To the mom with a love/hate relationship to snow days

Snow day.

Two simple words. And yet they sound so different to me now that I’ve become a mother.

When we were kids, we would wake up early to listen to the radio or turn on the TV the morning of a storm and wait our turn for our alphabetized school name to appear (or not!) on the scrolling list of school closures. (YES!!!! We’re closed! ALL MY DREAMS HAVE COME TRUE!)

Today, school districts send out cancellations by text message the night before. Oh great. No school tomorrow for the kids either. Yay.

So in our house, after a week of stomach viruses and half days and work trips, our kids are now on their second day of no school with a likely third on the way.

Snow days are here to remind us that a break from the everyday grind can be wonderful. But they can also be incredibly hard to get through without support, electricity, milk or even a moment of quiet. 💁‍♀️

To the mama whose kids are home on a snow day, I SEE YOU.

I see you trying to move work meetings to nap time because your clients, dialing in from someplace sunny, still need you to meet the deadline.

I see you handing out hot chocolates with breakfast because even though having sugar-filled kids cooped up in a house doesn’t seem like your best idea—it also seems like a super fun tradition you want your kids to enjoy.

I see you calculating screen time in your head because it’s only 9 am and the kids have already watched two movies, and you’re really not sure how to keep everyone from going crazy in the house all day.

I see you Googling “snow day activities” because you don’t want to miss an opportunity to create a little magic, but also you’re exhausted already and need to borrow someone else’s awesome ideas.

I see you looking for the lost mitten—WHERE DOES IT ALWAYS GO?!—because the kids want to go outside and make snow angels and their little fingers get so cold so quickly.

I see you unbuckling your kids’ snowsuits nine minutes later because after a few minutes outside they’re “fweezing!” and have to go peepee right now and lost their boot in the snow and their brother threw a snowball in their eye.

I see you huddling together the flashlights and candles and charging your phone as the lights start to flicker and you wonder where you will go if the power goes out for days on end.

I see you breaking up the 10th fight of the day between your kids because it’s just too much energy in one small space, and you don’t really know who hit who first but it doesn’t really matter because we don’t hurt one another and please check on your sister and make sure she’s okay and see if there’s anything you can do to make it better.

I see that after a day of nonstop cleaning up after your kids and asking them to clean up after themselves you truly cannot mentally handle wiping up another mess and was that the sound of Cheerios spilling all over the kitchen floor?

I see you wondering if this cold, dark, sickness-ridden winter will EVER end.

I see you wondering how you’ll get more milk because the car is under a mountain of snow and your kids guzzled a gallon of milk in 36 hours and apparently it is the ONLY beverage they can consider drinking and you need to call the dairy farm for a delivery STAT.

I see you pushing yourself to seize the day—seize THIS day—because snow days only come a few times a year and you want to stop and embrace the beauty and stillness.

Somewhere, under that pile of snow, I see you.

Snow days remind us that our entire world can be contained inside our house.

Snow days remind us that slowing down with our crew is an expected gift.

Snow days remind us that it takes a village but sometimes just mom has to do.

Snow days remind us that this mothering thing is HARD, but it’s also full of cuddles on the couch, opportunities to throw dance parties, and chances to splurge on our kids with love (and cookies!) just because.

Snow days remind us of the magic of childhood and teach us to bring a little bit of that feeling out every day.

Snow days remind us that each day is fleeting. Today may be perfect. It may be brutal. But it will pass.

Snow days remind us that this parenthood thing is full of twists and turns we can’t see coming (like the tree branch that fell on my neighbor’s roof), so it’s best to seize the moment.

And if you can’t seize this snowy moment, grab a cup of hot chocolate, turn on Moana with your kids, and dream of Hawaii. 🌺

Liz is an award-winning journalist and editor, and the co-founder of Motherly. A former Washington Post editor, she thrives on all things digital community + social media strategy. Liz resides outside NYC with her husband, two sons, one daughter and one amazing au pair.

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