I remember hearing someone say once that the more you stay home, the more you want to be there, and the less you are home, the less you want to be there. The statement was in reference to stay-at-home Moms and our sometimes uncanny ability to be everywhere but at home. There are always errands to run, activities to join, and really, let's be honest ... sometimes we go because we just have to get out! Sonic, Starbucks, or a drive through the park. Sometimes being gone is the little breather we need to finish out the rest of our day, while the kids are strapped in the back!
But besides the necessary driving-to-refocus breaks, I've noticed that the statement is true. The busier I am, the less I want to be home. What I mean by that is, when I've had a few days of go-go-go, I come home and feel like I don't quite know what to do. My home isn't any different than it was the day before, or the day before that, and yet I feel a little helpless and discombobulated. That's when the urge to jump in the car and go somewhere--anywhere--hits again, and while I find comfort behind the wheel, I come home to that same awkward feeling.
However, if I really focus on staying home and don't let my mind wander to the great beyond that lies outside our front door (that usually requires spending money, eek), I find that I really enjoy being home. I love doing fun things with the kids while we're out and about, but I've grown to realize that the best way to fill their love tanks is to just be home with them, spending one-on-one time in the environment they know the best. Oftentimes while we're gallavanting around, their behavior can be notably different. That's when I know we've just been away too long. When we're home and I actually make the effort to sit on the floor and dedicate good chunks of time to playing with them, their response is undeniable. They're more relaxed, they're more imaginative, and I can just tell that they're all-around happier. I have great memories of Disneyland and Sea World as a kid, but the memories of playing Breyer horses on the living room floor with my Mom rank just as highly in my book.
This is a challenge for me sometimes because I don't sit still very well. Ask my husband--I'm that obnoxious person who asks questions during movies and who loves to be on the go. If the kids are playing well by themselves, I use that time to do laundry, wipe the countertops, vacuum, etc. Don't get me wrong--the ability to play alone is hugely important, but sometimes I think I take advantage of it. I love being attentive to my kids, but I've noticed a difference between being conveniently attentive and intentionally attentive. When that urge to "get out" comes, I find that I'm dissatisfied and snappy if I can't, and a lot of the time if I do answer the urge and leave, I'm not really any more satisfied than when I left. But if I push those thoughts out of my head and join the kids in their play, I am quickly reminded of how much I really love spending time with them. I'm reminded that their obedience and behavior are not my primary responsibilities as a parent, but that they are to feel loved and secure and valued--that they were created lovingly down to every last detail. That inner sense of worth is priceless. Obedience, without it, just makes a robot.
So, here's to staying home, and the challenge it can be to sometimes actually do it. :)
Have a lovely day.