Yep, this would be me. Nine days into Spring Break, kids all in bed, and I’m a hot mess. Of course, what more could be expected of a mom of four, on a 12 day break, knowing I’ve survived this long without ripping all of my hair out and needing to be put into a straight jacket in a padded room? Don’t think that possibility hasn’t arisen over this dreadfully long 9 day stint; on the contrary, it’s been ridiculously difficult to deal with working from home full time, balancing life as usual, and maintaining some sort of cleanliness to my home – all while keeping the kids entertained.
The most difficult aspect over the break thus far has been keeping the kids from murdering each other, for one thing. Secondly, keeping them entertained enough so that I can get work done to meet deadlines was a job in itself. I found a few helpful, yet simple, ways in which to do just that. Read on to see what my evil plan devised.
Okay, so some of the ideas I came up with included the following:
1. Coloring – this is an age old classic that anyone of any age can enjoy – even my oldest kids. I had them draw and color pictures, my younger two more focused on drawing Easter themed pictures while my older two worked in a coloring book. My oldest daughter drew some sketches in her drawing pad and as always, enjoyed that immensely.
2. Playing outside – Being that I live in an isolated section of a pretty quiet neighborhood, I don’t need to worry about speeding cars coming down my street – because the only car that passes by aside from my neighbor is the mailman. True story. I send them outside to play together in the yard, and it gives me some free time to work on my writing and actually get some articles submitted.
3. Playing with the hose – Although this proved to be much more of a hassle than I had hoped, this age old rite of childhood passage works wonders, at least for a little while. That was, until my oldest son decided it would be fun to pull my expensive Pilates machine out of the garage, saturate it with water (it’s made of wood) and use it as something to jump on while dousing it with water. That was a real treat to walk out and see. Oh, and the fist fight my boys got into in the midst of annoying each other silly with the hose. Good times.
4. Watching Movies – I remember a time where this used to keep the kids far more entertained than it has in recent years. Now, it’s like they all have ADD. They watch about 10 minutes of any movie I happen to put on, and one gets up and starts with the, “Mommy, can I…..” and then the rest follow suit. Well, for the most part. My girls know better, but the boys do it to see how many buttons they can push before I lose it. Hey, I tried.
5. Painting – So, the kids decided they wanted to get creative and paint rocks with paint, making lovely little ‘Easter eggs’ out of them. Seemed like a great, fun idea since it was all to be done on the back porch, around the table, with newspapers. My tune changed real quick when they decided to come inside, faces, hands and arms covered in paint, walking like zombies, eyes rolled in the back of their heads as they made dreadful sounds. That wasn’t easy to get off – and it was watercolor paint! Washable? Ha!
6. Reading – I got them to read. For like, 10 minutes total throughout the entire break. Today, for Good Friday, I had each of them read sections from the Bible on the Crucifixion and Ressurection as we all sat around the table after breakfast. That was something seperate aside from the 10 minutes previously mentioned. It ended up going surprisingly well. I designated four verses for them each to look up and read out loud. They learned some things, reviewed some things they already knew, and I like to think we had a good time. This, to me, was probably one of the most meaningful moments of this entire Spring Break.
7. Clean their rooms – While this isn’t exactly fun, it was necessary – many times over. Even my daughters at 13 and 15 had a bedroom that looked like a tornado hit it. I had them get to work – and they are now enjoying their fresh, clean rooms as they sleep. Ahh. Nothing like a clean house.
8. Chores – My motto is, just because it’s Spring Break, doesn’t mean it’s a free ride. You live here like me and dad do, you’re gonna keep up on your chores. End of story. They hemmed and hawed about it, naturally, but they got it done. +1 for mom!
9. Wash the dog – This was hilarious and entertaining to watch. My dog has a tendency to stink like sweaty gym socks and corn chips a day after having had a bath, so she’s needed lots of them lately. Maybe it has something to do with the weather and how things have been heating up? I don’t know…she’s an indoor dog, so I don’t see why it would make much difference. Regardless, watching them struggle to keep her in the tub, keep her happy whilst being scrubbed head to toe, and watching the reaction on her face as she looked up at me like, ‘really?’ was just priceless. I regret not taking pictures.
10. Taking a walk together – this is always a fun, favorite passtime of mine. I love nature, and spending time with my children. Doing both at once just makes the day a little brighter – especially when the kids are actually getting along. At that moment, I realize all is well with my little world and I know how blessed I am.
-Oh, I forgot to mention, I had the kids do an Easter Egg Hunt. Well, two of them. We hid eggs filled with candy outside one time, and did the same thing indoors on another occasion. That was fun – messy, but fun. Chocolate doesn’t seem to get along so well in the Florida sun. Oops.
Honestly, it doesn’t take much to keep kids happy or entertained. Think outside of the typical adult box. I don’t allow electronics such as computers, video game consoles, or phones in my house. Nope; we live old school. Well, at least the kids do. I want them to be detached from technology for as long as possible, until it’s absolutely necessary. Which, if I have any say, will be once they grow up and move out.
In my honest opinion, I believe kids are given too much nowadays. Children don’t actually need cell phones, or Facebooks (I don’t even have a Facebook; too much drama, and that site is an evil life wrecker for so many people), or their own computer, or tablets, or any of that. Let them be children. Let them learn to entertain themselves with their minds, and develop their ability to survive in the real world without technology. I’m getting off topic here, but seriously. Try it, parents. You will be amazed how much closer the family unit will be when you eliminate these things from your family’s existence.
So, this is how I’ve survived Spring Break thus far. Though I’m frazzled, my hair is a frizzy mess, and I am exhausted, I know in the end everything is going to be A-Ok. Nine days down, three to go. Hang in there, Sarah. You’ve got this.
Until next time…