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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

5 Steps to Not Lose Your Mind on a Snow Day with Kids

I work from home. Snow days are a real pain in my keester.  Tough to pay the mortgage if you call your clients and say, "I'm so sorry I can't be on that really important conference call I set up 2 months ago because it snowed 8 feet and I'm stuck in my house with these crazy kids."

So, we cope.

I write this post on my 2nd snow day. One about killed me, the other was rockstar good. So now I'm an expert. And because I care, I share.

1. Who's in charge? 
If you don't know the answer to this one you're in trouble. YOU ARE! I know it doesn't feel like it some days. This is no time for your wimpy face. Put on your game face, you are the leader.

2. Prepare yourself. 
Now that you know you're the leader, you've got to do some leader preparation.  You can pick how you do that. Today I got up before the little buggers and did some yoga and meditation. Chanting things like, "I will not beat the children. I will not beat the children".  You pick what works for you, maybe it's a little shot of bourbon in your coffee and a few pages of The Times. Life's about choices. The key is, center yourself. Take charge. Be ready.

3. Plan
Face it, left up to their own devices, they can take out a living room, full fridge, and all the bedrooms in a few short hours if you don't have a plan.  Make a plan with expectations, guidelines, rewards, consequences. Fail to plan and plan to fail as they say.

4. Write down and communicate the plan.
You sound like Charlie Brown's teacher so if you don't write it down you're toast. Burnt toast. This is your legal binding document. Today mine was a checklist of 5 things for each kid. All of them had to be checked off by noon. And without fighting, chaos, or giving me any crap.

5. Rewards
Come on, you're not too old to remember snow days!  These are supposed to be fun. No one wants to spend the day with Sergeant Soggy Snow Pants. Lighten up a little, but still keep control. Throw out some good rewards for completing the plan. There should be some structure, but plenty of SpongeBob, Guitar Hero and junk food mixed in.

Have fun snow mommies! 

(FYI, old pic, we've got WAY more snow than this!)

What's your best snow day plan or snow day disaster?