Before I had my daughter, I thought I’d be one of those moms that’s always out doing fun things with her, taking her to events, out to eat, to the park, on playdates. She’s three, and I’m totally exhausted. We probably only get out two or three times a week. I’m a SAHM, so she’s not in daycare or even preschool. I’m feeling major mom guilt. How often do other stay at home moms get their kids out of the house? Am I normal?

Answer

Being a stay at home mom is no joke. There’s a lot of pressure to take care of your home and your family, and suddenly there’s a lot less time to take care of yourself. I don’t think that most moms get out with their kids as often as you’d think, especially if you’re just staring at someone’s Instagram feed or scrolling through their Facebook. Remember that at this point, most parents are probably Instagramming every little outing they take with their children, which makes their lives look a lot more epic than they really are. The truth is, once you have kids, getting out of the house takes much longer and isn’t always realistic or worth it.

Yes, taking your kids out to experience the world is important, but you shouldn’t expect to do it every single day, especially when they’re young.

Something I do to make our outings (which are also only a few times a week, and maybe only twice during the harsh winters) is to create a routine even around those outings. We try to get to the library at least once every other week. This also gives us more to do when we’re at home, since we have a big pile of books to read. At the beginning of the week I’ll also look ahead to see what the weather looks like and pick the most pleasant evening for my husband and I to take the kids to the park after he gets out of work, so our kids can socialize and interact with people besides us.

Remember too that outings don’t have to be some crazy adventure. Sometimes, for me, the hardest part about getting my kids out of the house is feeling too tired to talk too much with other moms. You can make simple things into a fun outing - grab a drive-thru dinner and take her to a quiet, nature-y area to eat her meal or go out to public places during less busy times of day, like after dinner. Most of all though, don’t let yourself be consumed by mom guilt! It’s not helping anyone, and you deserve a break! Life after kids is not equal to life before kids. Don’t try to live up to that old standard of living.

Updated on August 12, 2018

Original Article:

Keeping Your Toddler Busy at Home
By Kierstin Gunsberg
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