Tuesday, July 21, 2015

11 Reasons Why We'd Rather Stay Home With The Kids

Lisa and I don't go out much. By choice. Between work, spreading the biscuit love, and everything between, having no plans during the evening hours or weekend doesn't send us into crisis mode. There's no urgency to fill large gaps of unplanned time with activities away from home. On occasion, when we do leave the house together, it's not for very long and we don't go far.

The exception to this are biscuit love runs and participating in fundraising events. Even then, if time away from home exceeds a certain time frame, I stay home and catch up on work stuff. Lisa works the event.

This hasn't always been the case. Three years ago, after we adopted Coco, and once he had recovered from his many physical issues, we'd head out for the afternoon on a Saturday or Sunday. Once a week, Lisa and I had date night. The 3 of us even took a couple of day trips to New Hampshire.

When Sophie joined our family in 2014, things changed drastically. While she handles being home alone for a few hours without any issues, the summer months can be challenging. She is terrified of loud noises such as yelling, fireworks and thunderstorms. Really. Really. Afraid. During thunderstorm season, our shortened and less frequent outings depend on the weather. Most of our date nights are spent at home (takeout and a movie). Out of state day trips halted. One kid was okay. Two? Not so much.

In January of 2015, Lobo joined our family temporarily as a foster. Less than 2 weeks into fostering, we adopted him. Life changed completely. Again. He's a special needs kid with limited mobility. For the first 6 months his anxiety was through the roof. It eased up considerably, but it was a slow process. Lots of love and patience. Lisa and I will skip out once in a while. Together. But, it's only for a couple of hours to run errands, take a scenic drive or hit up a few flea markets.

Aside from our family growing over the past few years, there's a multitude of other reasons why we'd rather stay home with the kids...

1. People suck. Not all. Most. Too many times we've left someplace and, within a minute or two, said, "We should have just stayed home with the kids..."

2. The "what-if" anxiety. The further away we venture from home, the more my brain spins like a hamster wheel. The horrid "what-ifs." What if the house catches on fire? What if someone breaks in? What if. What if. What if. It drives me nuts.

3. No dress-to-impress expectations.  My hair can look like shit, I don't have to wear something presentable or put on a bra. The just-out-of-bed look is totally acceptable.

4. I don't have to be hyper-aware of what I say. That happens a lot in public or at gatherings. If people could read my thoughts, I'd probably get punched in the face quite a bit.

5. No formalities to contend with. The kids don't care if I scratch my lady parts or burp out loud. They don't consider that poor taste. There's no judgement. It doesn't even faze them. There are times when I'm typing a column and I look up to find Coco sniffing Sophie's ass. It's all good.

6. Our kids are fun. Seriously. They are. Three lil' nuggets of furry love. Endless entertainment. Who could ask for more?

7. They listen. I could go on and on and on for hours about writing techniques. They're not going to change the subject or interrupt mid-sentence.

8. No expectations. They're happy whether we go outside to play or curl up on my lap while I read a book. All of our kids are snuggle bugs. If one of us, or both, are on the sofa, all 3 kids join us. Stretched out in bed? Same thing. On the floor. Yep.

9. I can poop. Ever go to a holiday gathering or backyard party and the urge to poop hits? I don't poop at other people's houses. I hold it. However, if I'm home with the kids, there's no worry. And, at least one of the kids keeps me company while I'm in the bathroom.

10. If I'm there, I'm thinking about here. Usually about 5 minutes after we arrive at our destination, I wonder what the kids are doing. On top of the what-if anxiety, I miss the kids when we're not home. A lot. After about an hour away, we're ready to go home.

11. Our kids are awesome. Hands down, if given the choice to have an evening out on the town or stay home with the kids, we'd choose to stay home. We love our family time more than we love people. It's a no brainer.

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