When it comes to winter, the two best words in the world are “snow day!” All it takes is a remote chance that snow will fall and here in North Carolina, children are wearing pajamas backwards, putting ice cubes in the commode, and hoping upon hopes that when they wake up in the morning, there will in fact be snow for them to play in. A snow day is the ultimate winter hall pass, letting you sleep in except of course you don’t because you have to see if there is snow, play with your friends, and throw snow balls at your siblings without getting in trouble….mostly.
Thanks to my midwest roots, I have fond memories of winter days turned snow days made magical by sledding for hours, building snow men and forts alike, and simply collapsing into bed at night from playing so hard. Because snow is more common in that area of the country, to actually get a snow day we had to have lots of snow, like at least six inches or more, so the options were endless for the kinds of winter games we could play. For my children, being raised in North Carolina means snow days are far and few between and worth celebrating to the fullest, even though they so often hold only a dusting of snow
But let’s be honest, as a Mom, snow days can be a huge hiccup when it comes to juggling work. So if you find yourself in the same situation, it time to create a “snow day” system so are ready for the fun when it finally comes. Here are my tips to help you get ready now:
Evaluate your work commitments.
This is hard ~ believe me I know! But the good thing about snow days is if its bad enough to keep your kids home, often employers have modified schedules and expectations too. For someone like me who works with companies all over the country who aren’t getting our weather, this can be tough. So when you find your self with a snow day to navigate, first start with what can you reschedule or move back. Its always okay to be honest about the situation ~ you’ll be amazed at how people understand as long as you aren’t facing hard deadlines. If you are and need to work from home regardless, its time to get creative. See if you can find a neighborhood teen to outright babysit with snack, meal, and transition time assistance from you. If you can’t find someone who can supervise your kids during outside playtime, see if you can work a half day and have one for the inside time, navigating movies, playing games, and the usual indoor fare. And finally, there’s always the option of swapping kids. I’ve had plenty of snow days with an unexpected pack of kids around. This is its own kind of gift when the kids pack around so easily. If you have a neighbor who is up for the challenge and has the same needs, you can each take half the day and mutually succeed in weathering the storm. (That was too easy ~ had to say it!)
Inventory snow apparel.
If your kids are freezing, it won’t matter how much snow you get they are going to be miserable. Even though we live somewhere warm, I actually do this every November and make sure we replace what is outgrown so its ready to go just in case. Think snow pants, 2 sets of thermal underwear, multiple pairs of heavy socks, snow boots, snow approved winter coat, 3 pairs of gloves, numerous hats, scarves, and ear warmers too. The worst thing that happens is that they goes totally unused and I can resell them for a great price. Worst case scenario? Send up the red flag on Facebook to your friends and neighbors to see who has what that you can piece together for the day.
Inspect sledding equipment.
Nothing worse than heading to the attic to find that those old plastic saucers your kids love cracked from last summer’s heat and are no longer usable. Couple that with the fight you’ll have to find anything last minute since every other parent on the block is also waiting for the doors to open at Target to get their child a sled and you get my drift. Again this is a great task to tackle in November but if you are really out of luck, see if your neighbors have a saucer to spare. Worst case scenario? Use the lid of your plastic storage box ~ you’ll be amazed at how fast it can go!
Designate a drop zone for snow day laundry.
You want to make sure you have a good spot for everyone to dump their gear as they come in for breaks. Pull in extra rugs so that the floor space is covered protecting both the floors from all that moisture and your kids from falling as they undress. And consider where you’ll hang wet gear to dry. If you don’t have a mudroom or foyer that is equipped with hooks, have a laundry basket for everyone to toss wet items into and simply run them through the dryer while the kids take a break. Its a perfect way to make it easy to see they need to rest until everything is done.
Get ready to bake.
For as long as I can remember, baking on a snow day is just part of what we do. I don’t recall is was a key part of my snow days growing up but early on I started baking with the kids on snow days as a ploy to lure them in to warm up and take a break so they wouldn’t crash and burn. These days I’m able to step inside and bake while they continue to play and I love how much THEY love coming into the house with warm cookies ready to go.
Get ready to feed an army.
I start off the day with a big breakfast full of protein making sure everyone stays fueled up since they will fight coming in when they need to eat. By the end of the day, everyone is tired and hungry so even if its only my clan, they still eat like wild animals and surprise me with how much food they consume. I’m a huge fan of making things like chili in the crockpot or lasagna because both are a snap to prepare ahead of time early in the day and are wonderfully filling. They are also perfect dishes for a crowd and I love nothing more than for friends to join the kids all day long. Lunch is classic ~ grilled cheese and soup (I have no issue with that coming from a can). And you simply must have hot cocoa and marshmallows ~ LOTS of marshmallows.
Charge your cameras.
Its hard to take pictures and video when there is so much moisture and its not about having them on hand the entire day. But its always great to grab a handful of candids and snapshots of the gang to capture the memories for years to come. Snow days are about fun, not photo or video shoots so keep your camera’s mostly inside and savor the moment in real life.
Have a snow day Plan B.
Nothing worse than a snow day that doesn’t actually come or bitter temps and ice that make playing in the snow not an option. When this happens its always good to go for playdates, let the rules fly about media time for gaming and movies, eat popcorn for lunch in the living room, whatever it takes to simply have unstructured fun. Because truly, that is what snow days are all about ~ magical, unexpected, free spirited fun.
If you do nothing else, for the love of excited children everywhere just make sure to pull out everything the night before so they can hit the snow as soon as they wake up. As in all things, my goal is to plan ahead so that when it comes, I can enjoy it with as much fun as they have while I naturally steer my kids through the day for the basics like clothing, food, and rest. By stocking up ahead of time we are ready for whatever comes and if we get caught unprepared, its always okay to ask for help. Its a snow day ~ everyone wants to have tun! Tell me…
How do you get ready for a snow day?
Remember ~ snow days are magical and a hall pass for fun. While its hard to juggle, be mindful that every day is a gift and do your best to take the one that’s been handed to you with as much flexibility as you can. Its hard ~ I know ~ but its so worth I promise! Thanks so much for stopping by ~ we’ll see you next time!