Staying in versus Going out

Ok, if you have come here expecting some review of nightlife written by some young person who is not currently sitting in their pj bottoms at 8pm on a Saturday night, let me stop you now! This is no snappy magazine exploration into whether house parties are the new clubs. (Are they by the way? What is nightlife like now??) Nope this is a genuine look at the benefits of staying in the house or going out of the house when it comes to small children.

Personally I find both stressful. I’ve heard people talk about spending the day at home, I know they have done it, duvet days, movie days, whole lovely days in pjs. It sounds blissful. We have even tried it, we really have. I lay out the idea, it’s well received, I plan a few fun crafts maybe, make some cakes, snuggle up and watch a film.

The trouble is, it never works. Firstly, small boy does not want to be doing crafts, he wants to bash things. He is jealous that our attention is on the crafts and so he bashes them, or his sister, or runs off with her prize toy, guaranteeing the result of a blood curdling squeal of outrage and the blurred form of furious big girl out for revenge.

Also, we just can’t stay in pjs all day, after too long the weetabix sets solid and there is no movement possible…oh wait, hang on, is that maybe the solution to my previous problem?!

Baking, nightmare, squabbling over who gets to do what, trying to shove each other off the counter or push each other too close to the mixer, then an actual physical tug of war over the spoon to lick, even when there are two, each with the exact same amount of batter on each.

So a film then, we have a shelf groaning with disney dvds* and a subscription to netflix but there is never anything they can agree on. If one chooses, the other cries, if I chose, both cry!

Attention span lasts approx 3 minutes for small boy once a film is settled on, before he is attempting back flips off the sofa back and landing on big sis, who is furious and emits several high pitched whine like noises a minute and even rustles up some fake crying for good measure. Until she decides she has a better game and they rip all the cushions off the sofa and practice their leaps.

My warnings of imminent hurt go unheeded….until someone gets hurt. Finally at the end of my tether, (not hard, I started out somewhere near the middle!), the decision is made to have a change of scene.

Which brings me neatly on to….

Going out!

Dun-dun-duh! (Ominous music you get in films like when they are hiding in the kitchen in jurassic park and the dinosaur is hunting for them, tense!)

I often wonder why this is so damn hard, maybe it’s me, but I’ve always been told I’m so chilled, I was even once told I was so laid back I was horizontal, how can something so many other people seem to glide through turn me into such a teeth gnashing, snarling, stress head?!

Often we go on the bus. The bus stop is around a 3 minute walk from our house. No matter how much time I give us, we always end up legging it the last bit with a kicking indignant small boy under one arm, hot and flustered. The main issue we have now is that big girl is faster then him. She is older, bigger but he is furious about it. They start running, she is faster, he stops dead and refuses to move at all. Is she helpful? No, she will dance ahead and crow about her running prowess and how much quicker then him she is.

This is a tactic she also employs as a form of torture in any instance where she is getting to do something without him. It usually involves saying bye to him multiple times and explaining where she is going and how much extreme fun she will have until he cries. This does not take long, she will then leave satisfied! Having no siblings, I find this very concerning behaviour. I have been reassured on several occasions that actually no, it’s totally normal and an enquiry into whether either of them have put the other in hospital yet usually follows. Eek!

Once off the bus, between attempting to stop small boy from jabbing every passer by in the knee caps with the arsenal of sticks he keeps about his person, and keeping up with big girl’s seemingly endlessly stream of consciousness peppered with questions that must be answered within 4 seconds exactly, (and woe betide if you try a fob off answer to buy any time, she already knows the answer, it’s a test, she just requires more details, far, more, details!), sometimes she will even count!

So we get wherever I’ve decided will be least hellish, (I’m always wrong!), totally flustered, inevitably without something vital, like drinks, snacks, phone and have to spend a fortune on over priced cartons of juice. Then around 5 minutes after we arrive, it will be nap time, and small boy will behave like a very small belligerent drunk until I get him home to nap. And then we’re home again!!! 😀

* Disney films, they are not nice! Huge emotional trauma for big girl when she spent the whole film under the illusion they would find Nemo’s mother and siblings at the end without me realising. The look on her little face when the credits rolled ripped my heartstrings clean out! She also had a total breakdown when the ugly sisters tore Cinderella’s dress off. I tell you, Bambi is never coming out of the wrapper! (Sorry if there were any spoilers there I know it’s not Game of Thrones but there may be a few of you who had a burning desire to keep the plot of Nemo a secret!! 😉 )

So in conclusion. There is no winner in my eyes. The only thing I can think of is when someone else takes them out, and you stay home. Now that is a good day! 😀

This sums up going out I think! I wouldn’t let him eat all of my danish after he’d finished his gingerbread rocket. I only gave him half. Evil!

