Monday, January 13, 2014

Staying Home: How Long is too Long?

How long does one typically stay home before going stir crazy and needing to get out of the house? When did going out on a frequent basis start?

I know growing up, we lived 13 miles out of town and went through long periods with no vehicle, which meant most of our time was spent in our house or on our 7 acres. We did not go out to eat but once in a blue moon, usually when my Dad would stop on the way home from a visit with my mom in hospital. I am not sure but I would most likely say it was to try to take our minds off a not so pleasant visit, where her possible death may be looming in our heads.

I remember going to the movie theatre twice, once when I was 5 and again when I was around 13. Our typical outings would have been a few miles down the road to the swimming hole or country drives where my mother enjoyed genealogy work in the cemeteries or to view the fall colors. Entertainment usually consisted of us going to someone's house or them coming to ours. Church and School was our other outings.

When my parents divorced and we had no car, we went out only once a month when my grandma would come to take us grocery shopping. Beyond school, if we wanted to get anywhere we walked, sometimes this meant for me, a 5 mile walk to the local country party store, then later to my boyfriends house.

This stayed with me into my adulthood where I am very comfortable staying home in large chunks of time. Living rural means I don't want to spend the money for frequent trips to town. I really never stop to think that how long I will stay home, especially in winter months would not really be considered normal by today's standards.

Last Wednesday on the 8th, I was contemplating whether I wanted to brave our heat wave of 16 degrees, after a 30 below polar vortex to go out shopping or wait for warmer weather towards the weekend. I started thinking, when was I last out of the house? I was a little surprised, when I realized the last time I had been out of the house, was December 5th! When I revealed this on Facebook, people asked how I could do that without pulling my hair out and drooling off in a corner.

I guess it comes down to, when I am freezing all the time, the last thing I want to do is go outside where it is even colder, usually windy and go  run errands. Being cold is NOT my idea of fun.

I also enjoy being home, after all a home is suppose to be your sanctuary and for me it is, it is my place to feel warm, cozy, love and laughter with people I enjoy  spending time with. I have 2 amazing teens that are wonderful company, 2 dogs that are the best companions, beautiful snowy country scenery out my back door and a wonderful best friend for a husband who is home by 1pm every day. I have a computer for contact with people in other areas of the world, and Netflix at night to lose myself into a story where real life disappears for 2 hours. LIFE IS GOOD right here in my tiny home and baking and cooking are my winter things to do! I also have tons of books on my kindle that I have been reading so for me it is all good!

Now hubby, he goes out 5 days a week to work, then whenever I need a few things he goes 1/2 mile from work to the store and picks it up for me, and then comes home and feeds the chickens on days I think it is too cold. He knows I am having a hard time staying warm this year so he has been great about making sure I do not have to go out and be cold. I will occasionally go out and feed the chickens on days it is 30 or above. So until the weather gets warmer I limit my outings to major grocery shopping day which is once a month, and doctor appointments........... other than that, I shall continue on in hibernation mode.

I know staying home that long is not for everyone, for some they have a need to get out every 2 weeks, 4 days or some even daily. That is okay and it is a good thing to  know your limits on what you can take without driving your self nuts. For me 1 month is really not too long at all and I was not even stir crazy when we finally did get out on the 8th.

But I am always curious to know about tell me, how long do you normally stay home in between getting out of the house?


  1. "Out of the house" for me usually constitutes the grocery store or a 2 mile car ride with my husband to the state park. We sit there and talk and I get to look at the river and the ice and the boats rather than the same beige walls. This happens once a week on his day off. If by out of the house you mean go somewhere, like a restaurant or a family member's house, that would be twice a month. So even if you count my car rides, I'm usually at home 24 days out of the month. The car rides are my saving grace, because I do get a little crazy sometimes and *anywhere* is better than home. However, I'm an introvert and a stay at home mom, so being a hermit is a lot more comfortable to me than most people. :) However, were the limits of our income lifted, I would certainly take advantage of it more, and take the kids to the park, and maybe go see a movie, etc.

  2. Probably not more than a day or two. Because of health issues (none of them mine), I've been the main errand runner even more lately than prior to the health issues. Now, my mom can stay in the house (or general area) for days at a time, even when she isn't recovering from being very ill.

    Though, if by out of the house, you mean further than the nearest grocery store (maybe half a mile from my house), that is usually once or twice a month. At one point it was once a week (and the past four days have been hectic) but usually twice a month.

    I like staying home. I've been called (usually unkindly) a recluse and a hermit. I tend to say "thank you" and smile.

    I would love to travel in terms of seeing new places, trying new cuisines, absorbing different cultures. But to go out just to go out? Not so much.

  3. My son goes to a virtual school which requires attendance at their computer lab. No bus service, so he needs a ride there and back every day. I work full time 3 days + a week/ 12hour shifts 7P-7A so I try to do my errands to or from getting my son to school. Going out to eat is very rare.
    Funny Carrie how you mention movies. I remember seeing Doctor Dolittle (The first movie) when I was little. My next theater experience was Worlds Greatest Athlete ( when I was in high school 1973) .
    Sheila -Escanaba

  4. I end up out of the house a lot, which is funny being a stay at home mom! Mostly we are leaving for scouting events like hikes and outdoor things, plus I'm volunteering at my kids' school once a week or so. It's only a half mile walk, so I usually do that. My kids are okay at home as long as they can get outside to play a lot. The winter break was rough with the cold temps keeping us inside. I find a lot of the "manufactured fun" people spend their time on to be a little boring---going to the movies or the arcades and spending too much on a dinner out is fun once in a while but we don't do it much.

  5. I am very happy to stay home most days! I have the option to telecommute frequently and I take advantage of it. During the Polar Vortex, I stayed home for five days straight. (I'm not counting going outside the check on the chickens as "going out.") Because I have regular appointments at the gym and riding at the stables I have to leave the house. If not for that and the need to report to the office occasionally, I'd likely stay in my house at least 5-6 days a week and be quite pleased. :-)

  6. I have always had a hard time staying home, just because I loooove driving, The more the better. However, since the bad weather of the last six weeks or so I curtailed the driving to avoid accidents.(heavy snow and then ice). It was hard the first week but I managed to keep myself busy with reading, painting, internet, netflix, cooking and baking, a pottery class nearby, and it was a revelation to me. I was not bored at all. In fact now I stay home by choice to save gas money, going out for a brief drive only once a week. However, come spring I'll be on the open road again just about every other day. As a 5 year old my aunt was taking me to northern Germany by hitch-hiking. We lived in the South. One of the rides was on tractor trailer. The driver lifted me up to the seat and it was like heaven had opened up. I could see everything for miles and I fell in love with the road. This is an addiction I don't want to beat. This happened in the fifties, by the way.