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Go Ask Mom

Amanda Lamb: Snow days at work

Posted March 1, 2015

I get it. Parents are absolutely exhausted after spending days at home with their children who are out of school because of snow.

Those who work outside the home are forced to work from home or take valuable vacation time. Those who don't work outside the home are used to spending school hours getting things done, but on these days they have to put aside important tasks to tend to a house full of kids with cabin fever.

And then there are those parents who have to work no matter what. They scramble to cobble together child care. They brave the icy roads in a North Carolina car that is most likely not very fit for winter weather. And then they worry all day long about their children, especially those old enough to be left alone for a few hours, but not always old enough to have good sense.

Here are some of the calls from home I received on recent snow days:

"Mom, how do you turn the oven off? I turned it on, but I don't how to turn it off?"

"Mom, when are you going to be home? I need eight pages of red construction paper for a project right now!"

"Mom, I don't have any snow boots. What shoes should I wear outside in the snow?"

Many exhausted parents would probably trade places with me in a nanosecond, fielding these calls and putting out fires over the phone from their offices. But then again, when your office is a snowy street and temperatures are dipping down into the teens, it's not such an appealing scenario.

The truth is I've worked in an industry for 25 years where weather trumps personal obligations. It's something I made a choice to do. But sometimes I'm not so sure that the big white fluffy flakes blowing in my face or the sleet soaking down into my bones are more important than the red construction paper.

So, to all you parents out there who must work on snow days, I understand how conflicted you feel. I know what it's like to never have been sledding with my children. Sure, I've seen pictures. They look like they were having a whole lot of fun without me.

Someday, I will watch the weather unfold from the comfort of my home with a mug of hot chocolate. Chances are my kids will be too old to go sledding by then, but there's always grandchildren ...

Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including some on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.

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