Before I became a parent, I had an idea of the kind of parent I would be in the winter. It looked like this:
My children would constantly be in adorable woolen clothing and we’d spend our weekends casually churning butter and baking homemade cookies in a spacious, immaculate kitchen. We’d sing little songs to one another while working on our penmanship. When it snowed, we’d quickly get on our winter gear to all happily go cross-country skiing. After a few hours, we’d return home with pink cheeks and have hot cocoa by the fire. We’d sit around, lounging and reading. And then we’d turn in for the night.
In reality, winter and parenting looks like this: Showing up a bounce house at 9 a.m. in your pajamas at a strip mall in New Jersey, with 30 other harried and disheveled parents, counting down the many (many) hours until bedtime.
With small children and winter, there is no hygge. There is only survival.
Don’t get me wrong. We do go outside in the winter as we own the gear to make being outside with small kids not so cold. But no one ever told me how hard it is to 1. Find said gear. 2. Put it on your children. And here’s a tip: Little children don’t really like to be outside where it’s cold. They’d rather be warm. So once you get on everything, they immediately want to go back inside.
They also don’t like wool sweaters because they are “too itchy.” And you’ll never sit around by a fire with little children reading because, guess what? Kids don’t read until, like, 6. And they very much want to fall into a fire. And to get a glass insert for a fireplace to contain the heat and smoke? It costs around $4k. And lol at having 4K to spend on a fireplace (I am saving that for Botox).
Going outside with kids is such a pain in the ass, it’s easier to stay inside with your wrinkly forehead where you don’t bake cookies or churn butter. Because that immaculate kitchen in your parenting fever dreams? The only way it stays immaculate is if you don’t use it. And with small children, you are constantly using it because all they do is forcibly demand nourishment. (And why did I ever think we would churn butter together? That’s weird.)
So, here we are, in the middle of November. Kit is napping, Sam is watching Paw Patrol, I’m typing on a laptop. My sweet husband took all of the AC units out of the windows so at least we have that going for us. The dog is farting something fierce. In a little bit, I’m going to go clean out our cars, to see if I can find what is making them smell so bad.
We always have the bounce houses of New Jersey to keep us occupied.
We have five more months of this. May God be with us all.