What did moms do before Netflix? Sure, maybe we all read more books or found more time to exercise or meditate. But really, with all those momentary gaps in the day, most of us probably just stared off into space. Fortunately for us millennial mamas, we’ve got the power of instant watch at our very fingertips. As any of y’all might know, during those first few weeks after giving birth there’s plenty of time (and need) for catching up with your shows. You don’t even really need a postpartum excuse to spend solo time with Netflix.
See, the postpartum days aren’t all that terribly exciting (usually). You wake up (probably to a crying baby and, if not, I am officially jealous of you), change the baby, feed the baby, burp the baby, and then put it back down. Sometimes you brush your teeth and change your underwear and, well, sometimes you don't. Maybe you pick the baby up for some snuggles, but then they fall asleep so you put them down and twiddle your thumbs for a bit. You'll probably consider taking a nap but don’t want to risk waking up to a shrieking child, plus you’ve got dirty clothes all over the floor, dishes in the sink, hair in the drain, etc.
So yeah, you might feel guilty about picking up your Netflix device, but why should you? Do you seriously need excuses to binge on Orange Is The New Black or The Get Down? You do? OK, OK, fine. I’ll make this easier for you. In case anyone asks why you’re watching Netflix, feel free to use these excuses.
“I Need To Breastfeed But, Hey, We Can Trade Places”
Unless you’re fortunate enough to be in a relationship where you’re both lactating, chances are you’re the only one to do it (if you choose and/or are able to breastfeed, that is). Use your boobs for good by using them to feed your baby, and also using them to brush off any guilt you might have for your sci-fi or cult comedy addiction. If someone has a problem with how you're spending your time, they can learn to lactate.
“I Gotta Go Pump Milk For Later. Would You Rather Feel Like A Milked Cow On A Machine?”
Pumping breastmilk is uncomfortable. Use that discomfort to make anyone who should question your marathon of Stranger Things feel horrifically guilty. Then proceed to add some House of Cards to your queue, just for good measure.
“I’ll Be Washing The Bottles. You Know, The Ones You Didn’t Wash.”
I’ve gotten the side-eye for balancing my phone on a ledge in order to watch Netflix while washing dishes. Honestly, though no one should be throwing shade at you when you’re freaking WASHING DISHES, and that definitely includes baby bottles.
“Can I Just Be Alone In The Bathroom For A Minute?”
This gets to be more challenging once your kid starts walking, but it’s certainly an understandable request. We all need some private time in the bathroom and, fortunately for us, most bathrooms have wifi access.
“Mommy Needs A Warm Bath, Unless Of Course You Want Me To Keep Smelling Like This”
I don’t exactly recommend watching TV while you’re in the bath tub since you run the risk of ruining your phone. So maybe you find an area in the bathroom that’s fairly far away from the tub, but from which you can still see your screen. If that’s possible, use the bath excuse and feel free to let them smell your new mama funk if anyone tries to argue with you about it.
(Of course, if you’re frequently co-bathing, this might not work.)
“I’m In Some Pain. I Need To Lie Down. GTFO Of my Way.”
Hey, new moms often experience pain, so this is a legit excuse. Whether you’re recovering from a c-section or waiting on your vaginal tears to heal (and yeah, that’s even worse than it sounds), you have every right to lose yourself in Magic Mike while you heal. We all need some magic in our lives, damn it.
“I Can Watch And Eat Simultaneously, Duh”
Pretty sure everyone uses this excuse, right? I mean, otherwise, what are you doing? Mindfully eating and just staring at your food? Nahhhh. OK, maybe that’s technically a better way to go, but you’re a new mom and you deserve a little Grey’s Anatomy with your lunch.
“I’m Trying To Find Something Educational For The Baby”
Now, if you get caught staring at your phone while you’re with your kiddo, you can always just use this excuse. Sure, maybe you were trying to catch up on The Crown, but you can also mention how this is an important history lesson for your baby and then switch over to Sesame Street, right?
“I’m Gonna Put On Something Boring So The Baby Falls Asleep Faster. I Swear It Works!”
My partner always tells me that it’s real easy for him to fall asleep when a golf or baseball game is on the TV. I get it (because it usually bores me, too, though he actually enjoys the games so, whatever). If your child is being fussy, just tell whoever is bugging you about the screen that you’re actually just going to watch Downtown Abbey because you know it’s like a sleeping potion for babies. Hey, it just might work!
“Doing Laundry, BRB!”
If you want to escape the chaos of your household for a bit and get to watch Netflix, doing laundry is your best bet. Whether you’re doing it at home in a laundry room or hitting the laundromat, it’s easy to sneak in TV time while loading and unloading machines. And you know what goes great with laundry for me lately? Black Mirror.
“I Just Gave Birth, OK?”
When all else fails and someone tries to give you grief about watching Netflix (or any other streaming service), just shove them aside and tell them you just gave birth to another human being, and that should guilt them into leaving you alone.
New moms should be allowed to do pretty much whatever (within reason) so long as it hurts no one (or themselves). We’ve earned the right to binge watch old The L Word episodes for keeping the species going, alright? And yes, you're welcome.