“January 4th already?” asked no mom ever. Why does the winter break seem to stretch out endlessly, instead of zooming by in a whirlwind of magical memory making? Well, probably because you haven’t heard of these awesome tips to get through–I mean, fully experience–an extended holiday with your kids.
1. Relax about screen time. You know what no kid ever said? “Mom was awesome because she shut off the TV after exactly 30 minutes of Netflix.” If a couple of movies once a week, or twice a day, make your holiday break more relaxing, go for it. Just don’t tell your competitive mom-group-cronies.
READ: 5 Tips to Maximize Your Kid’s Home-From-College Weekends
2. Read your kids books you actually like. So what if your 4-year-old is a bit too young to understand the complexities of “Anne of Green Gables?” If you have to read “Fancy Nancy” one more time, you’ll strangle someone with a pink beaded necklace. Make sure to perfect your Anne voice. You always knew you should be an actress.
3. Schedule a whole bunch of extended family bonding activities. Uncle-nephew ice hockey followed by aunt-niece-son ski trip. If you came along, it would really detract from the bonding, guys. Have fun and don’t come back till 5 p.m. at the earliest.
4. Teach your kids your favorite hobby. Enough of this Candyland stuff! Let’s go on Facebook and examine the weight gain and perceived happiness levels of your husband’s college ex-girlfriends, and that boy who used to make fun of your hair during sophomore year of high school. What do you mean that isn’t a hobby?
READ: The Surprising Best Part of My Father-Son Weekend
5. Call in the big guns. Tell your mother-in-law that your kids asked why you don’t cook as well as she does, and that they would like to learn firsthand how to make the chicken soup that dad really likes. Bam, instant in-home childcare and a whole vat of that soup you hate. Well, you can’t have everything.
6. Start really consuming household projects that allow you to ignore your kids while seeming like a good mom. Hello, closet organization by color of clothes. Figuring out where the plaid should go will take up most of the morning, so have your eldest child make the others’ lunch. Goldfish counts.
7. Implement a siesta. Everyone needs to nap. Yes, even your 11-year-old. They do it in Spain, guys. See you in two hours.
READ: At What Age Can Kids be Left Home Alone?
8. Plan a fun family activity for the last day of break. Remember, all’s well that ends well. Plus, when they draw a picture of what they did over the break, they can draw a family snow tubing. What do you mean this is your picture? Why are we all watching TV? DON’T YOU REMEMBER THE SNOW TUBING?