As kids, we loved the prospect of a snow day. I can still remember the thrill of getting to fall back to sleep on a blustery morning, then spending the entire day doing anything but going to school. But now, with a daughter of my own, snow days aren't so exciting. Instead of relaxing, snow days are anxiety-ridden as I try to figure out how to provide care for my child while I'm at the office.
What's a working mom to do?
Do I take a vacation day and stay home? Do I rely on my child care provider (who already has a full house of kids, and was not planning lunch for mine)? Do I even brave the roads, driving my daughter to the sitter and then myself to work? If it's not safe for the bus drivers, is it safe for my family to be on the road?
My best advice? Have a back-up plan.
Enlist the help of others. Whether you put your child care provider, family members, friends, or neighbors on call, it's a good idea to have someone you know and trust who can be there for you in a pinch. I have two girl friends whose children are around the same age as my daughter, and we're on a rotating circuit for snow days. I take my turn and watch their kids, and when the next two snow days are called, I know they'll have my back.
Be ready to work from home. Put a system in place so that you are able to work remotely, if necessary. Learn how to check your work e-mail from your personal computer. Keep important business numbers saved in your phone, or leave business cards in your car. And don't forget to prep the house! Have go-to activities that will fill two-hour blocks of time, whether it be movies, crafts, or other projects to keep your kids busy while you work.
Make the most of it. Maybe you weren't planning to use up your vacation days snowed in. But if you must, then make the best of it! Take your kids outside to play in the snow! Explore the neighborhood covered in a blanket of white. Spend quality time with your children because, well, you can!
Written by: Mona Buskirk Photo: stock.chng