An Open Letter to Snow-Bound Moms of Young Kids
This post is brought to you by the Polar Vortex and the letter “coffee”.
We have now been inside (save for one long and cold trip to the grocery store last Saturday) for over 2 weeks now.
Wow, that kind of sounds like a letter from a prison inmate.
Let’s start over, shall we?
It’s been a blustery winter wonderland of sparkly snow dancing into crisp, lace formation on the white canvas outside my frosty window.
Lets not fool ourselves, after 2 weeks, the prison letter seems a little more appropriate…
But honestly, it’s not the end of world, [drinks coffee] it just gets a smidge claustrophobic in a tiny house with little people.
Now, let me lay sound ground work here. I have seen countless posts on facebook about the misery of moms stuck at home with their children who would, under normal circumstances, have boarded the bus long ago.
And no, I’m not going where you think I’m going (all: “I’m home with my kids every day for the entire school year, why can’t you handle being home with your kids for a few days?!?!”)(because I’ve also seen some of that on facebook too and it’s just plain ugly.)
Quite the contrary. We are all in different seasons, different educational situations and for you moms that are used to having your children in a school outside of your home, your days, your rhythm and your sleep schedule have been turned upside down by the Polar Vortex that is slamming much of the mid-west and east coast. You’re in a groove and you just got thrown off of it, and I know it’s hard. Your family was a well oiled machine, and everyone had their own operating manual. Until the Vortex of 2014…
To the moms who are snow bound with young kids,
I get it.
And this too shall pass.
Being snowbound with your youngins who would otherwise be in school right now is no small feat, and if everyone is still alive, then I applaud you. By all means, endless movies, popcorn for dinner, and living in your sweat shirt and yoga pants is completely appropriate and sister, it’s OK.
Don’t feel bad that you haven’t showered, (and that your kids haven’t showered), that the house has been turned upside down and drenched in finger paint, glue and cheerios (and anything else that you could find to occupy their bored gourds for all of 7 minutes).
Yes, you’ve been home 24 hours a day for the last 2 weeks, minus the shoveling. (And I’ll still give you credit if your shoveling activities only included finding snacks for those that did the shoveling). Yes, the sink is overflowing with dishes and you haven’t swept. And there may or may not be 6 loads of laundry in your bedroom that will need to be folded, you know, “once the snow days are over”.
This is a total change of pace for you, and I know that you love your children and they love you, but you’re all about to go batty.
I promise, you’ll be ok. Just breathe.
(not like the “he-he-who” ; I’m-giving-birth type of breathing) (though it might feel like that…)
Just sit back and – I know I’m asking the impossible but – don’t worry about the house or how many days you’ve been in the same yoga pants or how soon the big yellow bus is coming back around.
You will be ok.
And despite what they say, you kids will be ok too.
Your progeny are going through social detox. They’re used to constant interaction, a routine and a schedule. Throw all of that out of the window and add in 3 feet of snow, arctic temperatures and a driving ban (for safe measures) and you’ve got a recipe for something akin to what your nervous system experiences when you come off of a hallucinogenic drug.
Give them some space and remember that NOT having constant stimulation won’t kill them.
Don’t listen to what they say, just listen to me now.
They will be ok if it’s quiet.
They’ll even be ok if you say “no” to more movies or that, yes, the laundry does need to get put away.
Yes, even if they aren’t planning on changing clothes anytime soon.
And here’s how I know you’ll be ok.
Because you’re their momma.
And because as much as you may want to send them back out into that big world, I know that part of you will look back on these monotonous days of sparkly, snowy incarceration and you’ll miss being together. (I know you’re not there yet, but hang with me!)
You’re the coloring book vending machine, the boot lacer, hot chocolate maker, zipper-fixer, play-dough opener, snack-maker, glove finder, living room fort-builder, runny nose wiper, netflix loader, book reader, chapstick applier, diaper-changer, endless board game player, yoga pants wearer, argument solver, silly-song singer, and the dispenser of all things junk food. (You’re weak. I know. It’s ok)
You’re not their friends or their teacher, their bus driver, swim coach or their boss.
You’re their momma.
You won’t get many of these snow days…(at least that’s what the Global Warming People say.) (heh.)… so for however many more days that we have, snuggled inside, trying to keep our offspring from killing each other, choose to love the time that you have.
This hiccup in the schedule will pass. They’ll eventually troop out the door and the house will be quiet again.
The laundry will get folded and (mostly) put away.
And it’ll be so quiet and you’ll look back and wonder why you didn’t do X, Y or Z while they were home.
The days are long momma, so very mind-numbingly long…but the years go fast.
You’ll be ok, I promise.
Here’s to that sparkly white stuff.
-another mom in yoga pants
image amended by me, but courtesy of this great photographer
linked to Raising Homemakers, Welcome Home Wednesday, From the Farm Blog Hop, Simple Lives , Homemaking Link-Up