I could write countless (countless!) things about the benefits of staying home with your kids: sweatpants for everyone (if any pants at all), access to their own toys and books, having everyone’s favorite foods within reach, the couch, not having to deal with traffic or crowds or the elements, not having to change a diaper on one of those plastic things in public bathrooms. It’s so tempting, it’s no wonder that many of us often find ourselves giving in to the urge and staying home.
I would venture to say that it happens to all of us when you have a little one. First, it’s actually impossible to go out when they're a newborn. Later, it becomes challenging, but doable. Soon enough, going out is merely "complex but manageable." And eventually, it just becomes easy enough that you remember what you knew before you ever had a kid: going out is a pain that you want to avoid as much as possible. Like, how did you forget how often you used to secretly hope that plans would get cancelled so you could sit on your ass on the couch all night like you really wanted to?
I was a homebody before I had a baby and this tendency exponentially multiplied with the arrival of my son, so I’m kind of an expert on this phenomenon. If there weren’t a couple parks and two coffee shops within walking distance of my house, I would probably have become one of those hermit people long ago. Thankfully, I have a partner who stays super active and keeps me from getting too stuck in a rut (a cozy rut, but still). That said, my son is approaching his second birthday (gulp) and I've still yet to fully recover my social life. Here’s how you know you might be in the same boat:
When Your Friends Extend Invites, You Start Crafting An Excuse Before They Even Complete The Ask
And you’re especially relieved when there’s a pre-existing conflict, like parents’ night at school, date night with your partner, or couch night with your couch.
Your Going Out Clothes Are Starting to Look Lonely and Abandoned
They miss you, too.
The Few Times You Do Make It Out Of The House, You’re Amazed At How Bright And Colorful The World Is
The sky’s bluer, the air’s fresher, and strangers are smiling at you. Well, technically they’re smiling at your baby, but still. You feel like a Disney princess.
You Prioritize Your Life Around Bedtime Snuggles
If it’s scheduled for anytime after 6:30 p.m., your friends don’t even ask anymore.
You Used To Be Able To Name Fancy Cocktails By Appearance, However Now You Can Name Fancy Kids’ Show Characters By Appearance
You’ve considered combining these two talents, but have yet to commit to the idea.
You Can’t Handle The Idea Of Changing Out Of Your Activewear
It’s not as if your toddler isn’t active, so you’re allowed to wear activewear. No one’s here to judge.
You Don’t Know Anything About Recent Movies, But You Know A Whole Lot About Little Nutbrown Hare, The Goodnight Routine Of Construction Equipment, And The Eating Habits Of Caterpillars
And by “know a whole lot,” I mean you can recite all the books in their entirety.
When You Do See Your Friends, They Remark On How Long Your Hair Is And How Different You Look
Because it's been that long since the last time they saw you. And they also compliment your athleisurely style and ask where you got your running shoes.