72 Comments

  1. Oh my goodness! I was just about to try a movie night with the outdoor movie screen hubby built. I had visions of my bio, adopted, and foster kids laughing and stuffing their faces with popcorn as they intently watched the movie – perhaps with lightening bugs floating magically in the background. I have now realized that I should lower my expectations. LOL.

    • Oh no I’m so sorry I burst your bubble! I mean, it could work, really, I’m sure it will be fine. I mean I only have 2 kids, you sound like you have quite a few & I’m sure will all get along & agree & sit quietly……or maybe you just need to make sure you have lots of wine in! 😉 Your family sounds so interesting, I will deff be over to have a read of your blog! 🙂

    • Oh & outdoor movie screen?! You are deff not in Britain! 😀

  2. Pingback: Working from home with children. Alternate title – How to ruin a perfectly good day. | pinkpearbear

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  4. Mess and Merlot

    Ha, soooo true. At least you know you’re not alone, we all have this same experience either way! To be honest, staying in (or ‘jammie days’ in our house) only really started to work once the kids were a bit older (around 4&6) otherwise what seemed like an easy option for Mummy usually resulted in me losing my voice by tbe end of the day from constantly telling them off and just wishing I’d got everyone fed and dressed and got the hell out of there in the first place !

  5. I am beginning to understand why school holidays are so stressful. And why do all the mother and baby groups stop running just when you need them the most?! I agree with you about Disney films – they are always really aimed at adults and don’t consider children’s sensitivity. Good luck with the rest of the holidays.

  6. Every word is true.

    The best kind of day of course is one where you are out and they are in, or you are in and they are out.

    I love a good disney film but am watching them all now through the new, sensitive eyes of my two year old who doesn’t like the sea witch, she doesn’t like watching anyone getting a telling off, or when the dogs are sad.

  7. I also recommend doing both. Staying in (you) and staying out (the kids with an unsuspecting friend of relative). Sorted.

    I’m comforted that we all feel the same! #bigpinklink

  8. Haha poor you! This certainly sounds like typical sibling behaviour! I’m sorry but I had to chuckle, you’ve got a way with words, and it sounds like your children are little devils to each other when they are together! I think you’ve got it spot-on with someone else taking them out and you staying at home 😉 I look forward to reading many more years of such sibling annoyances 😉 xxx #BigPinkLink 😉

  9. I always assumed I struggled taking the boys out (or keeping them in) so much because of their ASD but maybe it’s just like that for everyone. I haven’t even attempted the bus yet…

    #bigpinklink

  10. I agree! Either you stay home and do what you need and someone else takes them out OR someone else looks after them and dare I say it YOU go out. Even if it’s to the shop. There is bliss in walking around Sainsburys alone not asking small child to stop running, stop putting all the sweets in the basket and stop sliding along the floor.

    We are going to stop telling my daughter when we plan to do things in the hope that she won’t get too excited/overwhelmed when we go out! #bigpinklink

  11. Haha! I can totally relate – my two squabble endlessly. Usually about a toy that they each have one of. But one is always better of course and that’s the one they want. And as for DVD’s *sigh* they rarely want the same one which is so frustrating. I wish they’d watch things like Inside Out (which I adore by the way and watched, on my own, 3 times over Christmas 🙂 ) but they prefer things that smash and crash and usually involve weapons.

    As for going out, I’ve stopped going out with them on my own, I just don’t have the energy. Sad, I know, but it’s marginally better to stay in on my own with them, at least I can hide in the loo for a few mins when it all gets too much! (before they start knocking on the door as mummy’s obviously playing a game of hide and seek…)

  12. Love it, I mean I’m so sorry this is your life, but it makes for great reading. Maybe this is the benefit of only having one child. Mind you now she’s 10 she takes me out. #bigpinklink

  13. Haha I can relate to all this, tried the movie night yesterday, total nightmare I don’t think there’s one movie on the planet that is suitable for them all lol x #bigpinklink

  14. I love this! It’s so true – sometimes you just don’ t know what to do!! Ha ha the Disney films bit is so true – they are heartbreaking in parts!! Great post xx #bigpinklink

  15. Brilliant & I also find whole days in difficult. Cabin fever & boredom set in. My days are getting easier though the kids are 5 & 9 and newly minecraft addicted definitely helps pass a few calm hours until one destroys the others world & all he’ll breaks lose. #bigpinklink Lifeinthemumslane

  16. I cant do going out anymore, me and my OH went out last weekend and I wanted to go somewhere where there is seating, nice music so we can talk and in walking distance of a taxi home – by the way we were home by 11:30 haha #bigpinklink

  17. This seems very much like a day in our life! I long to do the whole “snuggle up with a movie and popcorn” thing, but it lasts around 40 seconds before one of them is bored / has popcorn up their nose / doesn’t like popcorn / doesn’t like the film / wants a different film Aaaagghh!!!

