Is the winter getting you down? Here are some ways you can get through it…because we’re all barely hanging in there and the white stuff keeps falling!!!!! (Some of my advice is terrible, so you’ll have to sort through it yourself)
1. Take your kids sledding almost every day. It is as horrid as it sounds, but the more you get out into the white stuff, the more you don’t feel trapped inside (physically and emotionally). You think it’s fun at first, but by the 4th month of climbing up the mountain a million times, praying your children don’t crash, and constantly trying to help your four year old get his little willy out of the seven layers he is wearing before he pees himself, you’re pretty much done. Also, you think getting them ready for school is hard? Try getting their 20 pieces of snow gear on and off and dried and organized every day; it’s like a full time job to just keep them warm. Also, my car has mold growing on the floor boards because they are never dry- I don’t know how this helps you in any way, but you should know how often we sled so you will understand my pain. The alternative is to stay inside and clean all day long because that’s basically what winter is: constantly keeping people warm, wiping their noses, feeding them, and cleaning. Go sledding if you want to survive….
2. Say positive things about the snow around others so you feel like you’re holding it all together or so you can feel like winter is important. When people start to complain, say undermining things like, “I’m SO thankful for the snow pack this year because I always think about that summer with all of the fires”. This is usually followed by silence because the other person doesn’t know what to say back. This is a great way to feel superior, even though you sometimes cry yourself to sleep after being trapped in the house for four days straight with so many children. Stay strong– at least on the outside. Also, playing mind games with other people is another good way to get through winter, like make lots of plans and cancel them because of the weather, or make giant big-foot prints at the sledding hill just to freak everyone out. Fake that you’re fine and you’ll make it.
3. Try to do things you would normally do in Summer anyways. Like taking your dog fly fishing with you on a windy day, with a 19 degree F read on the thermometer before wind chill factored in. And then pretend that when you are trying to hike through the 4 ft of snow to just get to the river, and you end up crawling, that it’s a really fun adventure. Make sure you take a bunch of pictures so others know how brave and fearless you are being. When you step in a snow berm and drop all the way through the snow to your belly button, just act like you are there to work out and think of all the ways your abs are getting stronger for summer. Snow that high is also great for icing your old knees that try to protest you’re ideas of adventure.
Make sure you post all over social media about the amazing day you had with your dog, and leave out the small details, such as: you only fished for an hour because your guides froze up (no mom, I didn’t have a guide with me that was freezing), or your dog wouldn’t get out of the water so it was shaking like an idiot, or you were choked up a bit when you saw a dead baby moose but then looked through your car for some scissors to get a piece of it’s hair for tying flies, and for sure don’t mention that your dog threw up all over your car on the way back from your ‘epic’ day and you thought you could suck it up in the vacuum but it was too chunky so you had to vacuum some snow so the next person wouldn’t have dog chunks in their car… you’re welcome. See snow is really good for getting dog chunks out of vacuums….That was positive.
4. Focus on the benefits of being sick in the winter, because if you don’t, you’ll likely abandon your family and move somewhere tropical. Being sick every single week in the winter is great because you don’t miss out on any plans, because no one wants to leave their house in the winter; so you basically have nothing better to do than be sick. And you can use it as an excuse to do absolutely nothing besides watch thousands of hours of Netflix with your children and not feel guilty about it. Your boss may call to check if you really are THAT sick, so make sure you talk to them in the morning when your voice is still really gruff. To truly get through the relentless sick months, make sure you watch a plethora of documentaries about third-world-countries, or people that live in tiny houses in the Arctic; it will make you appreciate your tribe and your over-cluttered home. Stock up on the medicine and food, and don’t tell anyone on facebook you are sick or you will get private messages about the oils you need to use or the vitamins you need to buy. Just saying, if you want to make it all the way through, try not to let anyone know you are weak. And if you get the stomach flu more than once, lucky you, you’re one step closer to your summer bod! #thinkingpositive
5. This is the most important trick to get through winter, and it’s a two-fold plan: make planning for summer a priority, like even if you happen to google “how far from here do I have to drive to get somewhere warm”, do it (not saying I did that last week). Book that camping spot on the coast and make sure you post your plans on social media so everyone knows how prepared you are and how you’re not hiding in a winter closet, rocking and repeating “be gone, father winter/satan”. The second most important thing you need to do is to unfollow all of your friends that either have a differing political opinion than yourself, or if they live somewhere warm. If they take really cool fish pictures, it doesn’t matter what they believe about walls, but the pictures have to be top notch. Plan on spending about half of your winter on social media and then the other half with an App Blocker for your social media accounts so you can break away your dependence on the drama and junk you fill your mind with. Try to remember ‘that’ person that posted those idiotic things are still involved in your life, and you shouldn’t really unfollow them in real life. Also try to remember that the world doesn’t really need your opinion, it needs your action and your example, so maybe instead of spouting off what you think, maybe try to use these harrowing winter months to educate yourself, improve your fly tying skills, or make sure your waders fit you by spring (now I’m thinking the winter isn’t long enough…see what I just did there?).
I know other parents do cool things like take their kids skiing or fly them to Hawaii for spring break or let them play their Xbox all day long. But my kids are mainly having awkward adventures; for example, they just spent an hour watching us burn some boxes in our driveway, in the middle of a snow storm, and they thought it was such a blast.
We’ve done tons of experiments, art projects, had dance parties, and held daily discussions on what we presume the turkeys are up to in our neighborhood….but I’m running out of ways to stay positive….Spring, come quickly! *eye twitch*
If you have any other great ways to cope with winter, please comment! See, even outdoor moms get sick of the winter! Good luck and God Speed!