I know what you’re thinking – am I the only one that secretly fears winter break with kids? no, no you’re definitely not the only one. in fact, those of us that enjoy being working moms covet office time AND time with the kids. too much of either throws us off. this winter break is my first both with two kids and as a single mom, so to say I’m a little apprehensive is an understatement. as I try to become more of a proactive mama, I’m taking this fear head on and hoping I can find a good rhythm for us all to live by. here’s what can help keep things low stress:
schedule adventures throughout the break
contrary to “popular” belief, staying indoors and at home with kids throughout the break is not a great way to enjoy each other’s company. one of my favorite ways to shake off the exhaustion of watching kids all day every day. I try to identify cheap and free places to explore when we’re on break including:
- museums and kids play places (many have free days)
- local parks and playgrounds
- city hiking grounds: make a treasure hunt game out of the walk!
- state parks & national monuments
use pinterest and online research to identify fun activities
I don’t know about you, but pinterest helps me get a whole lot more creative. I like to search for age specific activities for my kids, especially those that require little to no purchase of additional things.
enlist the help of friends and family
if you’re lucky enough to have family nearby, ask them to come help watch the kids here and there. even an hour of help can free you up to get some down time. and as we know, getting down time is crucial to being the best parents we can be. if you’re like me and don’t have family who live nearby, call up the friends who have offered to help out! bring the kids to them, ask them to come to you, meet them somewhere, whatever. friends only offer to help when they actually want to help, so take them up on this!
rest when the kids rest
if you’ve got nappers on your hands, make use of those nap times! and I mean, rest. as much as I’m sure you’re tempted to get stuff done around the house while the kids sleep, you need to take enough down time for yourself as well. the dishes can (usually) wait.
schedule a full day off for yourself
planning on going straight back to work as soon as the kids are back in school? put that off at least one more day and take a spa day after dropping the kids off for the day. do something relaxing, and care for yourself.
no matter what kind of family you lead, embrace the challenges of it all and make the most of the time you do have. then, take some time for yourself as soon as you can. you got this!