    Brilliant post and really made me giggle. Thanks for hosting #bigpinklink

  18. Oh this is so true. My boys are 6 and 4 now, staying in and going out are easier but they still have their moments of squabbling. Especially when it comes to choosing what to watch on telly. #Bigpinklink

  19. I’m with you there – days in don’t really work in our house either! Fab post, made me laugh 🙂 Thanks for hosting #bigpinklink

  20. It’s a tough choice. I’m all for going out, fresh air and the house doesn’t get messy!! #bigpinklink

  21. Haha! That’s my every day and I only have one! He just squabbles with me! #bigpinklink

  22. Brilliant post! I only have one 2 year old but that’s hard enough. Even a cheeky trip to the park can seem like a battle…and it’s always you’re kid (me) who throws a massive strop when you say it’s home time! #bigpinklink #thejoysofoparenting

  23. I agree both can end in disaster! But we have to laugh don’t we? I love the end pic as it really does sum it up #bigpinklink

  24. I can totally relate to this post and agree whole heartidly! The whole staying in sounds lovely but in reality it isn’t and so is going out haha!! Thanks for hosting #bigpinklink xx

  25. Oh gosh you sound like you have your hands full? There are always challenges with staying in versus going out whatever the age of the child. Our little one is only 8 months old, and I HAVE to go out just so that she has her afternoon nap and so I don’t go insane being in our house all day. On the flip side, if we are out too long she starts to get really grumpy in her buggy or with being held. I don’t think there’s a WIN WIN situation, I think it’s all about finding the right balance. Your post has fast forwarded to the years to the come…..I’m sure we will be fine. Thanks for hosting a fab Linky. Claire x #bigpinklink

  26. OMG! It sounds more challenging than some of the issues being debated by the UN. Bless you. Still you can always become a peace keeper when the kids are older. I remember this stage with autistic meltdowns thrown in for good measure and can (quite smugly) sit here feeling, thank god that’s behind me until my son comes downstairs crying because he isn’t allowed to choose the game or he never wins, or his brother shouted at him for losing etc etc as one problem ends another one begins… Parenting!!!

  27. Haha this was brilliant to read! Very funny and indeed you can’t win! Every time i go out i have to pack a suitcase so i don’t end up spending a fortune on the things i forgot to take with me. Luckily i have just the one child who is manageable at home but still has his bad days, or clingy days where he cannot leave my side, although i think if i watch toy story one more time i might go mad!

    #bigpinklink

  28. Haha… and here I was thinking “it will get easier when they get older”, but after this I’m not so sure… I find both a struggle too. But end of the day as long as you’ve managed to keep both children alive I think you’ve done a decent job 😉 #bigpinklink

    Nadia – ScandiMummy x

  29. Ha ha! This is a great picture of parenting with humour! I cannot stay in all day but some days it is such a mission to go out and about! J isn’t old enough to watch films or bake yet so being at home on a wet day is literally painful!
    #bigpinklive

  30. Haha, I see so many Instagram posts about how people are ‘having a PJ’s day’ and think ‘HOW?!!’ My boy is like yours – he needs to get outside, and being stuck inside the house is torture! At least currently I only have the one, so going out is not such a minefield. #bigpinklink

  31. Oh dear! I had never even thought about all of this. I feel very lucky that I only have one little urchin to deal with! #bigpinklink

  32. We tried to have a movie night last night as Snow White was on, they were interested for about 10 minutes (and that’s mainly because of the popcorn) and then they started running around like lunatics again *sigh*. At 3 and 5 I thought they might be old enough to sit through a film by now, clearly I was wrong x #bigpinklink

  33. Yes, yes, and yes!! You’ve just summarised every single second of my every single day!! Don’t be concerned about Big Girl’s taunting behaviour-older siblings have this inbuilt into their psyche!! My brother, and every older sibling I know used to do this!! DT does it too. If we tell him daddy will take him somewhere special while MA is napping, but he has to keep it a secret, he will usually march up to MA and tell him all about it, in the most crowing manner he can manage!! I’ve said to my husband ‘I hate going out, and I hate staying in! They both make me want to shoot myself!!’
    We were also discussing the films the children aren’t allowed to watch the other day, and both agreed Watership Down is a no no, but my husband laughed when I said no Dumbo? That film devastated me as a child!! I felt devastated for Big Girl when you said she genuinely believed Nemo was going to find him mum and siblings… It actually bought a lump to my throat…!
    Thanks for being the most awesome co-hostess! #bigpinklink

