Housebound days

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This blog is Day 15 of my 30 days of motherhood blogging challenge. Every day, for 30 days, I’m sharing diary-style snippets of my life as a working mum to one cheeky toddler. Consider this part creative experiment, part self-therapy. Feel free to play along at home! You can read days one to 14 here.

Today could have turned out very differently. At 6.05 am, Tom left the house to go to work. At 6.10 am, he re-entered the house – had he forgotten his lunch? His coat? No, his car battery was flat and he needed to take my car (carseat and all) to work (he was already running late, there was no time to take the carseat out or order an Uber).

As I sleepily registered that I would be home with Zoey all day without a car, I felt a mild sense of panic. A full day of parenting without the ability to drive anywhere?! With a forecast of thunderstorms? Nooo!

Ever since Zoey was born, getting out of the house at least once a day has been essential for my (and therefore our) happiness. When she was really little, I had a full schedule of activities for the week… some were free, some were an expense, almost all were so I could get some adult interaction and add some structure to my day. A reason to get dressed!

It’s very, very rare that we decide do stay home for an entire day without any form of activity – like a trip to the supermarket, a walk to get a hot drink, or inviting someone over to hang out with us. I felt a little anxious at the thought of being ‘rained in’ today – what if the weather was so awful we couldn’t even get out for a walk?!

But I realised early this morning that I had two options: I could worry about it or I could roll with it. Stress or surrender. I chose surrender and felt myself immediately detach from the outcome of the day – it didn’t matter how it unfolded, I knew all I needed to do was take it moment by moment. I didn’t even stress about fixing Tom’s car battery, I just trusted that we’d figure it out.

Well, today ended up being epic! We got out of the house at 9.30 am (in a car, on the motorway no less). Tom’s mum came to the rescue – she watched Zoey while I coordinated with the AA, who turned up at my house and replaced the car battery. Then she swapped cars with me (she has a carseat in her car) and Zoey and I were able to make our pre-arranged play date at 10 am. And all of this unfolded with barely any stress. One of those beautiful, rare days where everything fell into place.

We did stay at home this afternoon, though, and I looked at it through a different lens. I kept thinking: could I handle more full days at home? Would we still have a lot of fun? Are there ways to break up the day without leaving the house? As we head into winter, I know that outings are going to become less appealing and it might be time to enjoy a new season of hunkering down and staying close to home.

Much like my post about building a self-care toolkit, I think it’s time for me to start building a rainy day toolkit – a stash of toys and activities I save up for housebound days. Do you have one of these? What’s in yours? What are your go-to sanity savers for housebound days?

Would love to hear your ideas.

Until tomorrow,
Jess x