A Mom's Guide to Staying Sane When the Kids Want to Stay Home
Flexibility and backup plans help this stay-at-home mom retain her sanity – and even have a little fun.
Sometimes, the best-laid plans can fall apart.
One of the first things you learn as a mom is the word "flexibility." If you can't roll with the changes like REO Speedwagon, you are in for a rude awakening. As any well-prepared mommy knows, you always have a Plan B – or quite possibly a Plan C.
I was going to take the kids to the library this morning, and after trying to get them motivated and out the door, they were just not having it. I started silently freaking out that our outstanding $7 fine was going to cause the entire collapse of the library infrastructure, but sometimes my Type A personality just has to comply with change.
The craft bucket saves the day
I rely on a few different things to get us through the days when the kids want to hang at home. My first secret weapon? A craft bucket: glue sticks, Popsicle sticks, feathers, pom-poms, felt, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, stickers, beads, glitter glue and plastic necklace string.
The craft bucket is not pretty, and everything is shoved in haphazardly, but that is the fun of digging through it – to see what treasures you can find. Lots of these craft supplies are cheap and can be found at the dollar store (which I loathe, but the craft supplies are good!) or the craft store. It's a good standby, and it has never let me down.
Save a tree and draw on the window
The second most popular craft in our house is Crayola Window Markers. When I first bought these, I sort of worried how easily the marker would come off of windows, and if it got on the window frame (which it did within 2 seconds), would it come off? Luckily, the markers clean up in a snap with some window cleaner, even from off the white wooden frame.
Crayola also makes window crayons that, like a lousy boyfriend, get you all excited in the beginning and then let you down in the end. They were such a mess and required way too much scrubbing to get off of the windows. In fact, they irritated me enough that they "secretly" found their way to the garbage can after the kids' bedtime.
It's all fun and games until somebody pukes
In the afternoon, we had a play date at our house with my daughter's "bestie." I only had to clean up vomit once, so I guess we can call it a success.
The highlight of my afternoon was my 100 percent Italian girly friend who tells the best stories and makes me laugh unlike any other. The impressions of her mother screaming in Italian always get me.
The moral of the story? Sometimes a day at home can be the best kind of day, even when someone tosses their cookies.
I am wishing all of you a very Happy Christmas. May you get everything you are wishing for!
Next week in "Confessions of a Mom on Break"
I will have new articles Monday through Thursday. We will have a play date at Rochester Play, you will see how we put on a birthday party at our house, and we will pay a visit to Rockin' Cupcakes.
Follow Sarah on Twitter @winterbreakmom for mom-and-kid updates throughout the day during winter break.