Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Being Okay With Staying Home


My oldest working on the letter S and my youngest just exploring crayons and stickers
Being okay with staying home.  This phrase has two meanings.  The first has to do with making the decision to be a stay at home mom.  The second has to do with staying home and not going out for the day.  For now, I am talking about the latter.  Being okay with staying home and not going out for the day.

From the time my oldest was born, I've watched other moms go one of a few ways.  Either they stay home all day long, fill their and their kid's day with so much stuff they are always busy, or a mix of the two.  I will admit, at times I've tried to fill our days with more stuff than maybe I should have.  And there are times when I've looked at the others and wondered if maybe I wasn't doing enough. 

The Summer before my youngest was born T and I spent most days out on adventures.  Every morning he would ask where we were going or if we could go somewhere.  Some of the reason was because I wanted to pack in as much T and I time before his brother arrived. Another was because he would ask where we were going.  Lastly, our house was up for sale, so many times we had no choice but to be out of the house and we were trying to visit some of our favorites before moved to a new area.

After my youngest was born, we were still trying to go out and do something. Looking back, I often wonder if it was more for my sanity than anyone else.  But I know that some of it was to keep with something consistent for my oldest that he was doing before his brother arrived and also to give him activities that were more focused on him.

Moving forward, I would still have a hard time with staying home.  I am not sure why though.  It is still a mystery to me and I am extremely curious as to the deeper side of it.  I almost wonder if it was a way for me to get out of my own head.  Or to try to keep up with other moms out there.  Fear is a very powerful thing sometimes and it pulls a lot out if you let it determine what others might think.

That being said, when I look at things, our calendar is probably the most empty of most of the moms I know.  And yet, our weeks fly by as there is always something we are going out to do.  I am not saying that having activities and play dates is a bad thing, but I wonder if sometimes we over schedule our kids with out of the home activities and classes, that they get lost and so do we.

And while they enjoyed their time, I enjoyed the chance to drink a cup of hot chocolate (that was still hot) and begin to write this post.
The thought came to me today about staying home while talking with my oldest.  He said he didn't want to go anywhere today.  If there is one thing I've learned in nearly four years about my kids, and well a lot of kids, is that they too need down time.  When we take the time to listen, they can be honest and real. There is a reason he was saying he didn't want to go anywhere.  Not to say that later in the morning he got upset when he decided to want to go somewhere, but  a three year old can and does change their mind a thousand times a day.  But after I said we weren't going anywhere, told him he had said he didn't want to go anywhere, and explained why we didn't have the time at that point to go, he continued on with the activity he was doing happily.

Normally, I go stir crazy staying at home all day long.  It's not as bad in the warmer months of Minnesota as we can break up the day by going on walks and going outside to play as well, but in the cold months that is not always as simple of a task.  Especially now with two kids, getting bundled up in full outdoor gear takes more time than we have to play or it's just too darn cold out.  However, in the past, I would find a reason to leave the house, even if it was to just wonder around Target. 

After having two holidays in a row and pretty much staying home for each of the extended weekends, my thoughts and feelings have changed. It took going through New Year's weekend though to begin feeling okay with the idea of staying home and not going anywhere.  Now, that's not to say we didn't go a few places, but the majority of the days were spent at home.  So, today, when we opted for staying in, I felt oddly, but refreshingly at ease and comfortable.

Going forward, we will still have activities and play dates outside the house, but I am also going to better utilize what we have right around us and plan for staying in days.  I think in the long run, we will all benefit from it.

Would love to hear your thoughts and comments. What are some of things you and your kiddos like to do when you stay home or have a stay in day?