{The Lie of Getting Out}

When did staying home become a negative thing?

When did our humble abodes stop being enough?  Stop being worthy?

When did being at home become synonymous with being “cooped up”?

When did women begin “needing” to get out?

I’m not saying it’s wrong to leave our homes and to do fun things elsewhere, but I am saying that those things are not inherently better, more interesting, or more enriching. And in no way should you feel guilt or inferiority at staying home.

I have fun taking my daughter to the beach, but the work of packing up, carrying the kids and all the stuff to the sand, cleaning up, etc. can leave me worn out and frustrated and impatient, not to mention it creates more work when I do return home, preventing my home from feeling like the haven I want it to be.  Why is the beach better than the pile of dirt in my backyard?  Does my daughter know the difference?  Is my two-year-old deprived because her background noise was chirping birds and neighborhood noises instead of ocean waves?  No. Do I want her to experience ocean waves?  Of course.

But, staying home with my children is not deprivation for them or for me.  When we are at home we can care for our home, we can prevent new messes from being created, we can rest, we can just BE.

I can sit in the shade and sip my coffee while my daughters roam the yard and that is just as fulfilling as a playdate at the park.  They can learn creativity and imagination without scheduled and organized activities. Also, I don’t have to sit still and quiet while drinking coffee.  I can plan an elaborate activity to do at home if I want.  I don’t NEED to go elsewhere for that.

I think we need to stop outsourcing our fun.  We need to stop looking elsewhere.  we need to stop thinking that because we “just” stayed at home all day and didn’t go anywhere that it was an unproductive or boring day.

Anne said it well . . .

“I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.” – Lucy Maud Montgomery

as did Jane Austen . . .

“There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.”

The more I embrace this.  The more I rest in being at home instead of worrying about where I didn’t go and what I didn’t do, the more peace I feel.  The more calm I am.  The more connected I feel with my children.

I’m not going to become a hermit and I definitely still plan on going to the zoo, the beach, and the fire station.  There is a time and a place for special events and activities.  But, when I am at home, I am not cooped up.  My children are not deprived.  I am not less than as a mother because I keep our world small.

Rather, I am realizing more and more, I am present.  I want my children to remember my presence, not the activities or locations I took them to.  I want them to have a sense of home.  I want them to rest in the moment and not feel the need to hurry, hurry, hurry.

So, I have not left the house since Monday and, although I have a few errands I’d like to run or stuff I want to go buy, I probably won’t leave our home until Friday.  Truly, I feel much more calm.  My children are more rested (no skipped naps) and I am more patient with them.  I have time to snuggle my toddler at nap time, and time to write this post, and time to read the word.

The next time someone asks you what you did on a day you never left your home, don’t say, “Nothing”.  Because: being present? That is everything.







6 thoughts on “{The Lie of Getting Out}

  1. ah!!! yes! yes! 1000 times, yes! I was JUST struggling with this today. I LOVE being at home. Love it. I don’t feel deprived one bit. BUT I feel guilty for not connecting more with my friends. Like you. I seriously was about to call you, because we were going to be coming down to Cal Poly and hanging out for a bit, and I thought maybe you and the girls would want to come look at the sheep with us. But then hubby decided to change his plans a bit and to be honest, I felt relieved. Eating out? SO HARD with little ones. Loading the car… ugg. LOL. I make things sound so hard. But I just SO understand what you are saying. And so instead… I finally vacuumed. Finally. With the help of a 3 year old who thought it was soooooo fun. And then homeschool. At 3 pm. Because, why not? Everyone wants to! I struggle with wishing I was more hospitable, and I know that if I kept up my house a bit better, then I would probably not feel as self conscious inviting others over (not that this was what you were writing about… I am on a tangent now… decided your comments section was the PERFECT place to express everything I have been worrying about today. LOL!) But at the end of the day, I am SO STINKING GRATEFUL that I got to feed my family, teach my girls, go for a run, stay connected with friends online (is this bad??? another topic for another time), get caught up on laundry, read books… the list goes on. I LOVE BEING HOME! 🙂 But I do miss you. So… maybe I will just come to your house soon, so you don’t have to load up anything. Hehe. Keep on rocking life momma! You are doing things well!!! ❤

  2. I am visiting from Holley Gerth and am your neighbor on the Link UP. I really liked your post. I so agree about Just Be. When my daughter was that age we stayed home a lot and the times we were just together without outside distractions make wonderful memories. You are so right it is everything!

  3. Thanks for sharing your heart on this subject. I’m a SAHM and I’m currently trying to convince myself that I love it. haha I have depression and staying indoors all day can be quite challenging. However, I know that I am blessed to be able to spend time with my girls. I never get to miss a new milestone or a new trick. It truly is a gift! Also, I love that quote by Lucy Maud Montgomery. I think I need to write it on my bathroom mirror so I see it every morning!

    • It can take some getting use to. I also spend time in the yard and go on walks in the neighborhood when days are rough and the house feels cramped. We live in 816 sq. Feet with two littles.

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