Ah, snow days. You know them well.
Yet another day your children will howl to the heavens they don’t have to get out of pajamas or brush their untamed, knotted hair. Their day is full of possibilities.
Parents, on the other hand, are now in charge of making all those snow day dreams come true. The equality here is non-existent. Your workload is just beginning.
Whether you're a working parent who called in, a parent who is working from home or a stay-at-home parent going on empty, I have something for you. Here's my survival list for the unplanned (and somewhat dreaded) snow day.
1. Start with breakfast. Make anything that takes longer than the usual cereal or Poptart before school. Maybe today is the day to make pancakes, French toast or coffee cake. Let the kids help. Yes, it’ll be more stressful, but what do you have going on? Make breakfast last.
2. Make forts. Lord bless homemade forts — a mix of pillows, blankets, couches and end tables. Maybe thrown in a blow-up mattress and an iPad. Look at you. You’re killing it!
3. Have fun with painters tape. Hand it over to your kids and let them make obstacle courses, pretend they are in "Mission Impossible" or make a fun race track for their Hot Wheel cars. Whatever they decide, you can peel it off when they're done. Voila!
4. Have a glow-in-the-dark party. Get some glow sticks and balloons, turn out the lights and blast the Disney tunes. Let kids run around with glow sticks and show off those sweet dance moves. Don't forget to get in there, too! You can also use the glow sticks in the bath tub! And speaking of bath time...
5. Wear swimsuits during bath time. Make bath time more creative. Give the kids all the bubbles, bring in new toys and get out the crayola water paint with those cheap paint brushes. Let them create a new painting on your bathroom tile wall (it washes off!). Let their inner Rembrandt shine.
6. Get creative during lunch. Make mealtime interactive — crackers, cheese and ham make for great homemade Lunchables. Put down a blanket and make it a picnic in the living room. Have the ingredients to make a pizza? Do it. Stale chips, cheese and leftover taco meat? Girl, get those nachos in the oven! You got this. Again, let them help. Time is what you are trying to take up!
7. Make time for quiet time. We all need it. Pull out all those blankets from the fort, pop some popcorn and put on a Netflix movie. This is your time, mom (or dad). You deserve this. Unless you want to watch the movie, too. In that case, treat them to the movies of the 80s and 90s. Tell them the "Labyrinth" is new and rediscover your girlhood crush on David Bowie as the Jareth, the Goblin King. Yes, I’m talking from experience.
8. Play outside. If it's not too cold, get them outside. Go sledding, make a snowman or just go for a short walk to admire the winter wonderland around you. Hot cocoa is a must for when they come back inside with their little red noses and cheeks!
9. Play some games. I’m a sucker for games; I love them. Play Guess Who? with your younger kids. You will get frustrated because they lie and cheat, but it’s still fun. Remember Slap Jack? Get the older kids to play! Don’t Break the Ice, Go Fish, Old Maid or UNO? The best. Just try to let the competitive nature subside. They are cheating children after all.
10. Invite over some guests. If you have mom friends who live close, invite them (and their kids) over! Throw out some paper and crayons, put a movie on the background, label what rooms they are not allowed to play in and let them go loose!
You can do this. You've got junk drawers, Netflix and a freezer full of chicken nuggets. This snow day is survivable!
Kristine Rohwer is a marketing professional who resides in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband and three children. Founder of Elkhorn Family, you can follow her page on Facebook.