Taking the Staying-at-Home out of Staying at Home

I’m not a good stay at home mom.

Now don’t get all worried on me. I’m not second guessing my call to stay at home full-time. I love being able to be with my daughter all the time, meet friends for lunch or coffee, have play dates, and not bring work home. But I’m lamenting my difficulty in physically staying at home. My trouble starts when I spend a lot of time at home. I eat too much junk too often. I stay on the computer a little too long, a few too many times. I become lazy, boycott housework and decrease in productivity.

As the weather turns cooler, I’m concerned that I will become housebound more often. You can only go to the mall play area so many times, and during the winter months, I hate to let my daughter play with all the germ-infested kids and equipment.

So I’m looking for ideas, here. How can I remove as much of the staying-at-home feeling out of staying at home – or at least protect myself from my staying-at-home pitfalls?



  1. I feel your pain.

    When the twins were little, I hated being home. It was boring and lonely, and it was hard to do anything productive anyway, since I was always following these destructo-boys around all day.

    As you know, I’m no poster child for stay-at-home Mother of the year. Especially during those early years. (ahem.)

    I was all about survival. I set up a schedule of weekly activities and we got out every morning. One day, it was playgroup. One day, library storytime. One day, we either had friends over or went to a friends house. One day, the children’s museum. And so on. We always left around 9 and came back at naptime. (We either ate at a friends house or packed a lunch almost every day!)

    This worked for us for a season.

    Now I love being home. But my boys have real conversations with me now AND happily entertain their brother while I mop the floor. Different seasons require different strategies.

    I look forward to hearing other ideas!

  2. Jessika, Wes’s wife, joined a mommies group that meets once a week or so, they go to different places each week, their houses, the mall, chuck e cheese; gets everyone out of the house and socializing. I think she found them through Yahoo somehow.

    I think the science museum is closed now while they renovate, but the major art museums and lots of little art galleries are all open although they may not be as cool for a 2 (?) year old.


    My sister’s in-laws have a small farm in Weatherford,, in the summer they let people come out and pick vegetables and fruits, and starting the weekend after Thanksgiving you can go out and pick your own Christmas tree. They’re mostly non-allergenic. I can’t have one in my house, but visiting the farm does not bother me (much), nor does going to Glenda’s house at Christmas.

    Library story time is good, I remember going to that as a kid.

    Oh, what about y’all taking your dog to the dog park once or twice a week? My cousin used to take her dogs there just about every day.

  3. meh

    Spaghettipie, I feel your pain! And I agree with Llama Momma! After my slight bout with depression 15 years ago, I got organized! I had a schedule with playdates, Bible studies, ministry opportunities (yes, there are some you can do with kids), etc. When I had down time at home, it wasn’t boring and I had plenty to keep me busy before the next day began. One thing that kept me sane in those early childhood years was a personal reading program, which from your reading list it looks like you already do. But perhaps there is a different hobby/skill you could work on or learn. I also excercised regularly, mostly walking with the stroller during that season of life. It IS hard to stay focused and remain diligent and productive with such loose boundaries as a SAHM. And you ARE in a hard season with a toddler.

  4. spaghettipie

    All – Thanks so much for sharing your ideas. It at least confirms for me to continue doing what I’m trying to do. I just need to expand my list of play date friends. What happens is I go through the first couple, and then give up. And anything to get me out of this house first thing definitely helps. That’s why going to the gym is good for me (besides the exercise part, of course!) It is nice to be reminded that this is a season. I take a LOT of comfort in that.

  5. michelle

    i’d like to suggest afternoon playdates with your friend michelle…especially now that we have kicked the chicken pox. …maybe O and mad can play too. someone should invent a coffe shop w/a play area.

  6. Amy

    Funny you posted this after Saturday I prayed for you. Not just for you but for extra time for you. You seemed tired but determined. I agree with Lama Momma. I have found a season of rest at home with the boys, but don’t get me wrong we have to get out at least once a week or go to someone’s house. But maybe that is because people call me like you and come over 🙂

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