Winters are Hard
Written by: Trish Moser
Winters here in the Midwest can be long and hard.
There are a variety of reasons that us moms here in Indiana start to feel like crazy people. However, there are really just two major factors that turn our brains to mush.
First of all, the weather here is RUDE. A few days ago, it was 45 degrees and I was running around in a hoodie and jeans. Yesterday it was raining and cold, so I wore my winter coat and rain galoshes around town. Today it is hovering at the freezing point, which means the sky can’t decide whether it should rain or snow, causing for cold wetness on my face and slippery sidewalks under my feet. Back to the winter gear for us!
See what I mean? THE WEATHER IS RUDE. If it would just be snowy and cold, it would be fine. If it would simply be 45 and fair, it would be fine. NO ONE APPRECIATES YOUR MOOD CHANGES, MIDWEST WEATHER.
The second reason the winters seem to drag on until The Lord returns here in the Midwest is the cabin fever. Because the weather is rude (see above), we can’t really ever seem to get out of this house. My kids are stuck inside because it is either beautifully sunny but the temperature of a polar vortex, or it is warm with gray skies while the ground is one giant mud pie.
So that’s where we are today.
Every time the dog comes inside, there are muddy footprints all across the house.
Every time one kid doesn’t get his or her way, all the kids melt down.
But do you know what we need? We need less complaining about these dumb winters and more solutions to our problems!
One day I got in a proactive mood (weird, right?), and I made a list with my kids. Our list was comprised of all the things we could do this winter when we start to lose our ever-loving minds.
My hope is that this list will inspire you to take this winter into your own hands, and use the time being cooped up together to really get to know your kids better.
So here goes…
- Board/card games – Our favorites are Candy Land, Settlers of Catan Jr., Ticket to Ride Jr., Honeycombs, garbage, Disney Meme, Disney Apples to Apples, Don’t Wake Daddy, UNO Attack, and Skipbo. Really, any game will do.
- Family movie night – These days, we rely heavily on The Sandlot, Secondhand Lions, Lilo & Stitch, George of the Jungle, The Greatest Showman, and Detective Pikachu.
- Family reading night – It’s exactly how it sounds. We each grab reading material of our choice, and we pile into the living room with our blankets and pillows. We settle in for a long stretch (which could mean 15 minutes or an hour depending on the hoodlums), and we read. We cuddle each other, we snack on popcorn, and my husband and I find great joy in hearing our kids chuckle at their books. For our five-year-old, her reading material might include the Lego magazine or a stack of picture books. Reading the pictures is still reading!
- Invite our friends over – This sounds simple, but let me be clear. After school is when the kids’ friends come over. After supper is when OUR friends come over. We have special people in our lives that all five of us call friends. They are adults that we have specially chosen to be present in our kids’ lives because we rely on them to the fill the spaces in their hearts that we can’t.
- Play “The Floor is Lava” – This is pretty self-explanatory. Throw some blankets and pillows on the floor, countdown from three, and jump on a chair to avoid the lava at all costs! *Disclaimer: This game causes some head bumps and severe lava burns upon contact with the molten floor. Play at your own risk.
- For the girls, we paint each other’s toenails (if it’s messy, you can hide it in your shoes!) and spray in hair coloring. This has been known to lighten up a sour attitude and turn around our bad attitudes. Once in a while I even convince my son to paint my toenails for me.
- Craft Crap – This is what we call our box of craft supplies. We drag it all out and cover the windows with paper snowflakes and use our imaginations to make snow monsters out of paper towel rolls and construction paper.
- And then whatever random whim pops in our heads!
This list does not include a lot of what we have been doing this winter. Some things were so random and spur of the moment that I don’t even remember what they are. The point is not to do things that are picture perfect, but rather to do things that bring joy to our hearts and warms our souls.
Warm up your hearts this winter with loving each other first. You won’t regret it.
*Also, I asked my daughter what her favorite thing is that we have done so far this year. She said, “Oh I know! We bought dog food!” So…there’s that.
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