If you are a work at home mom or a stay at home mom with a toddler, you know the struggle. Whether you need to do something for your job or complete a household chore, everything takes twice as long with a toddler. They are filled with this boundless energy that just cannot be contained. If we moms could harness that same energy, we could rule the world.
Sometimes this energy is channeled into something positive, like investigating the world around them. However, other times this energy transforms into extreme emotions like tremendous joy or irrational anger. Either way, you may find yourself on a quick trip to Melt Down City. Rather than hop aboard the tantrum train, do yourself (and your toddler) a favor and get out of the house!
7 Reasons Why You Need to Get Toddlers Out of the House Daily
Yes, I know that there is no such thing as a “quick trip” out of the house with a toddler, so you do need to schedule accordingly. However, these little outings are very necessary and it is possible that you can actually get something accomplished simultaneously.
1. Toddlers Need to Release Some of their Energy
Notice that I said “some”. There is no end to this energy. Even nap time is a brief restoration period before setting off like a rocket once again. What you need to do is let your toddler release some of this energy into the universe. Why keep it all in your house? Set it free!
Your local park or playground is a great place to release some of your toddler’s “spirit”. Look, let’s be real. You are no match for your toddler’s exuberance. What you need is other kids with the same amount of enthusiasm for running at top feed and screaming at top volume. You will such children at the park. Go there.
2. You Are Less Likely to Yell in Public
Again, I said “less likely”. As adults, we at least attempt to be on our best behavior in public. Toddlers have no such desire for social decency. However, at home, when our toddlers act like crazed wildebeests, we lose our ever-loving minds. In public, we may actually find a way to communicate with our little monkeys in a rational fashion.
Public places are proof that we can talk to our toddlers in a calm, rational fashion. It is good practice for us the next time they try our patience at home. Being out in public is also good practice for your little one to develop social graces…someday.
3. You Need Adult Interaction
It does not matter if you have an in-depth conversation with the grocery clerk about paper versus plastic. If you spend most of your hours every day at home with a tiny human, you need an occasional adult conversation. There is only so much one can discuss the Wheels on the Bus and all of the happenings at Old MacDonald’s farm. I mean, that MacDonald’s place does seem awfully exciting, but there is only so much one can take.
Commiserate with another mom at the park, discuss the weather with a neighbor, or get the lowdown on the latest deals from a clerk at Target. It does not even need to be intellectual, although that would definitely be a bonus. The conversation just needs to be with an actual adult, not a threenager.
4. You Both Need a Break from Screen Time
As a work-at-home mom, I am pretty much attached to my laptop and phone. While this is a necessary evil, sometimes I become as immersed in my job duties as my daughter is while watching Frozen for the gazillionth time. Not that Elsa and Anna aren’t great, but those little eyeballs need a break from their screens, too.
Giving yourselves a break from screen time is actually very good for your health, both mentally and physically. Spending so much time on the computer has left me with chronic migraines. I am far my conscientious of my daughter’s screen habits than my own, of course, but I still do not want her brain melting from too much Sofia the First.
If you can do something outdoors, that is wonderful. The vitamin D will do you both some good. If the weather is not in your favor, go to the library. It’s free and there are books! Books reverse the rotting of the brain!
5. Getting Out of the House Breaks Up the Monotony
It can’t be all goldfish crackers and Sesame Street all day for your toddler. Similarly, it can;t be all work and no play for you. There is only so much one can take. Yes, having a routine is the key to your sanity. However, what I am suggesting is building a daily outing into your routine.
Take my word for it, do not schedule said outing too close to nap time. You will regret it. I find the optimal times are about 1-2 hours before or after nap time. My daughter is normally the happiest kid on the block. However, if you try to interact with her within fifteen minutes of waking, our neighbors will all hear about it. I have no idea where she gets this from, but if you value your life, do not talk to me until I have had my coffee. Just sayin’.
Also, if your toddler knows that an outing is happening around the same time every day, it may reduce the time it takes to actually get out of the house by one-half. Okay, maybe one-quarter, but we will take what we can get!
6. It’s Exercise!
Who needs the gym when you have to wrangle a toddler into a stroller or vehicle? That totally counts as weight lifting and squats. Your cardio is whenever you get to wherever you are going. Whether it be the grocery store or the park, there is always a certain amount of chasing involved. How do they get those little legs moving so quickly anyway?
You can also make exercise your actual outing. Go for a long walk together or attend a swimming class. I really loved going to “Mommy and Me” yoga classes when my daughter was a baby. There was not a ton of actual yoga happening, but there was a whole lot of laughing! Check with your local Parks and Recreation centers. There are usually all kinds of “Mommy and Me” classes that can provide a bit of exercise for you both…as well as an excuse to get out of the house.
7. Getting Out of the House = Time to Bond
It really does not matter where you go or what you do. These little excursions provide an opportunity to bond with your toddler. You are making memories during these little outings. Even the most stressful of outings are something you will soon look back on and laugh until your tummy hurts. Like, the time I caused my toddler’s public meltdown.
Or, sometimes you create the kind of memories that you tuck away inside your heart to keep forever. Last week, I packed a quick lunch and took my toddler on an impromptu picnic. We lay with our feet in the grass, nibbling on our lunch, and just talked about the things we saw. Instead of rushing about as I normally do, I just enjoyed the feeling of my daughter’s hand in mine as we tried to guess the shapes of the clouds passing by. That is the perfect reason to get out the house.
Are you a work-at-home or stay-at-home mom with a toddler? How often do you get your little one out of the house? Do you have any favorite outings or activities? Please comment and share below!