How Parks and Recreation Made Me a Happier Mom

During the peak of Covid-19 loneliness, I started watching Parks and Recreation. I genuinely looked forward to sitting by myself on the couch, after my daughter went to sleep, to watch a couple episodes of the light-hearted show. It was a huge change of pace from the normal dramas I had to limit myself to one episode a night with.

I noticed a huge change in my attitude going to bed throughout watching this sitcom. I loved laughing all by myself with Amy Poehler. I wasn’t hooked like I normally was on shows. I didn’t stay up later than I should because an episode would end on a huge cliff-hanger. It was all just easy-going.

What have we normalized?

As much as I love a good drama, isn’t it a little strange how numb we’re all getting to gore, sex, and violence? We’ve normalized watching an autopsy, shooting, abduction, etc. while our kids sleep in the next room on a nightly basis.

Watching serious shows like this made me a paranoid mom. It’s naïve to think that we don’t think about something awful happening to our children every time we see something awful happen to a child on tv, consciously or subconsciously. I can remember now how I felt the need to go check on my daughter (who sleeps through the night just fine) every night before bed. I remember a feeling of relief washing over me every time I would see her sleeping peacefully.

As much as I understand the importance of being aware of my surroundings, there’s a huge change in my sleep I experience when I watch something suspenseful before going to sleep. The ice maker has a way better chance of waking me up when I watch an episode of Marcella before going to bed, rather than The Office.

I firmly believe it’s worth considering exactly what we have all normalized and watch on a daily basis. We’ve shifted as a society from watching mostly sitcoms and having one day a week where we wait for the latest episode of a drama to come out to binge watching Law & Order, Game of Thrones, Dexter, etc. all night, thanks to streaming services. If I start a show on Monday, Netflix is emailing by Thursday to “finish watching ____”.

I think we could all do with a shift from dramas with little doses of comedies to comedies with little doses of dramas. I think we could all benefit as parents with a shift. What do you think?

Deon Sumer
Hi, I’m Deon! I grew up in Zachary, Louisiana and graduated from LSU. I now live in Prairieville. I had my daughter, Evelyn, in the fall of 2018. I’m a member at Istrouma Baptist Church. I love traveling and exploring new places. A plane ticket to anywhere with a rental car waiting for me is a dream vacation. I have a degree in mass communications with a concentration in public relations and a minor in political science. I use my skills to the best of my ability as an advocate for adoptable pets and animal welfare, particularly at Companion Animal Alliance. I have two rescue dogs at home. My daughter’s first word was dog (or ‘gog’). As for my day job, I serve as the Executive Director of a conservative think tank. I spend the majority of my free time in my garden, attempting to master my Canon camera, reading, and walking my daughter through the neighborhood in her wagon.

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