During the Snow Day Debacle of 2018 in January, I came upon this hilarious video of a mother pleading with Atlanta schools to open up so her child could get back in the classroom and get out of her hair. I have probably watched this video a couple dozen times and I am laughing right now thinking about the frustration and desperation and all-out fear in her voice as she shamelessly begged school officials to give her a break.
And here we are, on the Saturday of Spring Break. I envision mamas and daddies all over the state bracing themselves for nine straight days with their children. Even if you’ve got a fun vacation planned, there’s usually a lot of stress involved when it comes to 24/7 face time with your child for more than a couple days in a row.
As a teacher and a mama myself, I feel you. I get it. So today I’m bringing you a few secrets to make your life a little bit easier over the next few days. Lean in and listen up, y’all!
Secret #1. It is okay for your child to be bored. My children know that it is not my job to entertain them. Even when they were little bitty and less self-sufficient, I provided them opportunities to entertain themselves. Don’t feel like you have to plan out or fill up every minute of your child’s waking hours. Part of growing and developing is learning how to self-soothe and self-entertain! If your child complains of boredom, say, “Oh wow, really! That means it’s either time for chores or creativity. You choose!” If my sons can’t find something creative to do, then I’ve got a good long list of chores for them to tackle so they won’t be so bored. Works every time!
Secret #2. It is okay for you to need alone time. My planning period is from 9:55-10:45am every day. I cling to every single second like my life depended on it. It’s not because I don’t like my job or my students. It’s because everyone needs a few minutes of peace and quiet all by their lonesome self. I’m surrounded by hundreds of people every single day. I interface one-one-one with nearly two hundred students every. single. day. I THINK it’s okay for me to need a minute by myself in the midst of all that.
The truth is, being a parent is draining. And being a parent when your kids are on spring break… Lawd. Give yourself grace. Give yourself permission to find some quiet time, even if it’s during nap time or five minutes locked in the bathroom eating a Snickers bar.
Secret #3. This too shall pass. In just a few days’ time, your schedule will return to normal. Your child will go back to school or day care or weekly programs that give your schedule a bit more flexibility. When you are knee-deep in parenthood this week, remember that come next week, you’ll be back to the daily grind. It’s easy to miss the magical moments when we’re so focused on what’s coming in the days ahead. Try to slow down and lean into family time this week. I know it’s not always easy. I know you probably have a hard time finding two minutes to brush your teeth in the morning let alone celebrating all the madness that Spring Break can bring. But even in the midst of all the crazy, there is beauty to be found. Look for it. Call it out. Celebrate it. You and your sweet family will be better for it.