Thursday, December 16, 2010

Snow Days and Holidays

Today, it is snowing. There were two additional days of school this week, then Christmas break, which is a full two weeks this year because of the timing of Christmas. Now it looks as though my kid-free Christmas prep time is down to whatever I can do in the evenings after they have gone to bed. Hmmm.

I am grateful and glad to have my children home with me, though, grateful that I have a job that does not require my physical presence daily, and grateful that I don't need to make any particular arrangements for my kids beyond planning the things we want to do.

Some people I know seem to always complain about having their kids home. I know I have been very guilty of this. It's easy to be annoyed by sibling rivalries, constant bickering, fighting and picking. It's hard to encourage kids to entertain themselves, and the whine of "I'm bored" is like the sound of fingernails on the chalkboard.


Kids are only young once. Kids are only the age they are once. Someday these days will be over, and we will look back and wonder where the time has gone.

I'm particularly feeling the pull and passage of time lately, and I know that I really want to preserve as much of this time as I can. Yes, the kids get on my nerves, yes they are demanding, yes I feel like I will lose my mind if I have to referee one more fight/sharing incident/episode of boredom.

I try to head all of this off in the summers, when the kids are around ALL the time, by planning activities for each day of the week. Monday is usually for the library, Tuesday is for going to play in water, etc. I'm not saying all this is easy, or that I am some kind of Superwoman, because Lord knows I wish I could take a week off and hole up somewhere with my husband and my art projects and just be ME for a while...


I feel sometimes it does a disservice to your children to complain about them all the time, even if they are being annoying. One of my plans for this upcoming year is to be far more present and more positive about my crazy circus of a family, and to really attend to whether or not I need to voice something negative about my kids. I adore so many things about my kids, and so often, I seem to let myself forget about them in favor of the much-easier bitching to anyone who will listen. That's terrible. Next week, all three of my kids are home for an extended period, a rare thing for our family because of my oldest's custody arrangement. I am working SO hard on letting go of expectations about myself and my own work and art and what I think should be, and just planning activities and things for us to do together that will be enjoyable and will help develop those great childhood memories I want them to have.

Because I am probably slightly OCD, I made a chart.

Knowing my desire to strike a good balance between 'scheduled' and 'fly by the seat of our pants', I am planning a hands-on activity each day, and an outing or time outside each day. I am also anticipating a full-on 'vegetate in front of the TV' day and not feeling guilty about it.

So far, we will be making several batches of Christmas cookies, visiting the Children's Museum, making snowflake ornaments with borax, and working on some super-secret gifts. I'm sure there will be at least one or two movies and popcorn, and some time to play outside, followed by hot cocoa with marshmallows.

I'm sure I will also have to deal with a bout of two of whining, some of the oldest and middle child's picking on each other, and a few instances of flat-out fighting and misbehaving. But aside from that, I am hoping to have some good times with my kids.

They are so worth having good times with, every day.

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