Do you actually *stay at home*? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 56 Old 04-18-2005, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I go back and forth on this issue. I really think that children need downtime in their own enviornment to play, explore, discover but then again I think that an enriching childhood includes new experiences and new places to play and explore. I have several local friends who rarely EVER spend a day at home - often spending the whole day out, skipping naps and having mealtimes on the go. They are constantly on the go, although in several cases I would say that is for the momma's benefit, not the childrens.

We generally stay home at least 2 weekdays a week (today is a pajama day : ) and other days we try to go to playgroups, lunch with grandparents, the park, maybe a couple of errands in the morning but then are almost always home by noon-1 for naptime and then afternoons are for cleaning up, crafts at the kitchen table and for me to cook dinner.

Am I an extreme homebody?
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#2 of 56 Old 04-19-2005, 07:46 AM
 
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I'm with you. I do work part time (that will end the end of May!) as a TA at my oldest twos preschool. That's on Tuesday and Thursday. Generally we SAH Mondays and Wednesdays and run around a bit on Friday. Sometimes we will go out on Wednesday instead and SAH Friday. Mondays we are always home because that is cleaning day

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#3 of 56 Old 04-19-2005, 08:06 AM
 
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We do more running around than I would like. My son is in morning kindergarten - I have to pick him up at 11:00 every day. The little guy I watch is in afternoon preschool Monday, Wednesday, and Friday - I drop him off at 12:30 and pick him up at 3:30. It's a lot of running, and I feel badly for my littlest one (she's two), but there really is no getting around it. Only six more weeks of school though - all the big kids will be in school full-time next year!

I'm going to start working part-time for a preschool this summer. I'll do 95% of my work from home, but my little lady will get to go to class when I have to be at the center. *Fingers Crossed* that everything falls into place - this seems like the perfect job for me, and I really need the money because I am a single SAHM.
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#4 of 56 Old 04-19-2005, 08:22 AM
 
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I'm a *new* SAHM, I've only been home full time for the last three months. We are home a couple days a week and the other days we try to get out of the house at least once. It's been hard because it's been cold here, but when it gets warm I expect to go out with them more.

It's been really hard for me so far because I've yet to make any SAHM friends, I would like to find a playgroup or something to get my toddler into for some socialization or just make friends with some people that have kids his age.

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#5 of 56 Old 04-19-2005, 08:30 AM
 
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Well, I'm in the same boat as you, tchrgrl!
I've been accused by some of my friends (and I'm not sure that they mean harm) that I live "just for my children"--because I don't have any part time thing going on on the side--like Pampered Chef, etc.--
and because I try to work my life around the schedule of the kids.
As far as I am concerned, it's actually for ALL of our benefit.
It's no fun to go anywhere with a kid who is tired or hungry or having a bad day. And my kids are still small, so they are not as flexible as older kids might be with living on "the go".
Besides that, a kid who is well-fed and well-rested is more likely to be healthier mentally and physically.
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#6 of 56 Old 04-19-2005, 08:48 AM
 
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I feel like we are always going somewhere. I think we stay home about half the days. It really doesn't seem like I do a lot- we try to go to Grandma's 1 x a week. We go to a LLL playgroup 1 or 2x a month, usually just 1x as it is an hour and a half away. We go to church every week. Grocery shopping is really sporadic, however dh does this sometimes. We also meet up with a friend a couple of times a month, she comes to our house and sometimes we go to hers.

I try to always schedule going somewhere right after a nap and try to make sure he at least gets his morning nap as that is his best, usually. He doesn't nap when we are out, however doesn't get cranky he is too much of a busy body loooooves people. We try not ot do anything at all late as he likes to go to bed very early. I was going to the gym at nights, but now go at 6 am- half the time I have to bring ds in to meet dh (who works nights- he then takes lil' man home), the other half I just leave the 2 of them to sleep in together

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#7 of 56 Old 04-19-2005, 08:58 AM
 
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We are usually out at least part of every day. We have scheduled things to do every Wednesday, Thursday, and most Fridays. Mondays are Tuesdays aren't scheduled but I try to have at least one playdate each week, plus there's the regular errand running. If the weather is nice I feel guilty if I don't take the kids to the park.

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#8 of 56 Old 04-19-2005, 09:10 AM
 
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and get the same statements that GranoLLLy-girl said.

But I have to say I totally agree. I would rather have happy kids to take out then tired crabby ones who make the outings not worth it.

