Local News

Parents balance children, work on snow days

Posted March 2, 2009 6:53 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:13 p.m. EDT

Snow days make fun, school-free time for students, while adults often struggle to handle double duty as parents and as workers.

Children enthusiastically threw themselves into snowball fights and building snowmen Monday after a night-long snowstorm dumped up to 7 inches in some areas.

"We don't get much snow in N.C., so I'm kind of excited," fourth-grader Zach Lollar, of Raleigh, said.

Parents, somewhat less enthusiastically, find their snow-day schedules determined by schools and day care centers.

"Once Wake County (schools) made their decision, it was pretty much made for me," parent Lee Pipkin.

Kim Drumgo, of Raleigh, said she has three children in three different schools, which were all closed.

"You kind of go into a plan-B mode, and you figure out what's going to be open, what (work) I can do from home, what meetings do I have to cancel," Drumgo said. "We had the snow in January and had to the same thing – just go with the flow, figure it out."

Some parents said they figured that if they couldn't go into work, they'd bring it with them.

Craig Herman settled in to work at Monkey Joes kids' indoor playground while his children played.

"It actually works really well," he said. "The background noise is so high that it's not really that distracting."

Some parents said that having a flexible work schedule has helped them out on snow days and often kept them from having to use up vacation or sick time.

Others said they anticipate having to find ways to be a little more productive in the coming days.

"It just makes you work a little bit differently and, when you have days like this, often work harder trying to compensate for not being in the office," Drumgo said.

Whatever solutions parents find to their work dilemmas, children's schedules rule, at least for snow days.

"Whatever the kids want to do, that's what we do. Keep them busy, get them tired – hopefully, they'll go to bed early," Pipkin said.