Posted by: Ticktock | August 13, 2008

STAY at home Moms and Dads


MSNBC recently did an article about stay-at-home-“mothers” who are lately staying home a bit more than usual due to recent gas prices.  This inspired me to think about my own habits as an at-home parent, and whether the high cost of fuel has had an effect.  Certainly, my wife has run or biked to work more frequently, but have I actually changed my habits?

Maybe a little bit.  I’m one of those parents that get really anxious when I’m stuck at home all day.  I live in a small house that is affectionately cluttered, and I feel captured when I’m home.  As you can see, even when I’m home, I escape on the internet during naps.  There’s clearly some psychological factor that is clouding my judgement and making me get out, in spite of gas prices.  I have domestic depression, and my only cure is getting OUT.

I go exercise at the Y and leave the kids in daycare.  I take the kids to parks, zoos, museums, playgroups, toy stores- anywhere that keeps them entertained and occupied.  Sometimes I feel guilty for not being a more hands-on parent, not scheduling crafts and activities, but my motivation for such things is not very high.  I can’t help it. 

It helps to admit such things publicly and shame myself into change.  Starting next Monday, I’m going to practice staying home and not going out to distract myself.  On each day of the coming week, I’m going to plan a different activity to do with my one year old and three year old.  If you have any activities that you would like to recommend, please list them here in the comments.  And let me know if you’ve been conserving gas and staying in.  The latest reports show that petroleum sales took a huge dip last month, which is why the prices are down.  If we all stay in, we can force lower prices at the pump.

I’ll be sure to report my progress each day next week.  I expect I’ll slip into remission if only for the simple fact that I live in one of the top 10 commuting cities in the country.  Wish me luck, and a happy birthday, dammit.  🙂


  1. I try to stay at home more often than not, but like you, my house is very small and full of kid clutter. There’s only so much a person can stand! So my girls and I venture out as often as we can, which is less than it used to be but not too extreme. I think dragging your kids around town to different activities and such is a good thing. It’s gets them to interact with the outside world and it makes them SLEEPY!

    The only crafty thing I can think of is making home-made playdo. You can even dye it these days with natural food flavors. After you’ve built a castle complete with a Princess, you can eat it!

    I just came across your blog this late hour and I hope to return to read up about you and your family! Have fun at home!

  2. make play dough.

    my kids are older.

    yesterday we played home run derby in the backyard, “make-it/take-it” at the hoop in the front and then i helped them work on their skateboarding skills.

    all this require no gas (rather lots of coffee).

    today we’ll go to the pool but it’s not more than 2 miles round trip so i guess i’m unconsciously saving money buy not going to the pump as much.

  3. I’m in the same boat. Especially when the weather is too hot or cold to just walk to the playground (we are lucky enough to have three playgrounds a short walk from us here in Northside, Cincinnati), I’ll just toss the kids in the car and drive a ridiculous amount. Zoo and Aquarium memberships are a lifesaver.

    On one hand I’m certainly wasting gas. On the other, staying home does come with the temptation to just let the lil monsters veg out to Noggin while I read blogs all day…

    The lil one would eat wayyy too much playdoh, but we all sit and watercolor once a week or so.

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