overwhelming, but I don’t miss the nights sitting alone in my apartment watching movies. I don’t miss my Netflix or my chill that much at all. My kids are here now, they are whirl winding through my life. They ruined what was there and built back something better. And while my kids indeed ruined my Netflix, I am in love with what has been made in it’s place.