1. If even a hint of snow is expected, turn off the ringer on your phone the night before. You do not need to know at 5:02 a.m. that your children will be home all day. You need to keep sleeping. They need to keep sleeping.
2. When you wake up and discover that although it is not yet snowing there will be no school today, do not tell the children. It will take them a while (in my case, they still haven’t put two and two together and it is almost 9 a.m.) to figure out that there is no school. In the meantime, they will not beg you for screen time because they think it is a school morning when screens are off limits.
3. Let the morning be leisurely. Sit down with a cup of tea or coffee and read a book. Pray. Journal. Enjoy the time. (Note: this is only possible when your youngest child is old enough to be more or less self-sufficient. In our case, it means three years old.)
4. Consider the gift of the day. Maybe you’ll remember something, like last night’s spelling homework with your oldest child. Maybe you’ll remember when you gave her a practice sentence for the word try and you said, “I try to be patient,” and she said, “but you don’t succeed” with a giggle and a sparkle in her eye. And maybe you’ll remember what you said to all three of your kids over the weekend when you walked into the grocery store with them: “This is an opportunity to control your hands.” Maybe you’ll hear the whisper, “this is an opportunity to . . . ”
5. Involve other people. Invite your neighbors over–kids and any parents at home with them. Make popcorn. Bake cookies. Remember back to your childhood when the neighborhood kids came over and made toffee and went sledding and how warm and homey and nice that was. Give it to your kids too.
6. Reserve screen time for when the wheels start to fall off the vehicle.
7. Have fun and don’t worry about the to do list. If there is anything you have learned from being a parent it is that you will never get it all done, and it will always be enough.
(And try to ignore the fact that the weather report on your phone says there is a 100% chance of snow for Wednesday.)