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Evanthia

Get Me Out of This House! Finding Adventure as a SAHM

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When I was a high-school teacher, I would politely describe my job to people as an “adventure”: you just never knew what the day would bring! And I really enjoyed that about it. Staying at home with children, though, your world can get very small and very uneventful, fast. Your whole weekly routine can consist of such mundane tasks as housework, grocery shopping, going to the bank, or maybe even the post office, if you’re really lucky.

I suspect that’s why the results of a Gallup poll from last week showed that SAHMs are significantly more likely to be depressed, angry, and anxious than working moms. I know, for me, when I look at my calendar and see nothing but a week of housework and errands, I start to understand why some women say staying at home with kids is boring. Plus, days like this really make my daughter go a little bonkers. She gets bored and starts getting whiny and into trouble.

That’s why I’ve been trying to make a greater effort to find adventures for us, places we can go that 1) aren’t too far, 2) don’t cost much, and 3) where she can run around until her little heart’s content. This isn’t always an easy task though, especially when you’ve been cursed with unseasonably crappy weather, as we have this week: lots of rain and general gloominess.

Thankfully, the blogging community came to my rescue! We are so fortunate to live minutes from downtown Washington, DC, which offers lots of child-appropriate and wallet-friendly options, if you know where to look for them. I have become a huge fan of Kid-Friendly DC, where I was able to find a post called “The Great Indoors,” which offers a thorough listing of locations in our area that offer rainy-day entertainment for little ones.

Of course, going for an adventure does require a lot of effort on my part: we have to pick an appropriate activity, plan a route that accounts for the worst traffic in the country, usually move the car seat into a friend’s car so we can travel together, pack a lunch (remember, a dairy allergy means no eating out on the fly!), and prepare the diaper bag. And I don’t travel light.

 But in the end, the hassle is worth it because forcing myself to have an adventure makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something (other than cleaning my house for the umpteenth time) and that I’ve exposed my daughter to something new and fun, including unfamiliar people and places. And perhaps best of all, these adventures really wear her out! When we get home, A often takes a longer-than-usual nap, which gives mommy some much needed me-time. And what’s a better cure for a little depression than some decompression time?

Do you make time for adventures? Have you found any great local resources to give you ideas?

7 comments… add one

  • Hadyn May 23, 2012, 6:54 pm

    Boy, do I! I agree about needing to get out and have adventures. I liked these sites for finding stuff to do in the area:

    http://arlingtonmama.com

    http://www.supernovamommy.com/

    http://lib.arlingtonva.us/Departments/Libraries/kids/Storytimes.aspx

    and, of course, http://www.meetup.com, where I found out about mamistad play groups. I don’t know what I would’ve done without it.

  • Nikki May 23, 2012, 8:52 pm

    Wow, do I ever relate. I am also a former HS teacher turned SAHM. Yes, everyday was an adventure! We just moved (temporarily) to Denver from DC, and I feel like I was just getting into the groove with what-to-do in the DC area. Luckily Denver has tons to offer, but like you said– you have to make the effort an make it happen. I know I’m happier on days where our schedule is a little more full, and I think the little man is, too.

  • Emily Cook May 24, 2012, 10:19 am

    I agree so very much. I’ve been a SAHM since about 2008, and I’ve learned that my own tolerance level requires a trip out of the house (or an even AT the house with other people!) at LEAST every three days. It is definitely better for my own mood and sanity just to have a change of pace and some social interaction, and my kids seem to feel the same way.

    It is a hassle, especially considering there are six kids in this family, but the way I look at it, staying at home and making messes in my house is ALSO a hassle- so the question is really, which hassle do I choose today? :)

  • Jenny May 27, 2012, 2:12 am

    I had the same feelings when I was a new mom with one toddler. I would fill our days with outings- visiting a small local airport to watch the planes take off and land, feeding the ducks at the pond, daily walks with the dog to the park. It was really a magical time for the 2 of us.
    Now that I have 3 kids and life is so busy with school activities, schedules and travel, I long for those special days. This post was a great reminder to me to carve out those “adventures” with my last baby just as I did with the first.
    Thanks for stopping by to make my SITS day so fun!

    • Evanthia Evanthia May 27, 2012, 8:05 am

      I’m so glad my post reminded you of a special time with your baby :)

      Thanks for stopping by!!

  • Russ (The Stay At Homer) June 16, 2012, 1:37 pm

    So glad I read this. I actually did a google search for “Get me out of this house” because my kids are driving me crazy, and my wife is off at a Zumba class. (I’m the stay at home parent…so I have these kids all week long) I totally relate to the anxiety and the uneventfulness of cleaning for the 10000000000th time. The monotony really gets to me after awhile.

    I think we are lucky to live in the city (we are in pasadena, ca) so there are definitely things to do. But today…I want out of this house SANS kids! I have a 6 year old and a 2 year old boy who are driving me NUUUUUTTTTTSSSSS!!!

    Glad I found your site!
    -Russ

    • Sarahlynne Sarahlynne June 16, 2012, 2:47 pm

      We’re glad you found us too! We’re always looking for perspectives from the stay at home dad! We look forward to your comments!

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