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I’m a Homebody

I’m a Homebody

I’ll admit it – I like being at home… if people want to hang out, they come to my house… I don’t like to leave it that often… but why? Does it make me lazy? Do I just not want to get out of my comfy clothes? What’s the deal?

Well, it’s not something that I can answer with just ONE simple answer. Why do I not like leaving the house all that much… well because, leaving the house I can’t just grab my keys and wallet and head on out. Nope, not happening. Depending on where I’m going, it takes a lot of ‘planning’ at times, just to leave the house.

I have to make sure that I have taken my meds, that I have the meds in my bag that I might need while I’m out. Is my cell phone charged, in case I need someone for something? Oh gotta take a potty break during all of this… then right before I leave, I probably will need to take another potty break.

OH! Did I grab something to drink to have with me in the car, so that in case I need to take one of my meds, I have something to take it with? How long am I going to walk while being out? Will there be a lot of standing? Maybe I should bring my cane… I should probably wear something that is comfortable, if it’s going to be awhile.


Do you see where I am going with this? First of all, I’m not a big fan of carrying purses/bags whichever. But now I have to carry one so that I have a place for my medications. While I’m doing everything I listed above… that’s not including how much time it takes to actually get ready. I have longer hair, so it usually ends up in a ponytail. Mostly because it’s hot in Texas the majority of the year.

So yes, since I have to go through all of the steps above, just to leave my house… I prefer to stay at home if I can. It might come off as being lazy to some people, oh well. Call me lazy then, whatever floats your boat. But I have to conserve my energy and use it wisely. I’m not super woman. I can’t clean my house all morning, shower, then get ready to be out all afternoon. Nope, no way, not happening.

It just makes me realize the things I took for granted before I was diagnosed with MS, or showed any symptoms for that matter. Because I used to be able to just carry my little wrist wallet and phone and keys and that was it. Not so much these days.

This is another reason I don’t like shopping. I was never really a big fan of it before MS came along… but I could have a girls day and go shopping if I wanted to. Now I love online shopping. Again, this is not because I’m lazy. It’s because I’m using my energy wisely. Kind of like, we are told early in life to “spend your money wisely”… Well, to me, I feel like my energy is as valuable as money these days, so the same terms apply.

So when I stay at home all day – and I don’t change out of my sweats aka pajamas… yes I like to keep them on cause they are comfy, but also because who needs to add to the laundry pile, unless necessary. Now remember, I have two boys that love to play outside and get dirty, so my laundry pile can take a whole day to go through, just for them.

Some days I will just order food, so that I don’t have to cook… because I’m totally exhausted and I don’t have it in me to do the dishes. Is that lazy? Again, who cares?

I’ve learned from past experiences what I can and cannot handle, and I’m making decisions based off of that experience. Doesn’t mean that I’m always taking it easy and listening to my body. There are times that I push myself, but I do so in knowing that I will ‘pay for it’ later.

Now, while I’m being a homebody, I like to be on my phone or iPad or computer… Why, you ask? Because I can’t just sit down and watch TV for a long period of time. So I try to keep my brain busy by doing things for MSWorld. We just launched our new website, so that’s kept my mind busy, but I love it. I also like to challenge myself. So I will do brain games… they aren’t all titled that way. But there are a lot of ‘strategy’ games that I can play that keep my brain from wanting to take a nap.

But let me tell you, in between me getting things done at MSWorld, playing games and of course writing these articles, I’m still doing the whole stay-at-home gig. Which is laundry, cleaning up, etc. I try to remain as active as I can, so who cares if I’m doing it at home, in my sweats? If people have a problem with that, then they are just jealous. Not everyone can be an overachiever in his or her comfy clothes, but us MS’ers know how to pull it off, with style 😉

There are a lot of people that have MS that still GO to work every single daily. Kudos to you! That’s all I can say. I mean I know that what I do at home is productive, but actually having to get ready every morning on top of everything else you have to do… I can’t even imagine.

Anyways, I just had to address the whole, “homebody” comment… because I’ve heard it a lot lately and felt that others needed to know that it’s okay to feel that way. Now, don’t seclude yourself and all that… but there is no harm in taking it easy when you are fighting your own body each and every day.

xoxo

Ashley Ringstaff

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Comments

  • BarbaraBuchanan
    3 years ago

    Thank you, Ashley, for putting into words what I cannot.

  • Dory
    4 years ago

    You go Ashley. I am trying to wrap my head around the fatigue and not having any energy to literally do anything else but go to work. Once I am home, I usually end up sitting on the couch as I don’t have energy to do anything else. I recently was laid off, again! 3rd time since being diagnosed. This time though my mom had surgery and needed a caretaker as she is non-weight bearing and I had a surgery scheduled to remove fibroids from my uterus and she has realized how tired I get just by doing the household chores; cooking, dishes, laundry, since she has someone that cleans the house.

