It has been a WIN-TER, mamas.
You may have noticed that it's been a while between blog posts (or not, either way). But, it has. And you know why? Because I live in Missouri and it's winter. What does that have to do with anything, you ask?
Parenting is harder in the winter and this year in particular has even given us midwesterners a run for our money. Let's start off with the basics. First of all, you have to check the weather every single day. And on the days you forget to add this simple task to your already mile-long to-do list you're often sending your child way over- or under-dressed to school which comes along with some really self-reassuring looks of judgement at the store. (I almost said at the bus stop, but I take it back. I don't think any of us are judging each other out there any more.)
Beyond that, there are the clothes. I CANNOT WAIT for the laundry mountain to dwindle back down its standard-sized pile. Winter laundry is really excessive considering there are so many extra layers to deal with. Coats and hats and gloves, not to mention snow clothes for playing. There is just...more laundry. And now beyond matching socks (which psshhh does anyone aim for that still?) you're matching gloves which are actually seen by other people and it looks pretty bad if your six-year-old is wearing an adult glove on one hand and a toddler mitten on the other. Hypothetically, of course....
Now we're getting to the fun part! Mother Nature has really shown us her best work this year. She is a multi-faceted queen of varying precipitation types. From ice to snow to rain to thundersnow. We've been hit with it all. Every midwest mama can relate to the little bead of panic that drips down her forehead every time she sees that little snowflake during her added daily weather-checking. Better get this day going now! School might get out early! Or they'll be off tomorrow when I have 5-hours of meetings or have scheduled all of my own appointments for once while the kids will reliably be at school because that's how it works.
When my phone rings at the exact same moment my husband's text message alert goes off that's when I know it's happened. School's out tomorrow. Then there's this moment of silence if we're laying in bed before one of us drums up the courage to ask, "Can you take this one?" We lay there scanning our work calendars, evaluating meetings, texting the neighbor teens to find a way to juggle our kids around like hot potatoes for 8 hours in the day. It. Is. Exhausting. And often expensive.
And when Mother Nature gives us a little glimpse of hope with normal weather patterns, the flu happens. Without a doubt when school's in for a full week without any weather delays or cancellations, you end up with a sick one at home and puke buckets or dirty tissues scattered throughout the house. Of course, not everyone will be sick all at the same time. It will make its way through your household one by one so the misery just keeps on giving.
I think we can do this mamas. I think the end is near. I see the buds of tulips peeking through my flower beds and I have hope that spring will actually come. And when it does, we will emerge from buckets of puke and piles of dirty tissues and layers of snow clothes and mazes of box forts our normal human selves.
We will breathe deep, full breaths of air untainted by the scent of Lysol that will gloriously not turn our nose hairs into icicles.
We will hear the sounds of bees buzzing as the sound of yet another snow day call/text/email fades to a distant memory.
We will wake up without putting the sacred school-day hours at the mercy of the level of moisture in the clouds.
We will be able to actually work our full-time jobs, buy groceries and maybe even get our nails or hair done.
We will dress our children in one set of clothing that is weather-appropriate for the entire day of school.
We will sleep the whole night through without so much as a single teaspoon of Tylenol or subtle beep-beep-beep of the thermometer.
Can you hear that? It's the faint sound of a bird chirping, the buses reliably running and your life returning to its regularly scheduled chaos.
This post was originally shared on the author's blog, Please Bring Coffee, which offers humble ramblings about surviving parenthood on laughter and luke-warm coffee.