Here in Maryland we just experienced a nice little snowstorm, and while I can’t say exactly why work and school were cancelled for so people many over just a couple of inches of snow–snow that didn’t even stick to the roads, no less–I can’t say I’m disappointed. I enjoy snow days! Yet so many of my friends on Facebook are lamenting that they are so bored being trapped inside with the kids all day.
But here I am sitting in front of a roaring fire, with my feet up in mothering bliss. I love not feeling the obligation to go anywhere and instead I can just sit here alongside my husband and my kids. This is a rare treat. Snow days are like a free pass for me. A day I can feel free to be as productive or lazy as I like–not something I often allow myself the pleasure of enjoying. I’ve already made dinner, cornbread, cleaned the kitchen, did the laundry, goofed off with my husband, Facebooked, played with the kids, read several articles, put on make-up just because I could, and even wrote this post.
I’m a homeschooling mother, which means I am used to long hours with the family. I’m not thrown off by a boring day at home. I’m used to being with my kids most of the day. I’m used to not having a moment to myself. I’m even used to us all getting on each other’s nerves, snapping at one another, and then making up again. Be it good or bad, homeschooling has a way of changing how you look at daily life, and how you relate to your family.
“How can you stand being with your kids all day long?” is the most common reaction I get from people who find out I homeschool. Honestly, sometimes I can’t stand being with my kids all day long! I get out by myself any chance I get. Other times I sneak down to the office just to get online, and I always stay up way too late enjoying a good book or sitcom.
I’m not going to try and pretend it’s all peaches and cream over here. It can be loud, hectic, and chaotic trying to meet everyone’s individual needs. One child needs help with his work, the other one wants to be driven to a friend’s house, the baby needs a diaper change… and oh crap I forgot to put dinner in the oven! There are days I want to pull my hair out and days I mutter under my breath. Today my 3-year-old accidentally smashed the glass on the fireplace because he was pretending to stack wood nearby and got a little too enthusiastic. We spent the next hour picking glass out of the bricked hearth and nearby carpeting. It’s just par for the course.
But this is the life our family chose and I can’t deny its many benefits either–like how my kids, even when they are bored, all still manage to find something to do. My very bored kids have made several cakes, muffins, cookies, forts, games, videos, pictures, inventions, websites, and even the occasional bed. Okay, and they’ve made many messes, too.
The one thing I like best about homeschooling is that it has taught my family how to work together. They fight like cats and dogs, however they know they can always rely on one another. What more can a mom ask for, really? I mean besides more sleep and chocolate, that is.
Even if one day we decide to send them off to school on that little yellow bus that tempts me from my kitchen window every morning, I will be glad we spent the years we have together like this. And I will always love snow days.