    With that view and her seeing this, the talk about applying for disability has come up. I want to have a child but right now, working I can’t. I also have no energy to do anything outside of work. It has gotten so bad, someone asked me the other day and I had to look at my hubby and say what do I do for fun?

    I am 33 years old and it was hard to ask for my disabled sticker and that wasn’t requesting it for assistance so I don’t have to work. I figured everything happens for a reason and I thought the layoff might just to give me time to rest before the surgery, didn’t think the other issues would come up and I might not be returning to the work force.

    You are not lazy! You are strong. I am reminded of that daily.

    Save that energy to do that fun thing with your boys! Your friends will understand and if nit, should they be in your life?

    Hugs!

    Dorian

  • linda
    4 years ago

    I was also wondering if someone has a better day ,I don’t want to say a good day ,but a better day -do they know that for the next couple of days they will pay for the one day they could do a little more than normal.

  • linda
    4 years ago

    thank you Ashley! if being a homebody is considered lazy then definitely call me lazy. sometimes just thinking about the little things I have to do before I leave the house is so exhausting I definitely do not want to leave the house. reading your post always helps me feel validated and I really appreciate the things you say!

  • Betty Bre
    4 years ago

    Hi Ashley, I can relate in spades to your homebody-ness. Since MS fatigue came into my life about 5-6 yrs ago (dx RR MS 1993! so feel v. v. lucky), I ABSOLUTELY have pj all day days. I have no kids but DO still work full-time using scooter for mobility – a conscientious, accommodating employer also helps 🙂 Actually, due to the fatigue slow down, I have realized I LIKE being a homebody. My sister without MS admitted she is a real homebody too! She has “normal” amounts of energy (which is A LOT as I used to have) of course, but I now I don’t just assume my love for being at home is only because of MS fatigue. Live and learn. p.s. re: needing to bring purse/bag – I don’t like ’em either, never have… because I live in New England I wear coats with multiple pockets and skip the purse! Yes, pre-planning is key. No purse – That’s my goal. Best to you, Betty

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    4 years ago

    HA! Glad it isn’t just me w/ the homebody syndrome! It’s just too much work. And I mean, the only reason I need a purse is because of meds, etc. If it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t bring one. I have a little wristlet that I love!

    Anyways – hang in there and keep showing your PJs how much you love them! lol

  • rslattum
    4 years ago

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I was diagnosed in January 2014. I took a sick leave from January through June last year. In July, I told myself I was going to go back to school and teach that class of 30 fourth graders in August. With “Reasonable Accommodations” I could do it. I did do it, until Oct. 31. I had another significant relapse, took another 5-day dose of steroids, started aqua therapy, and am waiting to see if my request for early disability retirement will be granted or not. Since Oct. 31, I have been home and so thankful. I do feel that some people think I’m holed up and getting depressed. I’m really not. I do get out of the house. Now that the weather is nicer it’s been great to sit outside, pet our dogs, read, and/or just breathe. My daughter and I have been taking 15-20 minute evening walks at least three days a week. I try to get to church and sing as much as possible. I’ve had a coffee date at least once a week with various colleagues/friends. I, too, can do the laundry, and with a family of six – that’s a heck of a lot of clothing! I would love to cook more, but reading a recipe is not like it used to be. Chopping food has to be done sitting down. I hope to get back to cooking more. When everybody leaves in the morning I have my hour time for meditation, devotion, and journal writing. Sudoko, crosswords, brain teasers keep my brain running. We finally found a good place to do a jigsaw puzzle in our home and I do find great joy in assembling them. I’ve always loved reading. Some days I can really get lost in a book, but other days I can barely focus through one paragraph. On those days, I decide quickly that it won’t be a reading day. So, all things considered, I’m perfectly fine being home.

    Going out in public – Now, that’s a completely different subject. It takes a lot of planning and talking myself into whatever adventure it may be. I’m happy to say that going to the post office, grocery store, the Mall (I never really liked going to the mall before, but when the weather gets warmer I may need to do my 15-20 minute walks there), etc. have been accomplished with less anxiety of late. Will those experiences get better? Who knows? Parties – Yikes! Talk about sensory overload! If I find a chair that’s close to a door and have just a couple people to talk to at one time, I’m good for a couple hours anyway. If I’ve had enough, my body tells me and I know it’s time to go home. I’m so much better at listening to my body. And I really do love coming back home.

    I’m not sure what lies ahead. Maybe I’ll start tutoring, which would allow me to stay home. My MS journey has begun and I have found the greatest peace in managing it, is within the confines of my own home.

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    4 years ago

    Oh you sound like me. I mean, some people thing that I’m just sitting around on the computer, etc. But I do a lot throughout the day, that I guess isn’t realized. Maybe thing the house magically cleans itself, and the laundry, etc. BAH!

