Highs and Lows Following Winter Break — Mommy Daze

rsz post winter break

This year’s Winter Break was truly awesome for our family. I enjoyed having both my boys home from school, and miraculously they played together great. We don’t travel over the holidays, so we just got to enjoy time at home with family. The week between Christmas and New Year’s was so relaxing! The days were long and lazy, spending most of the time in our jammies next to a fire. I actually put together an entire puzzle in one day! I can’t even remember the last time I put together a puzzle. Who does that??

Then it was back to reality. Early mornings, rushing out the door, homework, meetings, and the feeling that there just isn’t enough time in the day. As I’m still trying to readjust to the hustle and bustle, I’ve been reflecting on what are the best, and worst, parts of coming out of Winter Break with young school-aged kids.

Routine
Getting back into a routine with the kids certainly hasn’t been easy, but so worth it. As much as I loved our long, uneventful days during Winter Break, it can’t last forever. The kids went days without a bath, would eat dinner ridiculously late, and start testing the rules that were usually so standard (“what do you MEAN I have to brush my teeth?? I did that yesterday!”). Everything just goes better when we all know what’s to be done and when.

New Stuff
Our kids really received some great things this year for Christmas. I’ve been driving myself a little crazy trying to get the house cleaned up and organized after the post-Holiday mayhem, but when the kids get home from school they’re so excited to play with all their new things. Our 6-year old has been loving the LEGO sets and art supplies he got, especially this Crayola light-up tracing pad. Our 4-year old has been having so much fun playing the Mouse Trap board game and meticulously taking apart the LEGO sets that his big brother just built. The best and most entertaining gift they received though was the LEGO Dimensions video game. My husband and I both played video games as kids so we’ve been pretty laid back about our kids playing them. We are, however, strict about which days of the week they play and for how long. They’ve also only played the LEGO games because we feel that the language and ‘violence’ in these games are minimal and they teach the boys to work together and solve problems. Not to mention they’re hilarious to watch! And don’t tell our kids, but my husband and I’ve been staying up late playing the game ourselves. I mean come on, how could these kids just leave behind all those golden bricks??

Rules
I can’t imagine being a teacher during that first week back from Winter Break. We’re honestly lucky that teachers come back to work at all, especially when they know what’s waiting for them. Despite my 4-year old being excited to get back to preschool, he did struggle saying goodbye to mommy and listening to simple directions. My 6-year old hasn’t really stopped talking incessantly the entire Winter Break, so being quiet at school and focusing has probably been quite challenging for him. But following rules, respecting their teachers and classmates, and knowing what’s acceptable at school has been so helpful at home too. I find myself asking them, “Do you talk like that to your teacher?” or “Would you snatch like that from your friend at school?”. When they stop and think about the rules at school, it helps guide their actions and behavior at home. I’ve pleaded with my son’s Kindergarten teacher to come by my house at dinner time, just once, to use her ‘teacher voice’, but so far, she hasn’t.

One thing I am not going to miss about Winter Break though, are all the dishes. Having the whole family home, all day long, day in and day out, created a mess of dirty dishes that seemed to never stop growing. Thank goodness I’m back to being too busy to cook!

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Mandy Watts is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Crownsville with her husband, Justin, who runs their family business, and their two sons, 5-year-old James and 3-year-old Luke.