By Jill Hart
As a kid, I used to LOVE snow days. Living in the Midwest, we got our fair share of snow days. As the years went by I got married, started a family and had kids of my own who look forward to snow days. I also work from home, which means, unless there is a power outage or the Internet is down, I am technically able to still get my work done. Unfortunately, this takes time away from my children who want to have some mom-time after frolicking in the snow making snow angels and, of course, having a snowball fight.
What’s a work-at-home mom to do?!
Here are some ideas I trust will help keep your snow days productive and memorable.
Make the Day Memorable:
Our children grow up so very quickly. Maintain the excitement of life alive by making days like these memorable. What tradition can you start with your children which they will remember for the rest of their lives? Perhaps it’s a special batch of hot chocolate or making smores in the fireplace and enjoying a movie together?
Snow Day Play-Dates:
Set up play-dates with your children’s friends’ parents. Many parents welcome the free-time that a pre-arranged play day would afford them while other parents would welcome the adult interaction. Whatever the case may be, having a couple of these relationships set up would come in handy when you need just a couple of hours to meet your deadline.
Call in the Reinforcements:
Some parents are blessed in the fact that they live close to a relative, AKA: The Reinforcements. For many generations, and in many cultures, it took a community to raise a child. Do not fall into the trap of thinking you have to go it alone. We are not islands unto ourselves. Having grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins nearby can be a blessing. Knowing you can call on them, even if it’s just a couple of hours while you spend some time working at home is a huge stress reliever and can help build memories for the whole family.
Break Out the Snow Day Fun Jar:
This idea requires a little planning ahead of time but is truly worth the time. You know the MRE rations and kits to ‘open in case of an emergency?’ Think of it sort of like that, so you want whatever goes into the box needs to be non-perishable. You can even design your fun jar with your children. The end product would be a jar full of activities on slips of paper, perhaps rolled up like special messages and tied with lace or yarn. Allow children to submit a few activity ideas while you surprise them with the rest, complete with instructions. Be creative. Also, be sure that you have the supplies on hand for the activities in the jar. I suggest keeping those supplies in an additional special box to which only you have access.
Segment Your Work:
Sometimes you have deadlines that are immediate and cannot be put off. Arrange with your children that you work for half an hour while they clean their rooms or do their chores (that don’t need supervision) and then you each take a break and spend time together. It’s almost like you are working together with your children. Change things up and make each segment a different activity for your young children. Encourage your older children to spend time reading a good book then talk about the book during your breaks.
Swap Time with Your Husband:
You know you want to enjoy your time with your children while they are home. Set something up with your husband in that you take time off during the day when the children are home, and at night after dinner, your husband takes over time with the children while you work.
Involve Your Children:
With so many varying sectors working from home, perhaps there is some way you can include your children and still accomplish your goals for the day. Granted, depending upon the task is may actually take you longer than if you did it yourself, but what is the fun in that? Make memories. Allow your children to help stack your inventory in the closet or to ‘stuff bags.’ Allow them to work with you, make it fun and enjoy your time with your children.
What productivity tips and snow day ideas do you have for those bad winter weather days? Leave us a comment below, we'd love to hear from you!
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Jill Hart is a writer, speaker, and coach, showing others how to follow the calling God has placed on their lives. She is the author of the new devotional book, Do Life Different. Learn more about Jill at www.jillhart.com.