Home alone with the kids and the kitchen and it’s snowing

Winter in Maine is hardly ever without a few, or a lot of snow days. We all know how kids feel about snow days. We have an idea how mothers feel about them too. Does the phrase, “just threw a monkey wrench into my plans,” adequately describe it?

Kids home because schools are closed can be tough. If that’s not tough enough, add bored kids with no where to go. The malls and the movie theaters are closed and even if they weren’t your car is buried under a heavy, deep pile of snow and the snow plow has effectively sealed off your driveway until next spring.


Let’s face it; you’re stuck. The question is how do you get through the day with your sanity in tack and your diet fully functional? You could spend a snow day like classiegallie. There are also weight loss opportunities that come with falling snow.

The problem is when there’s kids in the house and you weren’t expecting them to be there, they somehow stimulate your appetite. Indeed, when you’re in the house and you weren’t supposed to be there, that too stimulates your appetite.

Somebody, sometime started a tradition of “snow day, let’s bake cookies.” Oh yeah, I bet you knew hot, fresh-baked cookies is also an appetite stimulus. So how do you stay home alone with kids and a kitchen on a snow day and keep moving towards your lower weight goal?

There’s a whole lot of snow out there. It may be easier to get the little kids out in to play with you, but you might have luck with the high school aged kids too. It’s worth a try. If they don’t want to play you can force them to go out to shovel and look like a fair and kind parent by telling them you’re going to help. They don’t need to know you’re going out there to get a workout and escape the temptations in the cupboards and fridge.

Little kids are pretty happy to have Mom join them in their snow play. Mom can get a great workout building snowmen, climbing snowy hills to slide down, and dragging youngsters on sleds.


When you get back inside, don’t start giving yourself messages about “deserving a treat.” Change your self-talk to how much fun you had outside and what a smart move you made choosing to burn calories rather than consume them. The success comes from how you talk to yourself, so keep your thought positive and encouraging.

Sometimes the weather is so bad there’s no going outside. If you’re really whacked the power might go off too. Now you’re really in a tough spot to manage kids and the kitchen. You can do it. With a little luck you have a fully charged device on which you can play music. How about a crazy dance party?  Maybe there is a wannabe Zumba instructor in the house. There is no better way to beat boredom than exercise and laughter.


Inside or outside the strategy is pretty much the same; it’s all in the way you talk to yourself and the kids.

  • Phrase things in the positive.
  • No point dwelling on how the snow wrecked everything.
  • You can’t change the snow, but you can change your attitude about it.

Keeping things positive helps, even when they’re bored and blaming you. If you’re struggling, the most positive thing you can say to yourself and the kids is, “it will all be over sometime. We can get through this.”

If you can’t stay out of the kitchen, it could be a great day to try a new recipe. Search for a lighter rendition of a family favorite. You could be really brave and try something new. Take out your magazines and cookbooks to find something that looks good and uses only ingredients you have on hand, or can borrow from the neighbor next door. In fact, why not invite the neighbors over to enjoy your delicious meal?

If the kids and the kitchen are more of a challenge than you can endure, don’t beat yourself (or them) up. Do the best you can. Keep your eye on the goal, and  use your imagination to discover your options. When you put yourself in an “I’m going to do this and I can do this,” frame of mind, you discover strength and power to see it through. That’s really good enough.

Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Weight Watchers success story. She's a weight loss expert with 25 years of experience guiding women and men to their weight-related goals. Her articles on weight management have been published in health, family and women's magazines. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news, FOX network morning program Good Day Maine and 207 on WCSH.