I haven’t left my house since Saturday night. We have experienced one of the worst snow storms in decades. First, 10-12″ of snow came only to be followed by a few days of cold wind leaving the temperatures around -13 degrees, with wind chills making it feel -40 degrees.
I’ve gone to our front yard with my wife and kids to make a family of snow people, called the BledSNOW family — see what I did there. 😉 I’ve reached out to throw water in the air to see if it would turn to snow or ice, and leaned out to see how long it would take for a wet t-shirt to freeze. I shoveled the drive and checked the mail, once. Let’s just say there has been a lot of down time at the Bledsoe household this week. And we have yet to go crazy!
Not the best use of time
But with all this down time, I’m not sure I’ve made the most of these snow days. The thing is, being snowed in isn’t much different than a normal day for our family. I work from home, and we are a homeschooling family, so most days we are all at home together. But something changes when you can’t go out. You just get lazy and, if you aren’t careful, a little crazy!
Technically we don’t have snow days for homeschooling or work. Our kids can always get to school just by walking from their rooms to the kitchen table. And I can get to work by walking to my office. But during these snow days, until today, we haven’t done much of anything. Our kids have watched more Netflix and played more video/computer games than they do in most months! And even though we aren’t running all all over the city, I feel like we could have spent a little more quality time together. At times we’ve all been in our little corner (screens). That is why I say we have not made the most of these snow days.
Do better the next time
This got me thinking of ways to make the most of being snowed in the next time. I live in Indiana, so there is always a next time when it comes to snow days. Below are some things I plan to do. They can help you and your family make the most of being snowed in the next time it happens to you.
Here are 5 ways you can make the most of snow days.
- Embrace it for the right reasons. Most people embrace snow days, especially when they come on the tail end of a holiday break. But we embrace them for the wrong reasons. Reasons like not having to take the kids to school or their extracurricular activities, or because some of us don’t have to go into the office. But the best reasons to embrace it are because you will have a lot more family time than you normally get. With our busy lifestyles and stacked schedules that is a good thing. Change your perspective and embrace it.
- Use it to get ahead. So you have some unexpected days which you don’t have to go into the office. Your kids don’t have to be at school. Everybody else is probably going to do what we did — not much! Take an hour or two per day and work on some learning skills with your kids (whether you homeschool or not). Get ahead on that work project. Knock out that household project you left half-done (talking to the men here), or finish reading that book. Time is our most valuable asset, when we get “extra” time we need to use it well.
- Make sure you relax. I’m sure you rested a little bit, but what I’m suggesting is making your rest time intentional. Plan a family nap, and have everybody lay down. Including you and your spouse. We used to plan Sunday naps, but got out of the habit — ahem football! I really wish we still did that because it was so refreshing, and made Sunday even more enjoyable. Be intentional about resting during this time.
- Don’t let it create bad habits. Right now my sleep habits are all jacked up. I’ve stayed up late, slept late, fallen asleep on the couch, watched Jimmy Fallon all night, and just created bad habits. When you get extra time use it to help create good habits. You don’t have the other commitments which normally take your time, so you have a little more control over your time and what you do with it. Make the most of it!
- Be prepared for it to end. Have you ever witnessed a co-worker come back to work after a few snow days, and they seem like they don’t want to be there, or didn’t expect to. At some point the weather will change, and everything will be back to normal. Expect that, prepare yourself, and prepare your kids. You should come back to normal life, excited, appreciative, and ready to go.
How do you normally spend unexpected snow days like these?