I don’t know exactly how it happened, but last year I stopped hating winter in Minnesota. I can attribute it to a few friends who are winter (and generally just life) enthusiasts. I saw one post something to the effect of “there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear” and it’s true! I realized that I couldn’t change the weather, and I was just so tired of complaining about it. It also helps to have a husband who loves a rainy or snowy day, grey day.
The real kicker was when I took our middle son in for a check up and practically begged our kind doctor to tell me how I could get our son to sleep like a normal human being. He looked at the boy literally bouncing off the exam room walls and said “he needs to get outside” - he might as well have written it down as a prescription.
So there I was, bundling up two babies, strapping one to my back and shuffling behind the other in the middle of December. I made a plan for myself, and I wanted to share it with you in case you too are a winter hater and need a little bit of an attitude adjustment. Feel free to send me this post when I need it.
1. I got outside. Every day. Didn’t matter how cold, windy, or snowy it was. I got really good at layering everyone up, and I aimed for at least forty five minutes of outside time. The perk of babies in snowsuits, besides being adorable, is that they’re really slow. The threat of a child in a snow gear making a mad dash to the corner of the block is pretty minimal because they can barely move. So after breakfast we walked, and after dinner we walked, and we were all better for it.
2. I said “no” to a lot of things. Less playdates, coffee dates, park dates, etc. I needed a season of regrouping, and winter allowed me that. I also said “no” to feeling guilty about not doing more things because that’s what the warmer months are for. Summer is a season of getting out and enjoying the sunshine and going, going, going. Winter is my time to slow down the pace and take a closer look at the things in the interior that need tending to.
3. I said “yes” to a simpler, slower routine. This is really just something that more seasoned moms know, and I am still learning. Our mornings had a basic rhythm: get dressed, breakfast, clean up, walk, lunch, naps. Then I would take some time to rest, and start dinner early, keep everyone happy until dad got home, dinner, walk, baths, bed. It was really, really nice. Here’s a link to a little video I made of one of our walks.
4. I noticed things that were beautiful and specific to winter. Snow on our trees. The satisfying feeling after shoveling the walkway. The afternoon sunlight in our living room that deceivingly hid the fact that temps were in the single digits mosts days. The bright winter light that only happens when the world is covered in snow.
5. Finally, I made it a point to focus on my own health. For me that meant using a happy lamp, starting to work out regularly, and eating better. I started small and simple and tried to focus on one thing and doing that well first before adding another element.
We had our first semi-decent snowfall last night, and this early November morning had me feeling giddy, despite my children tearing the place apart. This season of slowing down, and settling in is here, and I am ready for it.