Esther Walker: Why I say no to telly in the evening

Once Sam was born I told my husband that I no longer wanted to watch TV in the evenings. My days are so marked out in chunks of time and duty. I have to do this, then this, then this, then this. I know what I am doing in each hour; there is no flexibility, no chance for me to just see how things go.

But in the evenings if I suddenly feel like I want to get up and go upstairs and clear out an entire cupboard, or sit down and go through a box of old photographs or find a terrific book on my Kindle or paint my toenails, I can, as long as I have not committed to watching two episodes of whatever on telly.

My husband was disappointed because he has grown used to watching TV in the evenings as a way to switch off from the day (although he claims that television is evil and he’d rather be reading a book).

But my days were – and still are – so stapled with errands and chores that the three hours in the evening I have to myself were and are too precious these days to spend them watching bloody telly!

It has taken me two children and nearly four years to be that selfish. To say to my husband: I don’t give a rat’s ass what you want, I don’t want to watch telly, so just find something else to do.

I don’t think I am unusual in this. If you are one of those women who says what she wants and doesn’t muck about and lays down the law with her family then I salute you.

But most women can end up just doing what everyone else wants them to do, because it’s easier than fighting.

So it turns out that putting yourself and everything you want last (because basically all you want is for other people to be happy so that they stop hassling you), even if the only thing that you want is a quick cup of coffee, is just easier.

  • This extract is taken from Esther Walker’s new book Bad Mother. If you can’t wait for the next instalment, buy and download the whole book here

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