The Real Reason We Go Outside



I have a secret. A pretty big secret. On paper (or Instagram and Facebook), it appears that I love to take my two young boys outside to explore nature and the world around them.  Almost daily we venture outdoors to take hikes, trips to the beach, explore nature centers, and visit new playgrounds. While my love of the outdoors and being constantly on the go is the partial truth,

the whole truth is that most days I struggle when my children are indoors.


I said it.

The stress of toy messes and screaming children get the better of me, and I just long to be outside where toys and loud voices don’t matter.

In my four plus years as a mother, I am not sure that I have ever stayed in the house for an entire day (apart from sick days). The walls close in, I get antsy, and time seems to tick by slower than ever. I will admit that part of my difficulty with being indoors is my constant need to be on the go. Even before children, I was rarely home and loved to fill my schedule as full as possible. I have serious FOMO (fear of missing out), and I love to frequently participate in activities and events going on in my community. Since having children, I find that I feel more sane with a daily trip outside– whether it is to nature or just a coffee shop.

However, my current problem with staying indoors is toys and bickering. Within five minutes of “playing” together, my boys are both screaming over one of their million available toys and destroying everything in sight. I realize that fighting over toys is normal and making messes is also totally normal, but I unfortunately do not handle it as well as other moms.

So I tend to take them outside. The fighting disappears outside. I no longer care about messes or how loud they are–

they are free to be loud, messy kids, and I’m not worried about cleaning up every toy they take out. 

I realize that I cannot just run outside every time my boys fight over a toy so I am trying to challenge myself to stay home more and encourage them to play together and work things out together. Our youngest turns two this summer, and I find that our boys are playing together better and having more fun on indoor activities. I also realize that I cannot let the fear of being indoors dominate our daily plans. I need to learn to be okay with messes and restrain from cleaning up every toy the second the boys stop playing with it. I also need to be more proactive in planning indoor activities so chaos doesn’t always ensue. I find it so easy to plan outdoor activities, but planning a playdoh or painting activity seems daunting.

Motherhood is a constant journey in self-growth and expanding my comfort zone. I will always love the outdoors and strive to show my boys the amazing world around them, but my personal challenge is to become a stay-at-home mom who is okay with staying at home.