We have MOMS group and errands but they are always around nap time.
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#9 of 56 Old 04-19-2005, 09:16 AM
 
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I'm a homebody by nature, but my 2year old needs to get out of the house or neither of us have any fun. I'm just starting to get the hang of going out to run errands with the baby and a toddler, but the weather is warming up here, so it's a lot easier. We were housebound 4 days a week in the winter, but now I try to stay home 2 or 3, but make sure that we get outside for an hour at least. As it warms up it will be more than that. So we go to the library 1x/week, each Grandma's once and then there's the usual groceries, shopping, etc.

My toddler could take or leave his nap so long as he's well fed, and the baby sleeps in his carseat, so I don't have to worry about naps (but I do anyhow because I need the downtime). I agree that activities shouldn't forsake naps because if the kids are tired/cranky they're not getting much out of the activity anyhow.
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#10 of 56 Old 04-19-2005, 10:14 AM
 
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DD and I are home most of the time. If I have errands to run or groceries to buy we do this in the morning then its home for lunch and nap time. We then spend afternoons playing, reading, cooking dinner. We have a small playground at the end of our road which we walk to every afternoon if its not raining. It only takes a minute to get there so I think DD thinks its part of our garden! She gets most upset by other children daring to go on her swings!!lol

I do get comments from other moms about going to more activities with DD. We do go to LLL and an AP playgroup, so thats 2x a month. There are a number of reasons why we don't do more.
1. DD is a very sensitive child and she is easily frightened by lots of other children.
2. Money. Groups for children are expensive and we are on a very tight budget for me to be able to SAH.
3. I also don't like to thought of paying someone else to do what I can do at home. eg. music groups or art groups for toddlers.

I also totally agree with GranoLLLy-girl about well fed and well rested children. DD really needs her 2 hour nap and to be honest so do I!
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#11 of 56 Old 04-19-2005, 10:26 AM
 
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Our day involves a drive to and from Kindergarten then I usually plan a 'outing' so everyone expends some energy and gets a change of scenery including myself...due to gas prices our outings involve a walk to the park or to the river. Sometimes we go to my friends home, she lives on a farm and has lots of TOYS! Aside from the occasional rally at the capitol it's just not worth dragging kids out of their element for my sake.

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#12 of 56 Old 04-19-2005, 10:29 AM
 
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We are home most days. We do have a mini schedule that is flexible, but my dd is definitely a schedule baby, not like her mom. We usually run any errands in the morning, before her 10:00 nap (or 9:30 today) We do have playgroups on thursday and friday, but besides that we usually are home. We play outside, see the neighbors, take walks, etc. But, we don't skip naps and we try to not overschedule.
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#13 of 56 Old 04-19-2005, 10:33 AM
 
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we go out almost every day to do the shopping (no car and live in city).

If it's nice we go to the park first.

Sometimes we walk to a friends house.

Sometimes we have guests.


TOday we didn't do a darn thing.
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#14 of 56 Old 04-19-2005, 12:31 PM
 
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I have 4 children. 2 go to school and 2 are hs'd. I used to hs 3. I enjoy being home and I love that feeling of going to bed at night knowing there is no place I need to be the next day. I try to make that happen a couple of times a week. I like to knit, garden, read, cook and just generally muck about the house. My girls and I set up paint and other art things. The more we are home, the more time they have for this.

This is also why I host playgroup towards the middle or end of the week. I don't have to worry about toddler siblings of playgroup friends getting into it. (Much. One little guy painted my fireplace seat purple while we weren't looking. Luckilly it was only tempra, so it washed out. lol) But no matter our schedule, except for Wednesdays, we don't' have' to be anywhere until the afternooon. No morning playgroups for us! Naps are no longer an issue.

I also like to do my aerobics tape in the morning, and then a little while after that, my yoga tape. One reason I like to stay home is because it takes me forever to get in the shower after that and I don't want to go anywhere stinking. lol

I don't consider trips to the market or library not being home. Nothing is far from where we live and we can walk to the library. It's not a production, yk? also, with the two in school, I often pick up and deliver them to music practices or rehersals. One of my boys plays two instruments and the youngest plays 3. (Apple does not fall far from the tree. My dh plays 2 instruments as well. Plus can fool around on the piano). My 6 yr old wants piano lessons, but i am trying to hold off on that for a bit longer.

Monday is a music group for my youngest or she has a friend over so my oldest dd and I can set up our hs plans for the week. I usually read her the viloent history/war stuff while my little one is busy. We might also watch an innapropriate- for -little ones history video on this day. Oldest ds has a music lesson at 5. I drop off, dh picks up while I get dinner ready.

