Why My Family Is Doing Nothing for Spring Break

Doing nothing over spring break? Join my club.

Prepare yourselves, friends. The outpouring of beach selfies and family photos on the slopes is headed our way. Instagram and Facebook will boast images of families living it up from coast to coast. My family? The only surfing we’ll be doing is channel-surfing, and you know what? I am so freaking excited. This old soul is yearning for afternoon naps and late-night Netflix binges and quiet mornings spent reading on the porch. 

There is something about the onset of spring that leaves me feeling like I’ve run back-to-back marathons. We’ve gotten back into the groove after a wonderful winter break, we survived the Texas winter (if you can call it that), and now we are heading into spring knowing the scorching summer will inevitably follow.

Even the pugs are throwing shade.

And I’m tired. I’m tired of making 28 deals with the devil to get my children dressed and out the door every single morning. I’m tired of afternoon meltdowns because the slide is too hard and the popcorn isn’t salty enough. I’m tired of emails and voicemails and meetings and wearing real clothes five days a week.

The kids come home from preschool exhausted and begging for stay-home days, and for the love of all things holy, I FEEL THEM. We have grown weary of early mornings and long workdays and have found ourselves in a perpetual state of low-grade grumpiness. Even the pugs are irritable. 

And that, my friends, is why we are doing a whole lot of nothing over spring break.

Nothing. No plans. No staycations or vacations or long weekends or day trips. And it’s okay. For our family, these are some serious benefits to a week at home with no agenda — in no particular order, because I would never suggest that I place more value on a good, hard nap than on a game of Candyland with a kid who can’t follow the ever-loving rules. 

Sleep

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash.

Rest. Nap. God’s gift to us — whatever you want to call it, we need it. T and I are engaged in some sort of competition to win the “Most Exhausted Parent” award. I’m not sure who’s winning, but he can fall asleep sitting in our bed in less than five minutes on any given night, and I almost dozed off in the Target restroom. I wish I were kidding. Naps, movie nights, sleeping in — we’re doing all of it. 

Glorious Downtime

If I don’t get those 30 minutes before bed to stare blankly at my iPhone until my thumb literally aches from scrolling, I am not a happy camper. Guess what? Kids need that break, too. But somewhere along the way, we decided that children need a schedule chock-full of enriching activities in order to thrive. Well, I’m here to tell you that I won’t be making that happen this week. Children crave downtime, too. They benefit from the opportunity to use their imaginations to develop their own activities and play schemes. The stress we feel when our days are jam-packed with obligations and activities is not ours alone — children bear the weight of that stress as well.

A Much-Needed Break from Structured Life

Unstructured play is a great way to develop executive function skills. Executive function skills help children to remember information and filter out distractions, and increase their ability to stay focused on the task at hand. Free time allows children the opportunity to work together with their siblings or peers to achieve a goal. They learn to compromise, to share, and to negotiate for what they need throughout an activity. They sharpen their problem-solving skills and gain confidence in their ability to resolve challenging situations independently.

Actual footage of my car.

A Clean House

With busyness comes messiness, and for this mom, messiness is directly related to craziness. It’s been a hot minute since we’ve had the time or energy to really declutter our home, and the pile of mail on our countertop can no longer be ignored. Clean laundry is piling up on top of dressers and closet shelves while hangers swing emptily from the racks. Drawers are overstuffed with last year‘s summer clothing. My car is littered with discarded artwork and snack remnants. I’m ready for that swelling of pride you feel when you’ve arranged your spice rack alphabetically and your cup holders are free of debris. Bring it, spring break.

The Chance to Be Present

Sometimes I get the feeling that even though I’m here, living in the same home with my children, I’m somehow missing their childhood. Our days are so busy and over-scheduled that it seems I’m missing the opportunities to truly enjoy and connect with my family.

Instead of marveling at my daughter’s creativity or delighting in my son’s quirky sense of humor, I am in a perpetual state of hustle. If I’m pushing the kids on the swings, you can bet I’m thinking about the floor that needs to be mopped or the laundry that needs to be folded or the landscaping that should’ve happened last spring, and before I know it, I’m excusing myself to go vacuum the floors. It’s a nasty habit, and I’ve got to learn how to quit it — the important things in life have not a place on a to-do list. They surpass the list. 

I always say that I want more time to rest and relax, but some days I don’t think I understand what that truly means. And if I’m not able to do those things, how on earth will I ever teach my children the value of a quiet moment? 

So this spring break, we are going to practice doing nothing. We hope to be expert-level by the end of the week. If you need us, we’ll be hanging at home — in our sweatpants.

Amanda
Amanda is a New York girl living in a Texas world. In 2009, she followed her heart to the Lone Star state to Mansfield. She is wife to Timothy, and mother to Ryann and Grey. They love traveling and hunkering down at home with equal passion. Amanda is a speech pathologist by day and the maker of snacks, giver of baths, and the reader of bedtime stories by night. A lover of food and health, she spends an alarming amount of time researching plant-based recipes, experimenting in her perpetually messy kitchen, and of course, subjecting her family to the fruits of her labor. When not portioning out perfectly even snacks, you can find her at Orange Theory Fitness, in the Starbucks drive-thru line, reading anything, daydreaming about date nights, and planning the Fyfe family’s next adventure.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Yes, enjoy! We are having a low key spring break. Also, our first “non scheduled” summer in years! I. Can’t. Wait.

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