Today is another Snow day in our area. Mrs. Lwil literally hasn't worked a full week in January. I think there've been 3 snow days, and 2 holidays in 4 weeks. That doesn't include the additional 2 hr delay she got on another day. I've written in the past about how important a schedule is and how it can impact finances and stress.
Snow days cost a lot. In addition to cooking, we also keep our son home on days like today, even though his daycare is open, and we've paid for the day no matter what we do. At the end of this school year, there could be make-up days, causing Mrs. Lwil to go later into the year, and Baby Lwil to go an extra week of day care. We have to get more gas for the snow blower if we end up using it. We once again infringe on the in-laws who were not anticipating us being home. I said to Mrs. Lwil, in jest at the time, "go teach the baby something." Thinking more about it, teaching the baby is the real benefit of snow days. Our son gets more time with both of us, he does things he wouldn't have done at school, and he learns not to rely on a rigid and strict schedule.
Today's snow day is a leisure day. Mrs. Lwil made breakfast for everyone, better than the typical cereal or "breakfast cookie" we usually have. She went out to shovel (my back's still hurting, and I'm also working). Now that those items are done, she can spend the rest of the day playing, while baby learns. They can draw, play games, play "guys" and tackle and hide & seek, go out and play in the snow, slide down the snow banks, build a snowman, snow angel, or snow fort. They can spend time cooking and cleaning up. Baby Lwil gets that much more time with his grandparents before they head off to Florida for the winter. Snow is a wonderful thing because it offers free things to do, and I'd take this over 100+ degree days in the summer where you don't want to be outside.
Sometimes I get a little too caught up in the budgeting and financial consequences of these unexpected days off that I lose sight of how incredible they can be for all of us. I won't lie either, I'm very jealous of her day off, while I'm in the basement working away. I'd estimate all of the expenses for today at $70 (expenses for food, missed daycare day, savings on gas for transport). This month has been different because of All the days off, that amount is closer to $300, which is still a significant amount to us at this point. It's impossible to figure balance cost against the value of the added things we've done though.
I'd be very curious to see how other budget focused people view days like these. I can't be the only one that struggles with balancing the cost vs. value of a day like today. Can I?