Make snow days a regular thing

A good portion of this week, the state of Indiana has been mostly shutdown.  We had a big snowfall and then such frigid temperatures that even my double fur coated dog didn’t want to be outside more than a minute at a time.  Monday, for example, the high temperature for the day was -10 with a windchill at -40.  Talk about frigid!

This is what my backyard looks like right now, which is pretty impressive considering that the snow came through four days ago.

So, unsurprisingly, we’ve been inside most of the week.  The only time we got out was yesterday afternoon to take the kiddo to nursery school (which was surprisingly open considering all the other schools are closed) and then to see a movie.  We had to do something.  Otherwise, we’ve been in since Saturday evening.  Snow days have changed since I was a kid.  They’ve changed since I was a non-parent.  When I was a kid, snow days meant watching TV and reading books.  When I was a grown-up before kids, they pretty much meant the same thing with maybe a few chores thrown in like laundry and cooking.  Now they aren’t quite as fun.  In fact, they’re pretty much just regular days.  Most of my days right now are spent at home anyway, so snow days just mean that the big kiddo doesn’t have nursery school and there’s no chance of the occasional trip to the store or dinner out.  So, it’s not been a huge stretch for us this week.

My biggest problem is that snow days make me want to be lazy.  I don’t want to be as productive.  I want to do more fun things like baking, playing games, watching movies and taking naps.  I have gotten to bake pumpkin bread with my preschooler helper.  And I have played quite a few games of Minnie Mouse Bingo and one or two rounds of Don’t Break the Ice.  I’ve also seen an episode or two of Disney Junior shows.

It’s not been so bad, though. I really need to have been working on bill paying, article interviews and that sort of thing.  I’ve done some productive stuff.  I’ve done laundry.  I’ve washed dishes. I’ve taken care of household finances here and there.  But, I’ve also tried to take some time to be lazy and try and feel like an old-school snow day.  I’ve enjoyed the time with my family.  Do I secretly wish for some time to myself here and there?  Most certainly, but that’s not snow day material.  That’s just normal mom stuff.

A friend of mine posted on Facebook how the slow pace of snow days was a blessing to most families.  They give you a chance to slow down and just be.  I agree with her.  There is a magic to snow days that makes you want to do things like play extra rounds of Minnie Mouse Bingo with the preschooler or help the baby walk up and down the hall with his push toy an extra lap.  There is something about knowing that no one can leave the house to go anywhere that somehow makes life slower.  I know this has to be true for families with older children who are juggling multiple activities and appointments on top of school.  Heck, it was nice for me on Monday to know that we didn’t have to try and get ourselves ready and have lunch for the kiddo before driving her to preschool.  We’re just getting started on that kind of stuff.

I wonder about families who live in other parts of the country where it’s warmer and snow days aren’t a norm.  Do they ever take days off just to enjoy one another without outside interruption?  Would it be such a bad thing if once every three months we declared such a day?  I think our families would benefit from saying that we pick this Saturday to do nothing except be at home together.  We’ll cook simple meals (seriously our dinners have been BLTs made with precooked bacon heated in the microwave and french toast I put together with a loaf of french bread starting to go stale).  We’ll play games.  We’ll wear our pajamas.  We’ll rest together.  We’ll spend time together.  We won’t go anywhere.  We won’t take lots of phone calls.  We won’t check our Facebook account every half hour.  We’ll just be together.

In the busyness and craziness of life, I do think snow days are just what families need.  We need time together.  We need time to remember that we not only love each other but enjoy each other.  Snow days are perfect for that, whether they’re in January with a foot of snow on the ground or a hot, humid day in July when we decide to have them.  I’m going to try that with my family this year.  Join me!

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