Tuesday is 'knitting playgroup' (kids play and moms knit. My 12 yr dd knits with us).

Wednesday is my 'difficult' day, when I am out of the house most if it. My 12 yr old dd has a hs archeology class in the morning and my youngest dd has a library program nearly right after. My youngest ds has a music lesson not much after the library program. Sometimes I host a couple friends from the library program and they stay here while I run my ds to music. Part of the yr my 12 yr old has drawing classes and part of the yr she has riding lessons. I try to make it so one day is the running around day.

Thursday is a home day.

Friday is basically a home day, sometimes I host a small playgroup at my house, and we always go to the library on Friday at some point. Usually about 2 or so, and then we walk over to my ds elementary school to pick him up and go back home.
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#15 of 56 Old 04-19-2005, 12:31 PM
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I am on the fence with this one. My sister is ALWAYS on the go. I feel sorry for her kids because she is always dragging them out shopping or to my moms house. She also has them in a TON of activities. Her dd is in kindergarden and I honestly think she has no time to just be a kid and relax. My sister even took her son out with a 102.9C temp because she just had to return a bathingsuit. The poor guy had scarlet fever!! She is bored being a SAHM and it really shows.

On the other side there's me and dh. I take the kids out shopping or to the park. We like to go swimming. DS goes to playgroup once/week when we can make it. The girls were in dance on the weekends, but they really hated the commitment. I couldn't imagine putting them in planned programs in the evening. Both the girls need 11 hours of sleep and our evening routine is just too important. My sister makes me feel guilty because her dd is in music classes, sparks, swimming and soccer...all at the same time. Plus all the running around she does in between. I couldn't imagine my kids being happy with that kind of schedule.

I always plan around nap time. If I can't (ds sometimes needs 2 naps in a day and doesn't make it and needs to sleep while we are out) I let ds nap in the car. It's really nothing to grab a coffee and park the car somewhere so he can have a nap. Usually he falls asleep when I take dd to kindergarden in the afternoon. DD and I just sit and chat until her bell goes off.

I like down time at home. I like playing around the house. I try to cram all my errands in two days so the rest of the time we can just have fun around home.
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#16 of 56 Old 04-19-2005, 01:23 PM
 
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We stay home almost all the time. Dh works 20 minutes away so if I want the car, I have to drive him (he gets there at 7:40 a.m.) then drive back home usually, because nothing is open that early and nobody I know is out of bed. Although now that the weather is warming up, we go to the park more.
Every Thursday, we drive dh to work, kill time for 2 hrs., go to my grandparents house from 10-1:30 for lunch, (my sis and her boys go too,) then we're off to my parent's house for the rest of the afternoon until we pick up dh at 5 p.m.
Other days I stay home. I couldn't agree more about the neccesity of naps. If ds misses his, he's miserable and whiny, and clingy, and cranky, and...
Although on those occasions when he falls asleep in the car, I have a book handy so I can park and read.
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#17 of 56 Old 04-19-2005, 01:42 PM
 
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Our schedule kind of ebbs and flows. The last few months we don't have as many "scheduled" activities. Dh is off on Sun. and Mon. so on Sunday we got to church and bible study she goes with a couple of kids (very small class and the teacher) then children's church storytime and then to the "nursery" and they play so we can actually enjoy the service. Monday are our activity or get things done/run around family day.

Tuesday; I have her signed up for a Mother's Day out at a local church from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and she has a friend in that class. Dd has turned 4 and has become a bit um, emotional and cried a bit today when we got there; am not sure where that is coming from all of a sudden although my friend's dd in that "class" has become a notorious bully and so the teachers watch her closely so she does not intimidate and bully everyone.

Wed. open day/shopping whatever.

Thurs. every other; is a storytime we attend and also every Thursday for 1/2 an hour a small "ballet" class (loosely based private lessons in someone's home studio). Sometimes when my MIL wants she asks for dd to be dropped off for a few hours to bakd and play-maybe once or twice a month.

Friday; open day in the evening though she has music "class" she attends with dh it is their special activity to do together (45 min of me time!!).

Sat. anything goes sometimes we have some friends over and play some games, have a drink or two watch the kids tear my house apart..

Now that it is spring and we are heading into summer though, there will be lots of park time, picnics and such.

I did try to sign dd up for private swim lessons but we are on a waiting list.
We do put up a 3 foot pool in the summer so that will go up soon, but when it is nice we are out as much as we can stand it.