  34. Ok I may have already says this but my internet disappeared so just of be on the safe side… This is very funny, I love the way you take your readers with you when you write. And this is my reality with ONE child, how am I going to cope with two!? Thank you for hosting #bigpinklink

  35. I’m having this problem today! Funny and so true! #bigpinklink

  36. I think you’ve just convinced me to put a second child off for a while longer… Haha!
    #bigpinklink

  37. staying in is ok with my eldest hes into board games/watching a film etc, the threenager is a different kettle of fish! #bigpinklink

  38. It doesn’t get any easier when trying to take the kids out somewhere as they always find something to argue about. I have a teenager and a 9 year old and they both manage to argue until we get where we are going then go their separate ways until the 9 year old decides to bug the teenager because he’s bored. Blah! I’m glad you didn’t bring Bambi out. I saw that movie in school when I was in kindergarten and I was traumatized when Bambi’s mother died. I still have a hard time with that movie, LOL! Thanks so much for hosting #bigpinklink

  39. Staying in is nice with my daughter because she actually likes baking and crafts but my son with just pull everything off the table which leads to a very angry daughter!
    Going out, they both run in opposite directions and they are both fast runners so I just have to pick my favourite and catch them first!!
    Totally agree about the Disney films, my daughter’s favourite film is Cinderella and I have to explain every time what happens to her dad at the start. Three year olds just can’t handle that!

  40. I love this – I wish that we could have happy days at home but it usually ends up in me chucking both kids in the car and driving until they fall asleep! We can watch endless films but unfortunately the running commentary over the top of Harry Potter for the 4 millionth time is more than I can bare…. #bigpinklink

  41. I can totally relate to this! Great post #bigpinklink

  42. Oh I love this!! Really made me laugh. The thought of going out fills me with horror most of the time but I usually feel better for leaving the house! He’s so little still that days at home are quite nice though. Someone else taking him out definitely sounds delightful. Thanks for hosting #bigpinklink

  43. But dont you always end up wishing that when you are out that you were back home and when youre home you wish you were out! Best of both worlds – girlie shopping trip with the kids at home with hubby! #bigpinklink

  44. Oh this is all so very true. I only have one child and going out is hard enough, I applaud anyone who has 2 or more. I quite often like to take my boy for walks in the forest, he loves exploring and it’s usually a lot less stressful than a trip to soft play or, dare I say it, the shops! You are spot on with the Disney films, I’m still traumatised from seeing the Lion King when I was a kid!xx #bigpinklink

  45. I agree both are definitely stressful. I like a mixture of the two – a morning out and the afternoon in or vice versa. Not because it makes it any less stressful but you get to experience a change in scenery and different *types* of stress, and, as they say, a change is as good as a rest! ;’) #bigpinklink

  46. haha I’m now very afraid of having 2 and a little boy!! (haha we don’t know yet :-)) Bless you. I prefer to be out as long as hubby with me for extra help. We all tend to go a bit stir crazy inside and there is whining (from me). I think there will always be stress with these monkeys. Thanks for hosting x

  47. Haha this really made me laugh, so true! The best thing ever is when the kids are out and I am home alone and can just lie on the couch and watch anything other than Cbeebies!! #bigpinklink

  48. I am so glad that my kids are not the only ones to throw all the cushions off the sofa and then leap onto them. It always ends in tears but is a firm favourite! I feel your pain, you could be describing a day at home for us too! #bigpinklink

  49. hehe all very true. I hate staying in all day. cabin fever sets in by 9am as weve been up flippin hours! I NEED to get out. even if it is just to morrisons! hats off for getting the bus too! #bigpinklink

  50. So true – i have 2 kids who love sitting in front of a film and 1 who hates it! The answer is send one out in the garden and leave the other 2 watching TV! #pinkbiglink

  51. I’m pretty lucky that my toddler loves to sit and watch a film, she’ll quite happily grab a blanket and cuddle up which is great although a much prefer to get her out of the house. And although she does love being outdoors, she is two, so there is ALWAYS a tantrum which usually then kick starts a breakdown from Tiny Tot. It really is a battle trying to decided what to do with your day when you have kiddies. Thanks for hosting #bigpinklink x

  52. Hahaha yes very accurately put, I always think days out are where it’s at, until I get out and find myself outnumbered by the small people and always on the loosing team. You’re onto a winner there a day flying solo is always going to be a good day #bigpinklink xx

