When I was a new mother, at home for the first time with my new baby, there were days when I needed to get out of the house or I would have lost my ever loving mind. The feeling amplified in the winter months when it gets so darn dark and cold and snowy; they don’t call it cabin fever for nothing!

And I don’t know about you but there were times that I needed to be out and among people but not necessarily in the mood to talk to people. I needed to be alone, but not feel alone. Those were the times when visiting my mom or going to an indoor playground or to a girlfriend’s for coffee wouldn’t cut it. Many people wander the mall, but I hated looking at all the clothes that seemed to mock my pudgy postpartum body so the mall was probably the worst place for me to go. I still did it and came home feeling just as bored and unsettled as when I left.

Our last trip to Ikea; kids are now too big for the stroller 🙂

So one of my favorite places to go for a few hours with the kids when they were small and I felt closed in was Ikea. I got to browse furniture and accessories (which didn’t care that I had 20 extra pounds of baby fat), the baby was happy in the stroller and I got out of the house. Later when my son came he’d take his turn in the stroller while his sister got to play with the toys and tents in the kids area, then we all got a cheap lunch before we went home for a nap. The after-Ikea nap was always so awesome; if I could keep them awake during the car ride home that is. I miss napping children.

Now that both kids are in school full time we don’t have opportunities to do it anymore and I’ve come to the realization that they have outgrown it too. I suppose I could still leave them in Smalland for an hour so they can play, but part of the fun of going is being together. It’s so silly but I’m a little sad that we won’t be having mornings like that any more now that we’ve moved on to bigger kid pursuits.

What is/was your favorite thing to do when you need to get out of the house with small kids?