What Kind of Stay-at-Home Mom Are You? Homebody or Out-n-About
One of the many wonderful aspects of being a stay-at-home mom is the freedom it gives you to set your own schedule. I know, I’m laughing at that statement too. SAHMs don’t really decide their own schedule because it is largely determined by how many children you have and how old they are, but within the confines of naptime, regular feedings, and the after school taxi service, you do get to decide how and what you spend your time on…sort of.
Anyway, I was on a mother’s forum the other day and someone asked the question, “who is a homebody and who is an out-n-about mom?”
As I read various answers to this question, some moms were running down one or the other. I thought that was kind of funny since I think a lot of moms change as their family and children change. It is interesting to me how much our identity as a mother can transition based on outside factors. Where we live, how many children we have, how old they are, children in school, or homeschooling all affect how we function as moms.
Huh, I thought. Which one am I?
The Home Body
The home body may be an introvert, she may be working from home, she may be an extrovert with so many children that it’s too exhausting to leave. No matter what the reasons, the homebody would prefer to be home.
Home is comfortable, relaxed, and predictable. There is no need to worry about other people’s dogs scaring your children, accidents or meltdowns in a shopping cart, or half a dozen other problems that may arise while you are out.
Let’s be sure we don’t equate homebody with a couch potato. Some of the most productive people I know are homebodies. They may prefer to have playdates or friends over to their house. They are not necessarily in the house. They may be outside in the comfort of their own yard, but still…they simply prefer to be at home.
I’m not sure why, but I’ve often heard people refer to moms that are homebodies in a negative way. I completely understand why a mom wouldn’t want to leave the house. I’ve gone through periods when I hardly left the house at all. Going to the grocery store was enough to give me heart palpitations. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to leave the house, but when any of my children were between 12-24 months old, it was hard to go anywhere. They were mobile, but they didn’t have the knowledge or self-control to obey or stay out of trouble. I followed them around everywhere they went. Going over to someone’s house for dinner was a nightmare. I didn’t actually get to talk to anyone because I was following my child around the house making sure they didn’t die.
I did my job well. They all made it.
The out-n-about mom has a schedule and a plan, if not every day, most days. You are not going to find her at home with her kiddos but at the children’s museum, zoo, parks, and play dates whenever there is an open day. She may even have their summer planned out several months in advance.
She may feel cooped up in the house, bored, or simply likes to take the children out for fun experiences. All good reasons if you ask me.
When there isn’t a scheduled activity she may look for reasons to take everyone out. Off for a visit to the library, grocery store, or grandma’s house. This mom needs to get out regularly to keep her sanity.
Out-n-about moms don’t get as bad a rap as the homebody. I don’t think there is anything wrong with scheduling activities for your children. I’m what you would call…organized chaos…mostly chaos, so scheduling activities isn’t my forte. BUT during the summer, I give it a good try and we do some pretty fun stuff. I like being friends with out-n-abouts because if I’m going to do anything with them, I have to schedule it.
Somewhere in Between
I know moms that definitely fall into one category or the other, but most people I know are somewhere in between. For me personally, right now I’m a homebody, but I haven’t always been. When we lived with three children in a two bedroom apartment, I was an out-n-about. It was too small a space to spend all day with three children under the age of 5.
After a fire left our apartment condemned (that’s a post for another day), we moved to a rental house on an acre with a spectacular view. At that point, I started to lean towards homebody. It was so peaceful and fun to play in our own yard. But our children got older; they got restless and started fighting more. It was time for me to start planning more outings. I became an out-n-about mom all over again.
Six months ago we moved into our new house in the middle of the woods. It took 18 months to build, during which time we did not have a home of our own. I’m most definitely a homebody right now. There isn’t a lot besides picking up kids from school and necessary errands that can get me out of here. That doesn’t mean I sit inside all day. I love to be outside with my children, just outside by my house…in the woods.
Right now I can’t imagine anywhere else I want to be. But who knows, that may change.
Where are you most comfortable? Are you out-n-about or a homebody by nature?