I have always been an extrovert. Before four kids, I would rarely spend a night home at my apartment. I was constantly out with friends or at Barnes and Noble surrounded by people. Sitting on the couch alone made me itchy.
When I had one kid, it made it a bit more difficult to go out of the house and do things but it was barely a speed bump in my social game. I still zipped around with my son in tow to restaurants and activities without skipping a beat.
Two kids in, a little bit more work but still could go to the store or visit family with a little preparation and well-timed naps.
Then I had twins.
My son was home for Christmas break last month. When I brought him back to school, I realized that was his first time leaving the house that entire week. What? That couldn’t be possible. I racked my brain through the holiday parties, grocery store runs and daily activities. Nope. He never left.
I have worked the past few weeks to at least take my two oldest out alone more often, but here’s the problem with pushing through that hermit-like state:
- Amazon Prime – I am convinced Amazon Prime has created an entire generation of hermits like myself. If you can live off non-perishable food items, there’s no reason to leave your home. As long as I have two days of supplies, there’s nothing I can’t get right to my front door. Just opening the door to snatch it off my porch is enough work.
- Midwestern weather – We are in the throws of winter, here in the Midwest. It’s below zero on a daily basis. The process of packing kids in snow gear, warming up the minivan, icing the drive, not falling and cracking someone’s skull open and driving with white knuckles through the streets requires some serious motivation.
- No two-seat grocery carts – My twins are on the cusp of being able to sit up on their own and sit in a grocery cart seat. HOWEVER, how does one do that with two babies? Am I supposed to flop one baby on top of my pork chops and hope a can of beans doesn’t pelt her in the head? If the store doesn’t have a two-seater grocery cart, I can’t go. I mean, I could go and have a four-year old and three-year old walk, push a double stroller and drag a cart behind but I’ve already had enough nervous breakdowns this week. We can just Prime some mac and cheese.
- Nap times – My day is a constant carousel of nap times. I am forever putting one down, getting one up and prepping the next one for bedtime. IF I do leave the house, it can be for maybe an hour if the babies can’t sleep in their car seats.
- Disease – Sending my son to preschool is like sending him to lick the handrails in Grand Central Station. There are sickness grenades being brought into our house on every Monday, Wednesday, Friday. If I can make it through the week without being barfed on, I am praising all the things. Why would I up my chances of puke buckets by heading into the grocery store, or worse the public library?
- Ample prep time – Mixing four kids with my anxiety means I need at least a week to mentally prepare for an outing. I can’t be pounced on. Asking to go to swimming classes tomorrow will send me in a tailspin of planning that will end in me feigning illness and eating a cheesecake. It’s just not possible.
- Family time – Truly, I really love our little family unit. I love these memories we are all making in our little cocoon of six. We may all get sick of the sight of each other and need time in our beds with Netflix from time to time, but my kids are learning their undying love for each other. It’s us against the world and for a little more precious time the pain in the ass of leaving the house is growing our bond in immeasurable amounts.
Do you have a large family? How do you wrangle them all? Tell me about it in the comments!
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