Fresh air is sooo good for the soul and for wearing kids out. That is except for all these darn allergies.......

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#18 of 56 Old 04-19-2005, 01:56 PM
 
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We certianly have our lazy days. I used to make a point of running errands every other day so that we could have a stay home day that DS seemed to need to recoop. But as he gets older, he needs to explore more. So even on stay home days we try to go out and play in the yard at least.
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#19 of 56 Old 04-19-2005, 01:57 PM
 
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I try to only plan one toddler centered activity a day. I find that any more than that and we become overwhelmed. I feel stressed about house stuff that needs to be done and DS needs time to play at home.

We have been going to playgrounds more (and to the zoo today). I plan on having the rest fo the afternoon here at home, or with a stressfree walk.

We live in an apartment without any outdoor space, except for a pleasant balcony. I would love to have a green space to play and run around without feeling the need to take a long walk or get strapped into the car.

A balance of activity and down time is important in this house.

Children deserve the respect of puzzling it out.
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#20 of 56 Old 04-19-2005, 03:00 PM
 
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we very much stay at home! home, home, home. I am like furniture, I'm always home! We do have a cute backyard that we go out o a lot, mainly when the weather is warm, which it now is.

I do deal with lots of guilt about not geting out "enough."
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#21 of 56 Old 04-19-2005, 03:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artgoddess
We certianly have our lazy days.
ouch! I must take issue with staying at home all day being called a lazy day! That would make me exraordinarily lazy! :LOL

There are zillions and zillions of things to do at home. Not that I'm never lazy, but still!
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#22 of 56 Old 04-19-2005, 03:12 PM
 
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Lazy is not *being* at home, it's being at home and seeing the 3yo pee all over the back wall of the bathroom on accident and justifying to yourself that cleaning it later is better because he'll prolly do it again today..

thank goodness for tile....
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#23 of 56 Old 04-19-2005, 04:13 PM
 
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I would say that we are at home more often than not. Part of that is because we only have one car, and most mornings I am too lazy to get up early and take dh to work. But, I find myself feeling frazzled and stressed if we're gone too much, and I think it affects ds negatively too. I like my days to be productive, but when there's too much going on (even at home), none of us function well. I am not one of those people who thrives on being super busy all the time. I think there is as balance, and sometimes I don't feel I've found it. The days do get long at times with just being at home too.

These are the things that get us out of the house: grocery shopping, occasional playdates (probably once every 2 weeks or so), various errands, going to the library, occasionally going to the nearby city for shopping (probably also every 2 weeks or so), and the babysitting trade I have going on with a friend in my neighborhood. Ds, 2.5, is not in any classes or outside activities, and I have no plans to put him in any in the near future. Mostly this is because of money, and also like one PP said, I do not see the point in paying for something I can provide for him at home. I think many children are overscheduled, and I also think that a lot of these classes are really unnecessary and can even be harmful for young children. (For more on this, read David Elkind's "Miseducation: Preschoolers at Risk"--it's excellent!)

I too hate to interrupt my ds's natural daily rhythm, which at this point involves a 2-3 hour nap every afternoon. That in itself really crimps the time we have available for outside activities.

We are trying to get at least one hour or so of outside playtime now that the weather is warmer.

The only thing I would like to change would be to add a couple more playdates for ds, maybe having 1-2 a week. The only class I would consider having him involved in would be Music Together, but we can't afford it and there aren't any offered in our community anyway. When he is older (3-4), I hope to start some kind of cooperative play-based preschool/playdate experience with some other kids and moms in the neighborhood.
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#24 of 56 Old 04-19-2005, 04:19 PM
 
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We go out as little as possible. I don't like to shop, and the people I most like to talk to are a phone call away. My kids have never been able to handle too much activity. They all have special needs, and a therapy day for one means we're all done for the day. Now that my oldest is in kindergarten and my daughter is in preschool, I am out at least 4 days a week, and sometimes I use school time to take the youngest on an errand or two. But that's it -- after an errand or two, he's done. And you know that old saying -- "if mom isn't happy, no one's happy"? It seems to apply moreso to my youngest. (Good for him! He's *supposed* to be doing this at age 2.)
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#25 of 56 Old 04-19-2005, 05:53 PM
 
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I have done it both ways. My son just turned three and I have been a SAHM since he was born.

