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Rainy day forces moms to be creative

By Staff
Michelle Blaylock, Mom's Corner
I have a riddle for you: What do you get when you cross a hurricane, six kids, four dogs, two parakeets and one mommy? The answer: six bored kids and one tired mommy. I have to admit I used to see bad weather days as something to endure as opposed to something that can be very useful. Yes, I did say useful.
Several years ago I began to look at it like this: I can sit around and have a pity party. I can whine that the weather isn't nice. I can't go to the pool. My garden is slowly but surely flooding. My kids are bored. Overall, I'm just unhappy and it just isn't fair. My other option is to look for ways I can use the day and find ways to enjoy my kids, instead of wanting to lock myself (or the kids) in a closet.
I can't say that I'm really looking forward to being "rained in" over the next few days, but as Daddy used to tell me, "I don't believe your opinion was asked." There are just some things, like the weather, we don't have any control of and never will.
So I began to ask myself some questions: When was the last time I sat down and colored with my kids? When was the last time we went through pictures and took a walk down memory lane? When did I last sit down and watch a movie with my kids? Not put a movie on for them, but sat with them and enjoyed one? When was the last time I really took the time to read to my kids? Since all but one can read now, I don't take as much time to read to them.
So obviously there are things to do on rainy days. We do have one tradition at the Blaylock home. Ask any of my kids what happens when it rains and they'll more than likely tell you that Mommy bakes "Rainy Day Snickerdoodles." We also usually pick out some movies we haven't seen in a while and have some popcorn.
Of course, as my kids have grown they are more independent and don't need me to find ways to entertain them as much. We still have problems with arguments, but my rule is that if you can't play together and work out your differences, then I'll stop whatever activity you're doing and make you play by yourself. This is fairly effective because it can get awfully lonely by yourself.
I had one mother comment she hates rainy days because all she seems to be able to do all day is clean up after her kids. This can be a problem. My solution is to allow messes within reason, but also make the kids do as much of their own clean up as possible. For example, if they put on a play, I make them put away all their costumes and props before they move on to another activity.
Another way to use this day is to work on some of those academic skills we've neglected. For example, siblings can practice reading to one another. Since I usually bake on days like this, the kids can help read the recipe and measure the ingredients.
If you're into the craft scene, then rainy days are a great time to introduce your favorite craft to your child (i.e. kids can't go anywhere so you've got their undivided attention). Crafts are also great to help children learn to follow directions.
One mom shared with me that she uses rainy days to clean out a closet. She rotates which closet she cleans and has the child or children whose closet it is help her to clean it. She says since she started this several years ago that the kids closets seem to stay much neater. She says she doesn't know if it's because the kids don't want to clean the closets so they keep them cleaner or if it's because she cleans them more often!
Another mom shared that she likes to use rainy days to scrapbook. She said she always gets at least double prints so that her kids can have their own set of pictures to use for scrapbooking.
Rainy days also remind me to check our emergency supplies. This is a good time to review the dates on foods, medications, and other emergency supplies. I can also take time to check the flashlights and batteries.
As with many things in life, it's how we choose to look at the situation that determines our mood. I have mentioned just a few things that we can do when the sky wants to cry. There are many, many more things. So instead of my pity party, I've used my day wisely and hopefully spent some quality time with my kids. (Well, I've tried anyway!)
I'm collecting back to school ideas so please send me your ideas! If you have a hint, tip, or question for Mom's Corner, please send it to: Mom's Corner; P.O. Box 1496; Hartselle, AL 35640 or e-mail: moms-corner@juno.com

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