I Can’t Watch That…


I can't watch that...As we all know, so many things change when you become a parent – your focus and your day-to-day, and much, much more. One thing I didn’t expect to change was my ability to watch TV shows and movies, but it has. I am not talking because I don’t have the time or opportunity to watch, but that there are shows that I can no longer watch because it burdens me too much emotionally. Now certainly, I am an emotional person, so some of you can insert your eye roll now. But others might agree that once they had their own child or children who consumed their world, the thought of some of these terrors rips you apart. 

No Bingeing for Me

The most prominent example of this for me is The Handmaid’s Tale. This is a show I wanted to get into, because so many people rave about it. It is based off of Margaret Atwood’s amazing book, but it tells the harrowing tale of how fertile woman were treated in a dystopian type future. I tried to watch the first episode; I didn’t make it beyond that. My empathy couldn’t handle it as I watched this woman flashback to the scene where her daughter is ripped out of her arms, likely for forever. I was wallowing in tears, hardly 10 minutes into the episode, when my husband walked in and looked at me like a maniac. He said “You rarely take the time to watch tv, why would you want to torture yourself with this?” And I agreed. While the show seems phenomenal, I couldn’t put my “mother” perspective aside as I watched and it broke my heart way too much. 

13 Reasons Why was a show that, as a middle school teacher, I had to watch to be in the know. It is a controversial show, but I wanted to be informed. Don’t get me wrong, it is an excellent show. But, it is also a graphic show, and the final episode was entirely overwhelming. The show is about a girl who commits suicide, and that suicide is played out in the final season 1 episode. However, more than that was watching her parents crumble. Losing a child is a horror that most parents are terrified of; and suicide rates have been rising in teenagers for the last decade. 

Movies, Commercials, Books and More

In speaking with other moms, it looks like there is a trend on how perspectives change when you become a parent in terms of how you enjoy media. I first experienced this when I was reduced to tears during a movie trailer while pregnant. Other moms said they couldn’t watch shows like “Law and Order” anymore, or had to ban themselves from Oprah. What about you? Is there a show, movie, book, or something else that hit you differently once you were a parent? Share about it in the comments below!