Monday, 23 February 2015

It's ok to stay home a lot

Recently, when talking with some of my "village" aka 'homeschool mums I am friends with', the topic of "How much do you go out and do things with a group?" was raised.  Not only were all our responses the same, but we all seemed to suffer guilt over the lack of seemingly exciting plans on our schedules. 

First - lets get this out there - IT'S OK TO STAY HOME A LOT !!!!! 

Staying home a lot means many things: 
  • learning
  • doing school work
  • housework
  • keeping routines
  • working on personal goals (both yourself and your kids)
  • cooking
  • planning
  • reducing anxiety 
  • keeping stress free
  • exploring your own corner of the world
  • exploring your imagination and getting creative, even if that's in your thoughts in a day dream.

It does not mean you are isolating your child or boring them.  My son's favourite days (and weeks) are the ones where we have zero plans to leave the house.  He LOVES spending the day in his pj's, loves having the freedom to play and chill between school work and LOVES his own company.  There are times he is laying on the couch staring off into space and I will ask if he is ok, to which I get a smile in response and he will say he is imagining and it's great (as he forget's his dreams).  For him there is no anxiety over who we are seeing, where we are going, what the plan is.  There is no stress and he is not going to be over tired, in sensory overload or in pain (due to his physical issues).  MOST of all, it means when we do go out, he fully enjoys it, enjoys the company of those we are with, is not over tired from multiple outings previously, can cope with the sensory challenges etc. He does not expect us to go somewhere all the time or have an outing somewhere special on a weekend.  As a child we played at home most of the time and didn't go out. I think these days we are too caught up in the 'go here go there' all the time mentality.     

Think of it this way.  If you lived in a tiny rural town, population 30.  You might have the only child/ren in that town.  The nearest town to you with children is hours away.  No one is going to berate you for not driving to nearby towns to 'socialise' multiple times a week or even once a week.  Children from small country towns grow up fine, with the ability to connect and talk with all ages and are usually very mature as they have grown up with generally adult conversation and behaviour expectations.  No one calls the mother in a small town a bad parent because she didn't provide enough exciting child experiences. Just because you might live in a busy town with a huge population, doesn't mean you should have to be out in it every single day, making friends with every family you come across.  Just because you have 6 neighbours all with kids doesn't mean your child has to like them or want to play with them.  

Secondly - not EVERYONE is a social butterfly and are out all the time.

You might get on social media and see posts from dozens of homeschoolers about their fabulous outings, their creative lesson plans inspired by Pinterest, their riviting blog posts, their 'fun' life in general.  And let me just say good for them!  It's not me and I'd be exhausted keeping up that schedule!  For everyone one that is out all the time, there are 50 of us at home.  Plus to be honest, they may have very different children to you.  Ones who NEED and crave outside input all the time.  Who go stir crazy at home rather than relish in it. Who learn best with new stimuli all the time and who don't get over loaded or tired or need a strict daily routine.  Maybe the mother who is always out and about is exhausted and is envious of those of us who can very honestly say we've not left the house for 7 days. 

Not everyone is in a co-op, not everyone has weekly sports, not everyone is doing art class or drama class or music, not everyone is a part of social media groups who have weekly play dates.  It is completely ok to not do those things all the time.  It is completely ok to be at home.

So as a whole, we need to stop worrying about what everyone else is doing, where they are going, etc.  At the end of the day, if you are all happy with the way you do things, then you are doing what is right for your child, your family, your budget, yourself.  If you want to make changes then go ahead, but don't do it just because you feel pressure and think you are failing your children.  You aren't.  You are a good mum and we forget to tell ourselves that.  



  1. Well put! If we were all happy doing what we do instead of worrying about everyone else the world would be a much happier and calmer place.

    1. Exactly! We all have different kids with different needs, usually that's why we are homeschooling in the first place!