Nine Months More

Why it is OK to Crush Candy and Kill Zombies

Saturday morning at our place: two little boys bound out of bed, super excited that is it Swimming Day! Two little boys rush to get their bathers on, eat their breakfast and cannot wait to get in the car and go.

Saturday morning at our place: two parents struggle out of bed, in denial that it is Saturday again and that they are up so early. Two parents inhale their coffee, throw on a tracksuit, grab their phones and follow their two boys into the car. On a good morning: two parents don’t forget the towels or the change of clothes.

Saturday morning at the pool: my boys are excited and sitting by the water’s edge, ready and waiting for their lesson. Children are crying, clinging onto weary parents, scared and reluctant to leave them to swim in a pool with strangers. Teachers are doing their best to keep a smile on their face and encourage all their little swimmers to have fun. Parents, relieved that the lessons have started, inhale another coffee and pull out their smart phones.

kids swimming lessons

For the past weeks, my conscience has been struggling with this last part, where classes start and smart phones come out. I have had mornings by the pool, where I have tried not to use my smart phone, only to be more annoyed at my hubby sitting there killing zombies right in front of me on his.

On some mornings, I have tried to watch every single stroke, across the two different lessons my boys swim in. I have tried to catch their look as they come up for breath. But often my thumbs up and frantic waves only catches the eye of other parents, momentarily looking up from their smart phones.

Candy Crush Saga

Last week, I caved in. I tried so hard to pass yet another level on Candy Crush Saga that I forgot to watch every single stroke and wildly flag thumbs up. At the end of the lesson, out came two very wet and happy little boys. One had achieved a certificate in the next level and one had been bumped up into the next progressive class. That is when it dawned on me. The ability of my boys to have fun and learn at their swimming lessons has nothing to do with me watching them or not.

I need to just let go of the guilt of pulling out my smart phone as a little escape. Back in the time of no smart phones, swimming lessons still happened. Parents didn’t watch every single stroke then either. They pulled out their crosswords, the latest book they were reading, their knitting, their crochet, the newspaper – something was always taken along to distract the time until the lesson was over.

Plants versus Zombies

The important part is being present. And that I am, every single week. So is hubby. We encourage our boys and join in the excitement that they feel about their swimming. We snap a picture when they get a new certificate and sms it to Nanna. Just because we crush candy and kill zombies, as well, while we are there doesn’t make us bad parents.

Do you crush candy and kill zombies?

  • Sophie Allen

    Amen to that! Thank you! I do find it pretty funny though, the smart phone position, and I get a good giggle out of all of the heads down fingers swiping. Unfortunately for me, I usually have already surrended mine to one of the other boys who is bored waiting and trying to climb into the pool!

    • Oh yes, it is a luxury for me to have mine for the whole thirty minutes, the minute the boys are dry ~ it is back in their hands x

  • bodyandfeetretreat

    I don’t think so – so long as crushing candy and killing zombies isn’t the focus of all your time – taking time out to do that isn’t going to be harmful to your children when they are at swimming lessons !
    I think you are doing a great job – keep it up !
    Have the best week !

    • thank you and to be honest, how many parents can spend their whole focus on games? I think none at all …

  • Totally addicted to Candy Crush!! It is my down tune out time…just after the kids go to bed, it is ME time!

  • Meagan

    I have so not started the Candy Crush bizzo yet, im frightened.. but regardless of that.. I love that you both go to swimming when possible! Dont feel guilty, you guys need time to chillax.. the kids are being entertained.. why the heck not!
    Meagan x

    • almost always, hubby and I go to the lessons together, just the way this little family works x

  • LydiaCLee

    Can I say, a swimming lesson is a swimming lesson. I think we put to much importance on this stuff. That said, I read a book pool side and wave from time to time – my parents never did, and you know what? I didn’t expect them to, nor did I care.

    • I totally agree and why aren’t we badgering the parents reading? or doing a crossword? or knitting? pool side…..

  • I am too scared to start playing Facebook games in case I get addicted…it is bad enough with Twitter & Facebook. Congrats to your boys on their swimming achievements

  • Robyn (Mrs D)

    Phew it’s not just me then!!! I’ve not tried the zombie’s but crushing candy is a MUST at swimming, rugby and ballet!! I still feel guilty about ‘missing’ each little stoke, and I’ve tired, like you, not to play – but really I think we’re entitled to the odd half and an hour ‘off’ aren’t we?? And like you say – always present!! xxx #IBOT

  • Renee at Mummy, Wife, Me

    I totally agree that the important part is being present. You can’t be with them, entertaining them, praising them 24 7. You need time for you too, and if that means a little candy crush, then so be it! When my eldest is at daycare on Tuesdays and I’m just home with bub we watch a little bit of the Kardashians. I feel guilty, but it’s my time out. I just make sure the time I do spend with her is quality time 🙂

    • oh, I love the Kardashians! nothing wrong in watching that together, nothing at all x

  • I waste on my time on social media rather than the games on my devices, but I did start playing the Dumb ways to die app the other day and got right into for a bit!

