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.
****** JOIN ME IN PARTICIPATING IN THE “MAKING YOUR HOME A HAVEN” FALL CHALLENGE.