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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Should Stay-at-home Moms Just Stay Home?

Can you really be a stay-at-home mom when you are always on the go? I think the term of stay-at-home mom has become a way to label those who do not work. You are either a working mom or a stay-at-home mom. But I know stay-at-home mothers who are away from home almost all day every day. They have to keep busy and schedule play dates and go to museums and parks and shopping and... You get the idea, it is tiring just thinking about it. It is similar to the "homeschoolers" who are gone constantly, my thoughts are always, "how can you homeschool if you are never at home?"

I think that it is important for a stay-at-home mom to have friends who we can converse with and for our children to have playdates. And I don't think that a stay-at-home mom needs to be stuck at home all day long. But I think that if we start to see a need where we have to go somewhere everyday, or do something away from home for several hours each day, we need to ask ourselves why? Why are we not content to just be, and to let our children form a bond with their own siblings rather than always needing a different playmate? Why did we choose to be a stay-at-home mom to be with our children when we are instead running to houses where our children can be entertained, several times a week? It's almost as though we are running away from the stay-at-home position that we chose.

I do wish that there was a playgroup or Mommy and Me group around here. I wish that we had a nice community center or child's place to go in the area. It is a bit isolating to be in a small town that really has nothing geared towards children. But I don't wish it to have something to do daily, or even weekly. My children get along well with one another and are best friends. I have enough to do at home without running around daily for several hours. My job is raising my own children and running my own home. Homeschooling also takes time and that time needs to be spent at home, for the most part. The extras are fun activities but are not required daily activities. There are times that I haven't left the house (except for a walk with the kids or to play in our own yard) for several days at a time. I actually need to be home to focus on my children and my duty. I know the mothers who always have something planned and are running from one playdate to the next or one store to another and they are so hurried all the time. They are restless at home too, not knowing what to do with themselves or their children.

It really comes down to balance. We stay-at-home mothers should not be stuck at home all day everyday, but we should be at home enough to focus on what the true meaning of a wife, homemaker, and mommy entail. If your housework is suffering, or your children seem to be lost without a friend around, or you seem to be spending too much money on mindless shopping or bored to be at home than I think that is a good point to ask yourself what your mission in life is and how you can fulfill it. Because you can't really be a stay-at-home mom if you are never home.

Your thoughts? What are your schedules like? Do you agree or disagree with what I said?


  1. I am a SAHM and in the winter am home a lot more than when it is warmer out. We spend a lot of time outside. My neighbor is also a SAHM of twins and we are always together which is awesome. I get that adult interaction! Somedays I just need to stay home and get some things done and the kids need to chill. Other days I need to get out! Balance is definitely key. One of my friends is always on the run, and just exhausts herself too much. Her kids are not even three and have not napped for months!

    I like to have things planned at least once a week and do some sort of outing another. But I live in a big town and there are lots to do!

  2. I am a STHM and I do not go out every day. Most weeks we stay home on Monday's, little one goes to Mother's Day Out on Tue, Wed and Thurs and then we go out on Friday's with my mom. Sometime we do things on other days but not all the time. When it is warmer out we do go out more often to the pool or something like that. I agree with you that balance is the key!! I don't like to be out running around every day.l I need a break too!

  3. WOW! good one! I am toatally an on-the-go mom, or atleast I want to be. My husband and I just have one car so I'm on the go twice a week when I bring him to work....I would be out of the house most morning though if I had my own car. I feel like I'm totally uncreative about thinking of fun things to do at home. I have a hard time staying focused on the kids when I'm home, I get easily distracted my the computer, the T.V. and cleaning. I always thought of our outings as good things (even if they were every day) but you make a good point, I think I need to work on doing more from home (without getting distracted). I have found that having a good schedule to follow while home helps me stay focused, but I'm bad at sticking with it.

  4. It doesn't really affect me if a SAHM is home or out & about...
    it is completely possible to be in your home & mentally absent from mothering...(as it could be outside the house too)
    so for the me the question/reflection is more on living intentionally in the moment...Not getting so wrapped up in the duties of the house that my children suffer (extreme example)
    I live in Chicago, & i feel pride in being able to expose my kids to the sights & sounds of the world around them...I love taking them to the different cultural sections of the city...I like to support my local park district by enjoying their playgrounds & programs.

  5. My son is only 9 months old so most days we stay home. We are in two play groups though and I try to make it to a park or playdate once a week or once every other week depending on what's going on. This week I could have gone to something every day if I wanted to but we also had to do grocery shopping, get 9 month pictures done and he has his 9 month well baby this week too. While those aren't "fun" outtings, they are outtings for my baby and things that disrupt his normal routine and nap schedule. I try to limit, at this point, how many days a week we go out.

