Struggle To Get Outside
One of the major challenges I face as a stay-at-home dad is getting to spend time outside the house. Between working as a freelance illustrator, homeschooling, chores, and endless amounts of comforts of never actually having to go anywhere, there are moments when restlessness and irritating moods fester (one of those words I don’t really like but hey does the job). I noticed this a short while after adjusting last year from leaving my job, my wife going back in the field (workforce, not an actual field), my kids leaving private school, and caring for our third child of 6 months.
Believe me, this is not a life-style I wanted to see how awesome, hip, cool, and powerful I could be as dad. It’s just what is currently right for our family at the moment, so I don’t want this to be taken in a way that’s a statement on how parenting and homelife should be. The challenge of getting our minds directed to the outdoors can be challenging for many types of personal and family lives. Whether you’re familiar with this problem or not, I hope some of my personal advice will help give you some space outside the four walls of where we live.
Have a bag ready.
Prepare a bag/backpack/sack/etc. that carries a few helpful things like phone, sunglasses, tissues, hand sanitizer, a blanket if you have babies or toddlers.
This also goes along with the bag. Try to be minimal in extra baggage. The more you bring, the more you have to unpack, repack, sort out later, and making the act of getting outside more work than it has to be.
Be ok with just 5 minutes.
This one is tough but if that’s all you have time for, it’s fine, and better than no time at all. Over time you can gradually extend the length of going out.
Talk with your partner.
This is a big one, especially if the other leaves home everyday as they might not know the experience you have. It’s important that if you’re feeling frustrated don’t unleash fire at them like a fierce dragon, just explain how important it is for you to get outside for your health and well-being. This will help them see the side you face.
Use the stroller/carrier/wagon.
These modes of transportation can be expensive. If you have them, make good use of them, and again pack them light. If it’s not a big excursion, no need to bring the snack pantry along.
Create a system.
Be inventive of how you plan to go outside regularly. Leave your outerwear, stroller or wagon close by the exit of your living space. Have shoes, outdoor, or play clothes readily available so you’re not looking in a million places.
Making this a routine takes time. Mark it down in your planner, place the value of outdoors highly important to your family, and soon you will get there.
At the end of the week, go get a coffee, book, or whatever you miss having on a regular basis. This is hard, but don’t make it harder by making yourself feel undeserving of anything. Go treat yourself.