I read an excellent blog post on "Combatting the 'you should get out of the house more' mentality" and it made me think. You see, I don't have my drivers license. There have been a few reasons why this is so, but mostly, it just hasn't been priority. For years I have and friends and relatives tell me I should get my license. Some have even gone so far as to BERATE me for not having it.
"What if one of the kids gets hurt while Jon is at work?" well, if it is that urgent, we call our FREE ambulance service, if it isn't Jon works less than 40 minutes drive away, I am sure we will cope. I doubt I would have driven if I needed to stem arterial bleeding anyway! At the moment, if I did have a child being hauled away in an ambulance I would simply put the others in the car and drive in after them, if the police pulled me over and charged me with driving without a license, I am sure I could contest in court under compassionate grounds! I CAN drive, I just choose not too.
Another one I often get is "Don't you go INSANE alone at home with only the kids?". No, not any more than I did when I had to deal with people every day. Not everyone is like me in this respect I'm sure, but I don't see the attraction of "going out with the girls" or shopping for shopping's sake. If I need to talk to a friend, well, my two closest friends are mainlanders anyway so it is either the phone or an expensive trans-strait plane or boat trip! We usually live in isolated areas without access to public transport so it hasn't been unusual for me to go a weeks, even a month, without "getting out of the house". This suits me! To tell the truth, now that we live within walking distance of a post office, supermarket and playgroup I sometimes get the urge to just get away from it all!
If I did have my license, it would be very tempting to fill up the week. Do some cleaning for the church, go to the library regularly, take the kids through to the next town to a music class, take over the supermarket shopping, take the kids to visit an old folks home, go through to Launceston or Devonport once a month for museum, art gallery or science centre trips. All of these are very good and worthwhile things! But I need to ask, what would we be giving up to do them? The freedom my children have to spend time just exploring would be curtailed by being shoved in the car every second day. I would have to forget about any 'down time' for myself, keeping the house in managable order and everyone ticking along happily is a full time job now, if I take on more I will have to juggle things even harder. Perhaps it will be different in a different season of life when I can rely on the younger members of the household to do some of the major chores, but right now HOME needs to be our priority.
So I may get my license sometime soon. It would be handy to be able to go in to doctor's appointments etc. without Beloved having to take the afternoon off work. But right now? It isn't priority. HOME is priority for me. It is a matter of choosing between the good, the better and the best. Doing all those activities would be good, doing just a few would be better, staying home (at the moment) is best for us.