  • Can’t say I’m into games on my phone, but certainly don’t beat yourself up about it. As you say it’s no different to puling out the crosswords or books.

  • Rina

    I really need to see what is this crushing candy all about because since morning I have read it on my friend’s status on FB and now here…I am so outdated lol!

  • I used to read a book while my kids did swimming (before smartphones)! But I so get this – in fact I wrote a post a little while ago about my epic parenting fail when my little boy scored his one and only goal at soccer – oops! You can see it at

    Visiting from Team #IBOT xxx

  • I love playing games on my phone; it’s my way to unwind. And sometimes I won’t sit down at all, unless i make myself, and Candy Crush is a good way to sit for just a small amount of time. We all need to chill sometimes xx

    • Absolutely, if we don’t take a little time out, I think many parents would fizzle out x

  • mumabulouis

    Geez – there’s no need for any guilt whatsoever about this. Its probably the only half hour break you get until your boys go to bed at night. Enjoy every precious minute.

  • Sarah – Just One More Chapter

    I totally understand, although with DD in the babies class still, one of us has to go with her. And the one who doesn’t go with her, if they make eye contact, distracts her from the rest of the lesson. So it’s easier to whip out the phone and hide behind the pole 😉 By the way – I’m stuck on level 147…. any tips?

    • gosh no tips at all, I often beg my sister to play out a level for me after being stuck for weeks x

  • Danya Banya

    haha! I don’t crush candies or kill zombies, but I do read my Kindle. 🙂

  • Loree

    I used to crush candy but don’t seem to have the time for it anymore.

  • What a great post. So much in this. And I neither kill zombies or crush candy, but that’s just me 😉 x

  • Lisa Berriman

    Yep totally agree. The kids don’t really notice we are there anyway. It is nice to get a little great in an otherwise busy day/week. I may have to check out this game…or maybe I shouldn’t 🙂 it sounds addictive.

  • I don’t do either. Although, I did kill zombies for a time, but there is only so much you can do.

    I love this post. I really struggled with this when my kids were doing swimming (or pool is now closed). I think your conclusion is so true. The kids are busy, their focus is else where and if you’re not constantly enthralled in a game, then what’s the harm? I am thinking I will start taking a book once we go back and you’re so right, it’s the same thing. I don’t know why people get so hung up on the electronics. Distractions have always been around. When my mum read, you knew not a lot else was going to happen, she would get so involved. Same thing, funny how no one seems to realise.

  • I neither crush candy nor kill zombies, I have too much else to do on my smart phone 🙂 But I perfectly agree with your conclusion. People without smart phones would have, and still do, find something else to occupy their time, aside from just watching their kids.

    Having said that, I do know that my kids love when I actually see *some* of their lessons (partly because it’s rare though, because I’m either in the shallow water with their little sister, or I’m not there at all because their Dad takes them while I work). But five minutes would do.

    Also one of the things people may have done in the past is chat with each other. Now, as a decided introvert, I *love* that I can bury myself in my phone, or a book, and not have to chat with people. In fact, I will admit to sometimes leaving headphones on during bus rides when I’m not listening to anything, just so I people assume I can’t hear them.

    But, I do wonder if that lack of conversation with strangers is something we should be as concerned about as not watching our kids in their lessons.

    • what a very interesting idea, lack of conversation with strangers, now that is something worth thinking about, thank you x

  • Katyberry

    Saturday mornings are swimming lessons for our 3 girls as well, however for us it is a family outing. We all go swimming, and because the classes are at different times, we spend the morning swimming with the girls and playing. My version of tuning out however is hanging out in the pool with one of our friends who joins us. I certainly don’t watch every stroke, just a few thumbs up at the great jumps in etc.

    It is a relaxing Saturday morning. And there isn’t too much screaming about getting in the water from the kids, because they come swimming with us – lessons aren’t just a weird punishment that parents make them do (which is what I reckon some of those scared kids must think)

  • I needed to read this right now, I sometimes miss things when I play candy crush but it’s just an escape every now and then! I have to say it’s very addictive though. Finally getting around to IBOT – better late than never 🙂

  • Grace

    We had Swimming Day today and oh my, I am totally drained by the end of it. Do what gets you through, I say. Although, I haven’t caught on the Candy Crush craze yet…I know I’d get addicted, though!

  • Rebecca Thompson

    I do a bit of everything. But my main guilt is not using the time to talk to my husband. I find that I can’t really hear what is going on between the teacher and my son and also want him to be paying attention to her more so than looking for my validation. So I am happy with that. Plus it has to be said it is boring watching every ticking minute of the half hour.
    But that time with my husband (that is not relentlessly interrupted by Mr4) is hard to come by. How do we spend it? Mostly with our face in our phones or pointing out what is going on in the swimming pool. When I am being mindful, I try to take the time to talk to my husband.
    Becc @ Take Charge Now

  • Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo

    I am not a gamey sort of person.

    Tetris is about all I have ever got into. I get far too anxious!

  • Conklin Patricia

    hi, I just added you in google+ , good day and good luck

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