Long before marriage and family was a possible thought in my brain, I watched an episode of a daytime talk show (I want to say it was Oprah), which would shape how I would eventually set up my home.
In this episode, a very famous decorator/designer (I want to say it was Nate Berkus), was the special guest, whose task was to revamp a couple’s home. I can’t recall what colors he painted their walls, or what artwork he picked for their living room or what curtains he hung on their windows. However, when it came to their bedroom, one thing the designer said planted itself in my brain:
“Bedrooms are for sleeping and for sex.”
This blunt statement was the designer’s answer to the couple’s question of why there was no longer a television in their bedroom.
I wasn’t married; I wasn’t even dating anyone; I wasn’t even out of high school. Despite, being nowhere near that place in my life, that advice resonated with me. I knew when the time came for me to create a home, I would do my best to heed the advice of keeping my bedroom television free.
I do get the lure of having a T.V. in your bedroom. Sometimes it is nice to just snuggle together and put something on the tube before dozing off. I also understand that if you live in an apartment or a smaller home, sometimes the bedroom is the only place for a television, especially if it’s the only place you can escape from your kids. I have been there. My husband and I didn’t always have a T.V.-free bedroom.
We do now, and I am grateful. I’m not saying our master bedroom is a place of constant lovemaking. Most nights we are joined by our little ones. So the “for sleeping” part is even questionable. But, it is a calm space, a place for relaxation, and, when our children grace us with those treasured quiet moments, our bedroom becomes a space for connection, romance and intimacy.
When I say intimacy, I don’t just mean physical intimacy. I mean the type of intimacy that comes from lying next to your partner at night and sharing your soul. My husband and I both get so caught up in our lives, we often don’t get those moments to just talk. And, when we can capture the time before our kids jump into bed with us, I believe our bond is strengthened.
Though motivated by different reasons, we have decided to also keep our kids’ room television-free. Our children may not be the best sleepers, and as I mentioned, staying in their own beds is a challenge for them, yet, we still want to encourage them by creating a space that is conducive to rest. We spend lots of time downstairs in the kitchen and family room area, which often means plenty of time in front of the T.V. As a stay-at-home mom, I appreciate having a room in which my kids, or sometimes myself, can go to chill out and re-center. We all need a quiet space.
I am not saying taking the television out of the bedrooms in your home will magically make your marriage a non-stop sex fest, or turn your kids into perfect sleepers. Relationships and parenting are both complicated, and there are no simple solutions to make them better. However, we can do a few things to nudge them in the direction which best suits our lives, and for me, that means leaving the T.V.’s downstairs.