    So glad to hear you are doing well! Hang in there 😉

  • Betty Bre
    4 years ago

    Hang in there rslattum! Probably, as with most things, you will get used to your new normals. Here’s hoping they don’t change too often, eh?

  • Della
    4 years ago

    You have described the last 10 years of my life perfectly. I had to quit my job 10 years ago & succumb to the idea of listening to my body. It seems to know things that I don’t. You have put into words what I feel every time I plan on doing something either here at home or try to go out & about. Thank you so much for bringing this every day life struggle to the surface.

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    4 years ago

    I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I didn’t know if I was going to be alone in the viewpoint, but it seems the complete opposite!

    I just want to have like a sticker, that says… I’m not lazy… I’m conserving energy lol

  • north-star
    4 years ago

    Staying home is hard, but going out is sometimes close to impossible. I used to have a day out when I’d do most of the week’s errands and recover the next day.

    That’s changed. These days I have a one day a week, three errand limit, and every time I chance a fourth disaster happens. The last time, I felt great. I’d gone to the post office, bank and grocery store. Errand number four, putting gas in the car, did not go well. I turned to get the gas hose out of the tank, fell and bumped my head. It was a small split in the skin, but there was lots of bleeding and I terrified everyone. A day which had gone pretty well landed me in the ER. I hate drama.

    I use a walker and it’s a royal pain to take it out of the trunk or back seat and heft it back in. It’s ironic that the more disability I have, the more effort it takes to use equipment I need to walk semi-successfully. Anyone who’s gone out with me understands the effort it takes to be ordinary. Nobody judges me, except the occasional idiot with unwanted advice and unneeded sympathy.

    Luckily we live in a wonderful service economy that will bring things to my door and accept my returns so I’m home a lot now. I own lots of loose comfortable clothing. I’m a homebody and it’s okay.

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    4 years ago

    See – i’m glad that I live in a smaller community, where all the things that i might need to do are close together.

    As for getting things done from home… it’s hard to do mail, etc. or things shipped, cause I don’t have a ‘mailbox’ and I live in land, that has a gate, etc. So that can be a pain. But I’m glad that I have wonderful neighbors to help when needed.

    xoxo

  • Betty Bre
    4 years ago

    Yup, only full service gas stations for me whenever possible. Can find them only phone/gps. Thank goodness for technology and the wonderful service economy, indeed!

  • Marcia
    4 years ago

    Good evening,
    Just wanted to say oh my God you have described me to a T. I was just thinking yesterday that a lot has changed for me. I don’t like going out so much, I hardly see my family, etc. Today I had the thought that I used to dress so nicely when I’d go out but now if I can get away with little makeup and not so pretty clothing I’m good. It’s very hard to get hubby to understand the conserving energy part because he still wants that superwoman. He doesn’t want to hear about my issues because he’ll feel guilty about telling me his own on a daily basis. I was diagnosed in 2008 and I’m still not on meds. This is partly my fault because I’m not ready to inject myself all the time. But the worse I’m getting the better those shots sound… it’s just so amazing that you are going thru the same thing I am. I don’t have a cane but I have spasticity in my arms, legs, and spine. I am thankful to God that I have no pain, so there’s that. 🙂

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    4 years ago

    They now have meds approved, that aren’t ‘injections’ – but in pill form, so you may want to talk to neuro about that?

    I know what you mean about being put together when going out, now I love jeans and t-shirts and flip flops lol
    Minimal make up – and my hair always ends up in a pony-tail. I do straighten it, but then it ends up getting in the way, or it’s too hot to wear down, etc.

  • Teszla
    4 years ago

    I am putting in my resignation at a full time, good benefit job next week because I have finally listened to my body that I can no longer do it all.
    I have so many of the feelings you described in your article, and in some of the comments, ‘I got here today, isn’t that enough?’ ‘effort and energy required just to get out of the house’ ‘conserve my energy and use it wisely’ ‘pushing myself means I’ll pay for it later’.
    It’s too much. My sis has MS too and she says I am progressing so much faster than she did and I have to rest. So, that’s it. No more job in 3 weeks, no idea what I’ll do after that but … eh. I’m finally listening. Good to hear I’ll be in great company while I sit around in my leopard print PJ pants!

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    4 years ago

    Ha – well I know it sucks and you feel you are letting MS ‘win’ by making changes, but you aren’t. You are just making modifications in your fight against MS, so that it doesn’t control your life completely in the long run.

    xoxo

  • Kevin
    4 years ago

    I can relate to this completely!! Except I’m not currently doing meds, so I don’t have to worry about that. But because I’m fatigued 24/7, I just don’t want to go anywhere much anymore. Right now I’m experiencing so really bad moodiness. Part of this is because of my normal moodiness caused by the MS. But I’ve been dealing with bronchitis and that just really blows things out of whack! I know I’m rambling and I apologize. My mind is on it’s own today. Guess I’m just saying that I understand about just wanting to be at home. Not go anywhere. Thanks as always Ashley for your comments!! You’re awesome!!!

