Sarah Carter Studio » artist | photographer | writer | advocate

for the love of all that’s holy! (or: the way I’m staying sane with two kids home this winter)

The Carter house has gone mad, people. This happens every year, so in all honesty, I can’t really act surprised. Every year at this point, we start getting stir crazy. We start picking at each other more, our patience wears extra thin, and it can feel like we’re ready to jump out of our skin.

Welcome to February in the midwest.

Usually, the pattern goes from uneasy trepidation as the temperature drops to cheery resolve as we enter the holidays, and once Christmas is packed up for another year,  it takes a sharp nosedive into wretched, bone-chilling despair and general wallowing. Even my sunny children are not immune to this phenomenon.

The added bonus this year is that I’m homeschooling, so there is never not a tiny person with me. I’ve run into SO MANY walls in my homeschool experiment as the temps have fallen. What on earth are we supposed to do all day, every day, just the two of us???

(I realize I’m being dramatic but I ask you to kindly allow me this because life is hard. Because of the winter.)

After several days in a row of togetherness, my kids begin to turn on one another and it quickly becomes real Hunger Games up in here. Yesterday I had had enough (enough!) of this business.

I sat them down on the couch and told them, “Listen up people. We are not going to live like this. Okay? We belong to each other, and you two are practice for what it means to be a decent human. This is human school happening here every day, and based on the treatment by both of you creatures this week, I have grave concerns about the future of our planet. I can see that we have some work to do on the ways we channel our energy and basic decency and thoughtfulness. Because the fact is, we’re stuck with each other, FOREVER.”

They sat there, blinking at me. I think I freaked them out a little. And I’m okay with that. I devoted this morning to researching ways to eliminate screen time and offer alternative options for creative play. I’m a firm believer in boredom as a good, vital part of life. I think my kids could use a reset on how we do things around here. So I made a list, stuck one on the fridge and another on the kid’s bathroom mirror, and beginning Monday, this is our new reality. WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD, KIDS.

I thought just maybe I might not be the only one who is dealing with this particular sort of madness so am adding the list here as well. It may or may not be useful for you, but if nothing else, its a reminder that us parents are in this together and we’re all just doing the best we can, dammit. God bless us, every one.

Also, I’m putting together an idea list of items I’ve ordered and researched on Amazon that will hopefully aid this endeavor. View it here!


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