I really haven’t had a routine since Vivian was born. I barely got my health to the point where I could begin to exercise again when I got the Backyard Farming book deal. Insert insanity here. But wait, there’s more! Then my body broke down on me and I wound up in the hospital with emergency surgery.
Between the being sick part and the surgery part and the recovery part I’m only just now getting to feel semi-normal again. And none too soon either because the book is due next week. Insert maniacal laugh of despair and sleep-deprivation here.
What’s a mom to do? Seriously. I have kids! Amazing, lovely, wonderful children who do not stop just because you need a break. Or ten. This feeling of “what do I do with them now” has been nearly constant the last four months but can be made worse with a simple thing like rainy day or break from school. So what are some creative kids activities you can have ready to go without inducing a guilt-derived pity party?
Let them wet the trampoline or go jump in the rain. Especially in the balmy spring weather we’ve been having – Getting wet won’t kill your kid. Go ahead and let them jump in the rain. Then toss them all in the bath, start a load of laundry when they come in and you’ll be ahead on your household chores as well.
Turn on some tunes and clear a space in the living room and let them dance! And during your break (you are taking regular breaks from working at the computer aren’t you, Angela?) get up and dance with them for five minutes. You’ll feel better and they will think you are an amazing mom.
Books are always great. My kids like the recordable storybook we got from Hallmark because they can read along with what I’m saying. We just got an interactive storybook as well – book plus stuffed animal? It’s like chocolate and caramel…a match made in a heaven!
Construction paper and their art boxes. Limit these festivities to the kitchen table for easier clean up, but my kids will sit and color, cut, and glue construction paper together into a myriad of designs and creations for a long time. Longer than it takes me to clean up the mess, so that’s the definition of a win/win in my opinion.
XBox or Wii games. Both Wii and Xbox Kinect encourage movement during game play. And on a rainy day when being outdoors may not be possible, that movement factor is crucial! My kids are pre-programmed to expend a certain amount of energy each day and if it’s not burned playing nicely together, it is burned off in other more mischievous and stress-inducing ways.
Extra-curriculars. In our case, soccer. The three older kids are in soccer and it’s been a godsend for us for them. Learning to listen to their coach, to follow the directions, interact with the other kids, and make new friends are all important skills. Plus the weekly practices keep them busy.
Call in help from your support system. That’s a fancy way of saying send the kids to Grammy’s house for five days while you’re stuck in the hospital. But you know what? Sometimes you cannot do it all and that is OK. (Or so I’m learning.) This is the season for finishing the book. The season for being crafty-mom or cook-every-single-meal-mom will be next. My kids had a blast at Grammy’s house and were less worried about me than they would have been at home or hanging around the hospital.
So how do you keep your kids busy and entertained when you can’t follow your usual routine? Do you have some go-to activities you fall back on?
I’m so blessed to be part of the Hallmark Life is a Special Occasion blogger team. Their sponsorship of this blog helps me stay sane while I take on too much.