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    4 years ago

    Thanks 🙂

    No worries about ‘ranting’ – it’s healthy to let it all out, rather than letting it build up. I know this from experience.

    Even though I’m on meds for fatigue, spasticity, etc. Doesn’t mean that the symptoms magically disappear just by taking the meds. It just makes them …. tolerable to deal with.

    xoxo

  • Betty Bre
    4 years ago

    Ha Kevin! I love that, “My mind is on its own today.” I will be using that one for sure when I am rambling verbally in public. Thanks. Betty

  • Becky
    4 years ago

    I normally skim the articles, but I stopped and read every word of this! Thank you for sharing it. This is me!! Homebody, or sometimes I call it being introverted…and others consider it not being sociable. I do still work and when coworkers ask me to go out to lunch and I keep declining, they think I don’t want to hang out and it’s really “Heck I GOT HERE today, isn’t that enought? I still have to walk back to the bus and reserves are waning!” But they wouldn’t get that.
    I work at home two days a week, and never change out of jammies LOVE IT. I think we are so hard on ourselves comparing our MS reality to other people’s lives. And it’s an unfair comparison. MS has turned my life upside down. I always plan, get ready, do the ‘what-ifs’ and even if I do all that, I might get hit with such dibilitating fatigue, I end up not going out the door. I want to do more, but I can’t do more is the bottom line. The most for now is getting ready for work, going to work, getting home. The rest of the time I’m down and out. Thanks again. I hope to follow your posts!!

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    4 years ago

    Thanks! I’m glad that my article caught your attention.

    I know what you mean about people sometimes taking it ‘personally’ that you don’t want to hang out – or spend time w/ friends. But it’s like, no you just don’t get it… I can’t just jump out of bed and get ready in 30 minutes and be out the door! It takes time, patience, etc. I have to take my meds first, let them kick in so I can be ‘human’ as I like to call it…. it’s just frustrating. But it’s good to know that we aren’t alone! xoxo

  • LA703
    5 years ago

    With you 100%…I am just now realizing how much planning and effort and energy it takes me to get out of the house to do anything. I’m never on time anymore when I do show up. I thought I’d have some more time, before the disease limited my life so drastically. It’s frustrating and sad. And I feel like people just don’t understand… Even my family/those closest to me. Oh well… Guess it’s time to invest in some sweet jammies and or comfy clothes!

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    4 years ago

    I’m always looking for cute looking comfy clothes – so that I won’t get people looking at me like I’m crazy when I wear them outside of the house.

    No one understand the planning & effort it takes to get things done. I have to write things down to remember them, but the sometimes I forgot where I put the paper where I wrote my ‘list’ on… UGH!

  • Nobu
    5 years ago

    Hey Ashley and friends – glad to know there are other home bodies! I do work most of the time and carry a backpack with all of the right stuff – beverages, lunch and snacks, phone, etc. And it makes being at home ever nicer when I am there because I do not have to do all of that stuff you have listed. I can make a cup of tea and sit down, relax and just enjoying being, reading or taking a nap any old time I want to.

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    4 years ago

    AH I’m jealous… I keep saying I need a vacation. My family tells me that we just had a vacation for Spring Break…. yes we did… a “Family Vacation”… but I want a vacation with just me, myself and I… maybe some wine and my e-reader …. for like a whole week… ahhh, we can dream right?

  • Betty Bre
    4 years ago

    Agree agree agree!!! 🙂

  • ilisagirl
    5 years ago

    Thank you for saying this. I too, prefer to stay in and a
    have my friends visit me. It is just too much to get ready And go out.

  • Chris G
    5 years ago

    Hello Ashley, I’m proud to be a “Homebody” too. I did the Work thing with MS for 16 years, now on disability for 3 years. Like on “Wizard of OZ”, “There’s no place like home”. I have no children, but my daily activities are exactly like yours. It makes me laugh when a task that use to take 10 minutes, now takes the better part of an hour,(On a good day). So it don’t take to many tasks to fill the day. I also like to chat to other MS’rs on websites, sometimes serious issues but mostly silly small talk. It just nice to chat to people that “Understand”. Keep posting because I love reading them. Take care. Chris

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    4 years ago

    Aw thanks!
    I’m glad that you read and replied! I love interacting w/ everyone in the MS Community. It takes me so much longer to get ready now-a-days… and it’s not like I was ‘high maintenance’ before when it came to hair, make-up, etc. But now it’s like… oh my gosh. Can I just wear a bag over my head or something?

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