Initially I was bored if I stayed at home too much, and I was new to my area and didn't know a soul. So I did some kid-centered activities, and went somewhere nearly every day. LLL meetings, playdates or groups just about every week, a couple of library storytimes per week, Gymboree, the park, gym classes at one point, music classes, and lots of window shopping. Even though these things were mostly for me. I do agree with a pp that some of these "classes" can be a bad thing for young children. It made me gag to see some of the moms force their baby/toddler to hang out in circle time, or make them sit still in their stroller for stories. I was always the one just hanging out with my kid and if he didn't want to go, we didn't go. If he didn't want to do something the "teacher" was doing, oh well, it was supposed to be fun, not a stressor. I would say the one that was and continues to be really worthwhile for us are the music ones. Of course I sing and play music with him at home, but I do think we have both benefitted to going to the class and having those materials. Ds has loved it and really gets excited about going, and it is not too structured for us.

Over the past 9 months I have gone to be a total homebody and we are home all day for probably 3 days a week. We still go to music and to the park, play outside every day the weather is nice, and get groceries and errands, but it is much more laid back. My son around 2 started putting up a fight to get dressed and be anywhere on time, and then didn't feel like being social with other children, anyway, so that along with pregnancy fatigue made it not worth it anymore. I also grew tired of putting myself out there all the time trying to make mama friends, without huge results. I know with my second we will not be doing many activities until he is older and can really enjoy and appreciate them, but look for more kids his age and moms to just hang out with a few times a month.
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#26 of 56 Old 04-20-2005, 12:00 AM
 
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My oldest goes to school(Montessorie) and the baby goes to daycare for about an hour a day while i go to school (College). Is that considered SHAM? Other than that we stay at home. Next month DS1 has tee-ball and both have swim lessons and mommy and me swim. We go to granparent house at least twice a week and have dinner, they can stand to be away from the kids.

We may not have it all together, but together we have it all , Loving their daddy, my hubby, our soldier
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#27 of 56 Old 04-20-2005, 12:03 AM
 
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I am a total homebody. Always have been. Will be quite happy to stay htat way.

I suppose as ds gets older he'll want to go do outside stuff more(I mean like away from home, we do go outside to play int he yard and stuff) and I'll be busier but for now, we find plenty to keep us occupied.
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#28 of 56 Old 04-20-2005, 12:07 AM
 
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We are at home five or six days a week. By "at home" I mean in our neighborhood, our house or our yard.
We have one car and not a lot of extra money We do outings & errands as a family 1 or 2 days a week. Ordinary errands kind of become adventures.
The mornings are pretty relaxed here. I get up and wash dishes and exercise (maybe). Dh works a 3PM -11PM shift so we all have lunch together at the kitchen table before he leaves for work. After that dd and I might go outside and walk around or do some stuff around the house. Dd has time to play with her toys or we might write a story or draw a picture together. We play together- dd likes it when we race around the basement. Today we walked to a nearby creek to look for frogs. Dd plays with other kids once in awhile- maybe a couple times a month. We don't go to any big effort to arrange playdates or activities every day. Dd is pretty happy most of the time. She doesn't complain about being bored. She is pretty good at self-directed play for good chunks of time.
A lot of people tell me they don't have time to read, etc. I read practically every day. I like our slower paced lifestyle. To me one of the beautiful things about being a SAHM is that if dd or I want a pajama day we can do it.

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#29 of 56 Old 04-20-2005, 12:38 AM
 
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I tend to go out at least twice a day - before nap and after nap. If I don't have an errand, I will make one up or we'll go to a park or a friend's house. She also has a toddler gymnastics class one day a week.

I would *love* to hang out at home more but dd is the one who wants to go out. She is much happier and easier to handle if we have outings. In fact, she will take my keys and march to the door if I'm being pokey. Now that she has learned the word "out" she stands by the door and begs to go out.

I am a wanna be homebody, mothering little Miss Activity.
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#30 of 56 Old 04-20-2005, 01:15 AM
 
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Dd1 and I used to be on the go a lot. Playgroup, the library, the park, the mountains, shopping...she loves to go places and see people. I just love getting out. Dd2 on the other hand is a homebody. She's 10 months and has changed the way we do things. At home she's so much fun, outgoing and vivacious. When we go out, she rarely smiles at anyone and doesn't interact much. So I've cut back our outings to 3 days a week or so. We don't do playgroup with such a large group of kids anymore.

Dd1 gets upset when we stay home too long. She asks to go places, and when we do she always asks, "where we goin' next, mama? We not goin' home!"

My car wasn't running for two weeks and it drove me nuts to be home that long. I got really depressed. I need to get out and interact with the world. But we don't do the fast food on the road thing. There's always time for a picnic.

"The best things in life aren't things."

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