This past week and into this week has been a nightmare. As I suffer from seasonal depression or winter blues as many call them, school has been cancelled more often than not in the last week and a half. My younger two kiddos had only one day of school last week due to snow days, dental appointment and not feeling well. This week Monday was a snow day and today was a snow day. I half expected both snow days this week as I was prepared in knowing a storm was headed our way. While I may still have been prepared, when you are a ghostwriter who needs to not feel bogged down to let the creative juices flow, it isn’t easy dealing with snow days while working from home.
My heart goes out to those parents who have to rearrange work schedules for two hour delays and the lack of school days due to snow, for that is far worse than me trying to juggle my work at home schedule while having antsy kids in the home. When you work from home the kids don’t usually comprehend boundaries in full, you see they want to chat with you because they have lots of excitement built up over the no school day due to snow. They have stories to tell and all of a sudden it’s time to tell Mama everything they were thinking about all darn week. I admit, I enjoy hearing my kids tell me their stories and I enjoy interacting with them, but when you work from home you have to maintain some level of balance. Listening to my kids talk to me all day, engaging in conversations with them while I am supposed to be getting work done leads to an unproductive day. That can’t happen!
Give the Kids a Little Time
Allow your kids to have their initial excitement and wanting to chat your ear off. Give them a bit of your time so you can listen to them and let them be all excited, nothing hurts a child’s feelings more than a parent who says they don’t want to listen, even if it’s because you have work to do. They don’t get the work part, they only hear that you don’t want to interact with them and eventually this can lead to them shutting down. Let them speak for a bit and get their thoughts out, maybe give them half an hour.
Set the Boundary
Be honest with your kids. Tell them that while they are excited to be home on this fine snow day, you still have to get work done. This is repeated by me on a regular basis, I recall on Monday citing that it is a work day still kiddos, Mama and Mike still have to get work done. If you set the kids up with boundaries, telling them that you need a couple of hours to work and then lead them towards projects, chores and whatnot then you can sit to work for a couple of hours without much interruption (usually).
Break for Lunch
If your kids are like mine, they will be asking for food nearly every hour or so, sometimes it seems like every fifteen minutes I have a kid starving to death. It’s the end of the world they are bored and they have to eat everything because they are home. Wrong answer! Remind your kids about the work hours that you still need to get this work done but you will break for lunch with them. Learning to balance a snow day with work from home means you must give up time too, lunch time is the best time to break and spend a little quality time with your kids.
Setup the Afternoon
With my kids, one is high functioning autistic so everything works better when you have a plan of attack. This doesn’t mean I don’t have arguments, debates or meltdowns from my middle child, it simply means that with a verbal expectation of how the afternoon will go, usually alleviates any major meltdowns/arguments. Let your kids know what you expect for the afternoon in a firm, matter of fact tone. Set what consequences will occur if they don’t respect that you still need to work and that come regular “after school” time you will be there as you would after school. Be realistic in your expectations and firm on what consequences will be, then make sure to follow through!
A snow day is unpredictable; there is no real planning to go with a snow day unless you know well in advance that one is arriving. As a work from home parent you have to learn how to handle unpredictable moments more so than someone who can drop their kids off at daycare or leave the kids home while they attend work. It’s harder to get work done while also having to be a parent, but you can do it! With me, I feel blessed because my trio has grown up with a work from home Mama, so they get it and usually respect that. Working from home isn’t’ new to them, while I went to work for a year outside of the home, my sons have always known me to work at home for the last 10 and 8 years of their life so this is normal for them. The biggest thing to remember is that a snow day is exciting for your kids, even if not so exciting for you, figure out a way to respect their excitement while teaching them to respect your work hours.
Crafts To Keep Kids Busy on Snow Days
- Sew Mini Treats: More Than 18 Food Plushies to Stitch & Stuff
- Craft-a-Day: 365 Simple Handmade Projects
- Klutz Make Clay Charms Craft Kit
- Darice 80-Piece Deluxe Art Set
- Craft-tastic Dream Catcher Kit
- Official Duck Tape Craft Book: 15 Easy Duck Tape Projects Design Originals
- Klutz Pom-Pom Puppies: Make Your Own Adorable Dogs Craft Kit
- ArtSkills Activity Bucket, 404 Count AMYS-138
- Craft-tastic String Art Kit