I know most of the time we are counting down the days until our kids go back to school from winter break. They can be exhausting sometimes. I want to tell you this is the most refreshed I have felt in a long time and my kids both had the best winter break they have ever had.
And guess what? We didn’t do ANYTHING!
Let me give you a little back story on to why I chose to stay inside this holiday break.
Without fail on any other given holiday break, weekend, or days off of school, our time is filled with fun activities, places to go, friends to see, and theme parks to visit. When my kids were both little, my husband and I worked full time. At the time I felt very guilty for being gone all the time.
I did my best to make up for it on my days off and I would fill up their schedules and my own, not realizing we were burning ourselves out.
I would make sure we had passes to all the greatest theme parks. We would go to all the seasonal holiday festivities and spend boat loads of money and endless hours “entertaining” our kids. Although, we did make some great memories, my kids started to expect things.
They always wanted to know what was next instead of being in the present.
They were spoiled and I was creating this world of necessity. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing things with my kids and taking them to fun places. But it quickly began to not be fun anymore. I found my kids were getting bored even going to the happiest place on earth.
I really wanted them to see the world differently.
After many years of spoiling my kids rotten, I now work from home and for many years I tried to upkeep the momentum of staying busy but I got tired and it became daunting. So the last couple of years have looked a little different for us. We do go to local theme parks every now and then. We sometimes participate in local holiday festivities.
But really what my kids love most is staying at home.
They enjoy sleeping in, taking their time to roll out of bed, eat breakfast, and not be rushed out the door. They enjoy sitting in their pajamas all day and actually prefer I cook them lunch than take them out. I remember this all happened so gradually, because at first they had a hard time letting go. They didn’t understand that it was ok to take time off and it took some time for them to learn how to relax again since they were always used to being on the go.
It made me sad because I was setting their expectations so high and in real life it wasn’t realistic. I wanted them to learn to enjoy the simple things because certainly they knew all too well about everything extravagant.
So for this winter break, we spent 3 glorious weeks at home.
It was pure bliss, besides the typical sibling rivalry and occasional bickering. There were no sports on the calendar, nowhere to be, no plans at all. We painted, did art, watched movies, cooked together, and just enjoyed the much-needed down time that we often never get because our daily obligations get the best of us. We had a few outings, but nothing really big or expensive.
My husband and I each took one of our kids out on a date. We visited with grandparents and cousins. And spent New Year’s Eve making homemade pizza and ice cream sundaes. We organized rooms, stayed up past our bedtime, read books, and sometimes they even napped. They are 9 and 14.
I believe that sometimes we often forget about the mental and physical break our bodies need.
It’s ok to do nothing, to spend nothing, and to still have FUN. Our kids are resilient and they don’t NEED all the things. They just need YOU.
So if you’re able to, the next time you have time off together consider having a day in.
Don’t put the pressure on yourself trying to make the most out of your time off with them by doing ALL THE THINGS over winter break or other time off from school. Because in the end, the other memories will fade but spending time with you in the kitchen making breakfast for dinner or sitting around the kitchen table playing games with them will stay with them forever.