  53. Oh crikey I think I may have just stumbled upon a crystal ball and peered into my future! As a still fairly new mother-of-two (small boy, big girl) and an ‘only’ myself I am already bewildered by the sibling dynamic. At the moment he is still baby enough for her to be the second mummy – most of the time – but already I’m seeing glimpses of tormenting, rivalry and ‘I’m bigger and better – na na na na na!’ Days in or days out, I have a feeling neither will be easy in a few months time! #big pink link

  54. Gosh, I never thought of that ending for Finding Nemo! Bambi is a definite no no! #bigpinklink

  55. AMEN I AM NOT ALONE!!!! Why do the kids never want to sit and watch a movie, (when I am desperately in need of some quiet time), yet scream the house down for something on right about dinner time??? Why do small boys obsess about sticks? Why does the bus always run on time when you are not? I do not know; I believe I will never know. Thanks for the share!! #bigpinklink

  56. This is my boys, both at different stages. One runs away the other is in the transistional stage of walking and using the buggy. So trying to multi-task is hell. I come home have a meltdown alone in the bedroom. Luckily hubby is my carer so I can take one child out at a time or else I would stay very local and shop online.
    I could not stay in all day with the two of them they both drive me potty with the bickering. They may watch a film if they are super doper exhausted but chance would be a fine thing.
    Don’t you just hate the hot and flustered feeling, yuk!
    Hats off to you for taking them both out at the same time X #bigpinklink

  57. This is so true! I’m learning that these holidays. It’s the pressure to do something worthwhile and slightly educational each day. Great read xx

  58. I can totally relate to this, especially the staying in thing. It would be lovely to have a calm, relaxed duvet day at home, but my two always end up arguing and it always ends in me saying “Right, we’re going out!” Thanks for hosting #BigPinkLink x

  59. lol good plan there in the end! I always enjoy the peace & quiet then start to miss everyone & wonder when they will be back! lol Loved the mental image of the knee capping too. #bigpinklink x

  60. Oh no poor you! As a younger sibling I can appreciate not being able to keep up! It’s very frustrating! Both in and out seem stressful! Hopefully it will get better as the little one gets older!!

  61. I think you might have just persuaded me to stop at 1 child #bigpinklink

  62. Staying in while THEY go out always wins. But yeah otherwise it is hard to tell. I think for us staying in wins as my littlest is still too little to cause fights and fussing. So its just dealing with ONE toddler and a baby. Just.

    Thanks for the post! #BogPinkLink

  63. Oh yes, the sulk over not being allow to eat your food … even if they chose their own and yours is something they really don’t like! I can relate to pretty much all of this! Thanks for sharing and making be feel slightly less batty about my revulsion for going out anywhere with two smalls!! Visiting from #bigpinklink

  64. Oh wow. NG isn’t 3 yet and NC is only 6 months but I just saw what it’s going to be like. It doesn’t get easier, does it? (Please just pretend and say it does?!) This is very sobering … and very funny! Thank you – lovely account of what my future life holds! #bigpinklink

  65. I don’t have this with A yet (only 7 months) but I often look after my 8 year old sister (big gap) and oh it is infuriating! #bigpinklink x

  66. Haha – yes, I agree, both options can be very problematic! We can’t have pj days ever anyway as eldest is obsessed with wanting her clothes on immediately (must be a dress). & youngest just removes anything she is wearing & wanders around naked! #bigpinklink

  67. Love it!
    Days in kind of work here, as long as the older child can play on Sims or Minecraft all day and the younger one can play with her cars to the background of Bing or Little Charley Bear (which is torture for me as I can’t stand James Corden or his voice).

    Going out is a bit harder with the age gap, Eldest is 11 going on 25 and youngest is 2 years and 9 months going on diva! Trips to parks and stately homes tend to work best and the beach is a winner. We don’t tend to do indoor type things as we can’t find something they both want to do, I’m looking forward to the youngest being a bit older and being able to have movie afternoons with them both. Although obviously the films will have to be pretty tame!

    I confess I have never seen Finding Nemo, but I did see Bambi at the age of 5 and the trauma that ensued caused me to melt all my Maltesers together into one big mass of gooey chocolate.

    #bigpinklink

  68. Oh either are a nightmare, but I do find if we’re in all day H gets really naughty, so even if we just go to the park or a 20 minute walk, it helps. I. Saying that I only have one 16 month old, so I’m not in the same league! I have no idea how you manage with two!, #bigpinklink

  69. Ha ha ha! I love this post! So very true. I’m much more of the going out camp, but usually with other people to share the burden lol! Thank you for your honesty x #bigpinklink

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