I love social media just as much as the next mom. While it has its faults, the ability to remain current on what’s going on in the lives of my friends and family, who are spread out all over the country, is fantastic. I truly do enjoy seeing everyone’s family photos, vacation pictures, and birthday celebrations. I love logging on Pinterest after the kids are in bed and getting ideas for parties, holidays, gifts, fashion, recipes…you name it. But there’s one side of social media that I don’t love: feeling like a failure if I don’t manage to keep my kids happy, engaged, and busy all the livelong day because that’s what everyone else is doing.
We’ve had a lot of snow days this winter. A lot. This means my family has been home together. A lot. I really do love spending time with my family. I loved snow days as a child, and have great memories of sledding, making snow forts, coloring, and bossing my younger brother around while we played school. I hadn’t a clue what the other kids were doing on those days, and neither did my mom. Probably the same thing as I did, but maybe not. Maybe their moms ran each day like a top-notch day camp, filling the hours with arts and crafts, cooking, and sports. Maybe they made fantastic papier-mâché animals and wrote screen plays. Maybe they watched Looney Tunes until their brains turned to mush. The point is, I didn’t know, and neither did my mom. Since the world wasn’t watching your day-to-day activities, it was perfectly fine to have bored kids. And I miss that about parenting today.
I enjoy finding fun projects for my kids to do from time to time. Especially on days where we’re all at home, I love a good craft project, or perhaps an afternoon baking party ending in warm cookies. However, I don’t keep them busy all day, and honestly, I don’t think I should or could. I think there’s great value in kids learning to make their own fun. They have toys, art supplies, books, and a yard. The rest is mostly up to them. While this may make me feel inadequate as I search “snow day fun for kids” on Pinterest, I really do think it’s not only harmless, but actually good to expect kids to entertain themselves most of the time.
If you manage to organize hours of carefully crafted projects and activities for your children: I salute you. However, I am learning to make peace with the fact that my kids are likely giving each other taxi rides in a laundry basket right now, and may spend the afternoon happily playing some game that I couldn’t describe to you for money.