Though “Netflix and chill” has become slang for let’s hang out and have sex, for parents it actually means so much more. It’s spending the few moments you have in your busy lives together with your spouse. It’s bonding over a shared interest because, I mean, compatibility is measured by the shows we both enjoy—-duh. At least by today’s standards. Netflix and chill for new parents is about rejoining humanity and catching up on what’s popular and what’s new. It’s finally talking about something other than poop or your lack of sleep. And yeah, fitting sex in there too. Netflix and chill is the only moment in my day when I get to do something other than clean, cook, entertain a toddler, or run errands. It became the one thing in my day I looked forward to because it meant spending necessary time with my husband and getting a much needed break from mommy-duties. Once my daughter goes down for the night, I feel accomplished and in need of a much deserving break. But as the months have rolled by and Netflix and chill has become a routine we’ll do just about anything to keep, I can’t help but to wonder if it’s saving or ruining my relationship.
If you’re actually watching a show or movie on a streaming service, there are no commercial breaks. Normally this is something to cheer about, it’s kind of the whole point. But uninterrupted entertainment meant little to no time to do anything else other than to snack and mindlessly watch television. At first, that’s exactly what I needed—-to tune out the highs and lows of being a new mom and focus on something else and to reconnect with my husband after a busy day with out much effort. But after months, I started to worry that we were connecting to characters on “Dark” more than each other.
Prior to becoming parents this is how we bonded so it was confusing to me that I felt disconnected. We are both obsessed with well-written and mind blowing television shows and movies, in fact that’s how we ended up in a relationship. Our love of movies is one of the major foundations of our relationship. But the thing is, before having a baby, we were connecting in different ways that are just not possible anymore. We had multiple date nights a week, we’d actually go out to the movies, we spent a lot of time around our love of movies but also had room for quality time. We traveled a lot and had spontaneous trips, we were just carefree. Today, it’s just not attainable. Netflix and chill is a great way to unwind when accompanied by an otherwise healthy relationship. I’m not saying our relationship is unhealthy but it’s definitely in need of a little TLC.
For two busy parents of a toddler, Netflix and chill was saving and ruining our relationship simultaneously. We were bonding over plot twists yet we were kind of forgetting about reconnecting outside of our daily escape. We didn’t give any thought to how our night would go because it was pre-planned. No more Yelp to choose a restaurant, no more surprise dates. We’d just pick up each night where we left off. Once our session of Netflix and chill was over we were like robots going about our day trying to survive on 3-4 hours of sleep. Although I tried to do other things like date-night subscription boxes, nothing compares to actually getting out and having fun, and breaking from routine. With the weather slowly getting warmer and my daughter (slowly) sleeping more soundly I’m hoping to return to some of the activities we used to partake in outside of Netflix and chill because I think we need it.
Lately I’ve tried to sneak moments in that break from routine. Give a little screen time here and there so that my daughter is entertained and we can actually enjoy a meal together. I try to watch something completely idiotic with commercial breaks or something that doesn’t require our complete focus so we can sneak in a few words and jokes. I’ll always be down to Netflix and chill but I’m trying to chill more than Netflix.
(All images courtesy of Giphy.com)