Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Why I No Longer Hate Snow Days


With the weather doing it's global warming thing and schools all across the US closing this week, it
occurred to me today how different snow days are for me now.

I used to hate snow days.  It meant that the kids stayed home and I had to rearrange MY schedule for the day in order to accommodate them.  I secretly loathed the moms that touted, "Yay!  Snow day!  A day with the kids!"  I mean, what were they smokin'?  Make sure whatever it is stays far away from me!

That is such a lousy, lousy attitude, I know.  It revealed that I was all about me and how I didn't
want to shove the things I wanted to do over to the back burner while I entertained kids all day.  I used the excuse of scaling mountains of laundry, grocery shopping, and meals to plan.

Yada, yada, yada . . .

What was really, I mean REALLY, going on was I wanted to do my own thing -- I called it a "break."  I am not talking about those times when you NEED a break -- a legit break.  We all have them and need to take them from time to time just to keep sane.  But I am talking about being torqued bc I wasn't interested in spending the entire day and then the entire evening with my kids.

They are a lot of work!  And it made me tired!

And they bickered constantly!  And it made me tired!

And wanted things like, well, lunch!  And then dinner just a couple hours after that! (Tiring!)

And to watch tv!  And to play games!  Make blanket tunnels, shaving cream hills and snot bubbles!

And they wanted snacks!  And drinks! Ugh . . . Calgonnnnnnn!

::deep mental breath::

Now things are different.  Oh, they still clamour for lunch, snacks, drinks and to be entertained (to a certain extent).  But it's my attitude that has changed.  My focus.

::blink-blink::

When Whirling Dervish, my youngest, started school full-time I realized that I only had about five hours each day with my kids: The frenzied hour before school and the frantic gotta-get-homework/showers/dinner-done-before-bedtime hours after school.  At first I couldn't decide what I was going to do with all that wonderful " me time" I was going to have while the kids were gone.

Yahooooo!

I quickly realized that not only did I only have five hours with my kids, but their teacher had about seven or eight hours with them.

Ugh . . . Whaaaaa?!

Now, my kids had good teachers, but I was shocked.  I was jealous.  I felt anger clawing up from an unexpected pit in my stomach.  It also dawned on me that just about anything could happen to them during the school day and I may or may not find out about it.

Ooooo, boy!  THAT terrified me.  The fact that we moved quite a bit made it hard for us to develop good relationships with the school personnel.  The kids couldn't really develop good friendships that might foster a kind of a safeguard against bullies -- or worse.  With each move it was even more possible that my kids would come across more opportunities for things to go very, very wrong.

This was a big factor in my decision to homeschool.

With that in mind, and a few other reasons, I decided that if I were to homeschool, then I would have to have a MAJOR attitude adjustment.  My focus, Biblically, should be my kids anyway. Here I was going the opposite direction!

I am not saying that adjusting my attitude was easy-peasy.  But with a lot of prayer and support from family, I was able to make the leap.  The leap turned out to be more of a hop, really.

Now, I barely notice when schools are closed unless it's plastered across FaceBook by my non-homeschooling friends.  We just do our usual thing with a healthy dose of sledding, of course.  I get to spend loads and loads of time with my kids -- not all of it is wine and roses.  In fact, some days are filled with whine and "He pulled my hair!"

Do I hold a full time job outside our home?  Have I written that novel?  Ever completely empty the hamper, if for only an evening?  Nope.

Do I care?  Nope.

What I do get are the light bulb moments when The Affectionate One finally remembers 7 X 7, the afternoon cuddles during "God of Wonders" from Netflix, photo ops of hot chocolate mustaches, creating Lego dinosaurs and WWII tanks that go along with our history lessons, and sharing in a ministry with my kids for our church.

These are the things that our new "Snow Days" contain.  I wouldn't give a single moment of it up for The Great American Novel.

Not even close.

And it is so very, very joyful.

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