    I think the main thing is to know your child(ren) and what they need. If they are really active and need an outlet to burn off some energy then you may need to take them out a few times a week to the park or a playdate. If they are low key and prefer to be at home, once a week or so is enough!

  6. I have a few out-of-the home activities... and honestly I'd rather be home cuddled up with the kids! I do go stir-crazy sometimes with no one to talk to, but I've only got a few years with my kids. I should make the most of them.

  7. I would say as long as everybody's needs are being met, then it really doesn't matter how much time you spend outside the home or how many activities you're involved in.

  8. We found that one day a week to go and do things is really working well for us.

    It gives the girls lots of time for free play and plenty of opportunities for learning. We found that the big girl's learning often spins into additional learning and that's hard to do if we're running errands or participating in organized activities.

    We really need the randomness that comes with unstructured time.

    We all find that home is our sanctuary. We love spending time with friends and can't beat outings like the children's museum, zoo, etc., but home is where we live, learn, love, and grow.

  9. I think it depends on your personality. I am a SAHM who goes crazy when I have scheduled play dates and stuff to do. If I want to go do it on my time then I'm fine with it but to me it's more work to set up stuff and stick with it than it is to stay home. That being said, I think it's easy for me to get sucked into the computer or a book and not really play with my kids also. I think your right on it being a balance. Finding what works for you and making it work.

  10. Well, by definition, I am a SAHM, but I don't feel it's a title for poeple who don't 'work'- I work my butt off every single day. I don't do playdates because the few i have done have annoyed me so immensely with all the moms who have to prove their kids are smarter or cuter or that they're a better mommy, I just had to retract within my own life so that I didn't bite someone's head off. My kids, instead play at home together. It's not always smooth, but yes, they have a bond and play well together.

    I AM on the go all the time. There is preschool, and ballet class and church, and grocery shopping (because you just CANT get out of that, as much as I'd liek to sometimes.) We have a zoo pass, so we do that a sometimes (not lately, 'cause it's so effing cold) but we don't have the money for constant entertainment like that. Besides, i'd rather be at home. Still, my children are starting to be old enough that they NEED the social interaction of a ballet class or soccer team. They NEED other peers their age. And I'm NOT starting another play date.

    As far as having friends, yes it's important and I have a group of them that I do things with on occasion- but nothing regular.

  11. I am a SAHM as well. I have 4 kids, ages 9, 8, 3.5, and 20 months. We prefer to spend our days at home in all honesty! In the summer we go outside and play in our pool or other outside activities. By the time the older girls get home we are off to our after school activities which exhausts me! I try to plan our shopping or other outside errands while they are at those.

    I have several friends who are also SAHM's but trying to get out with my son is almost impossible. He is a strict schedule guy which means no lunch dates for me! I do have them come over once in a while for coffee or I get my social "interaction" from talking to them during nap time.

  12. I am a stay-at-home HOMESCHOOLING mother to 4 children seven and under. I do feel the need and see it as very important to stay home. It makes for more rested children, a better run household, and a happier mommy. Children don't like to be confined all day in a cart or stroller no more than we, as adults like to sit in a car or wait in line for hours on end.
    At home my older children learn the art and blessing of working as a family.
    We usually venture out about once a week when two of the little ones have speech therapy and we have mid-week service at church but other than that you can usually find us at home.
    Great post!

  13. Good post to get me thinking. I'm pretty much a homebody so I don't mind being at home for the most part. I do find myself wanting some adult conversation at some point during the day and usually pick up the phone to talk to a friend or my mom. If we have an activity (playgroup, ballet, grocery) it's usually just one per day. I hope that I teach my children that while they are the 3rd most important people in my life (God and Husband coming before - um, or at least that's what I strive for) I still have responsibilities in the home. I am a homemaker after all. (My pregnant brain is short on function so I'm just going to leave it at that!)

  14. Doubt anyone will see my post as this post is old, but I am a work-from-home mommy. For me, when I am home, I am "at work." It's hard to walk away from clients, articles (I'm a freelance writer), and bookwork. Yes, I do try, but I feel obligated to be on the computer when I am at home. For this reason, we do an activity every morning for the most part. This started, actually, when I was suffering from severe post partum depression. Getting out saved my life. Sitting at home turned me suicidal (disease talking, not my now-sane mind). However, after two weeks of sickness in my home where we HAD to stay home, I realized that we need to stay home a bit more than we do. My children need to learn to play on their own, with each other, with their toys. I am attempting to have one or two days as "at home" days.



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