I’d wager that most of us who choose parenthood understand that our lives will be different after kids. However, what’s amusing to me are the various ways this can play out at different times of the year. For example, winter gets a bad wrap, but it’s still got lots of perks (in my opinion). Once kids are throw into the mix, there’s the extra cuteness of tiny hats and mittens, not to mention puffy snowsuits. In fact, there are a number of ways that winter is totally difference once you have a kid.
In some ways, it’s more challenging, and you’re stuck doing more time-consuming things when all you really want to do read books, wear scarves all the time and drink frothy beverages next to a fireplace for all hours of the day (actually, I want to do this throughout the year, but especially in the winter). In some ways, of course, it’s more awesome because you can enjoy your favorite things about the season with your kids, too.
While, yes, my son is still a bit too young for National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, you can bet that he will be ceremoniously introduced to it in the near(ish) future. Here are a few other ways that winter changes after kids arrive:
It Takes You Three Hours To Go Anywhere Because Of All The Zipping And The Layering
Not to mention removing all those extra layers when you arrive home is exhausting, especially when you’re doing it while chasing a giddy toddler.
Snow Days Are Still Glorious, But Slightly More Stressful
Do we have anywhere we need to be? Is work cancelled? Can we dig the car out of the driveway? Do we have everything we need at home? How much snow is expected? Do we have anything I can spike my coffee with?
You Can’t Exactly Hibernate
Gone are the days when wintery afternoons meant putting one’s feet up and refusing to move for an untold number of hours. Not only do kids require supervision, chances are high they'll get bored if you spend that whole time under a blanket.
You Have To Go Outside Even When You Don’t Want To
As a well-established homebody, I’m constantly struggling to accommodate my son’s requests to go outside. He rarely seems to notice when the weather’s extreme (or if he does, he doesn’t let on) and I’m pretty sure he’d frolic through the snow for hours if we’d let him.
Thankfully, I’ve got an adventurous partner who doesn’t mind sharing outdoor duties when the need arises, but I’m still mentally preparing myself for the treks through the snow I’ll surely be enduring soon.
You Will Never Have Enough Travel Mugs In Your Home
Before, my husband and I would go through one or two a day. Now, we’re using them constantly because we require hot beverages at pretty much all hours of the day. The weather, plus our toddler’s ability to run in circles around us, makes constant caffeine almost a necessity.
The Darkness Gets Really Old, Really Fast
I live in the Pacific Northwest, and when we’re in the thick of winter it gets dark way too early. I'm talking, like, 4:00 in the afternoon. I know, it’s brutal.
Thankfully, it’s been a gradual change, and it makes me miss the longer days of summer when post-dinner walks to the playground were a reality and not the stuff of my dreams.
Holiday Traditions Will Take A Little Longer To Complete, But Will Be All The More Sweeter
What’s that? Sorry, I can’t hear you over all this Christmas music and these jingling bells. My son’s still too young to be of serious help in the kitchen or when it comes to Christmas crafts, but it doesn’t really matter.
We can find ways for him to participate, and even though it slows down the process and makes a bit more of a mess, I’ll gladly take it.
Your Phone Will Be Full Of Pictures Of Your Kid(s) Playing In The Snow
I’d show you, but I don’t want to everyone’s heart to explode over his cuteness. Besides, you know what I’m talking about, your phones will look the same in a few weeks when the snow starts.
Fireplaces Aren’t Just Cozy Ambiance. They Are Scary Hazards.
Same thing goes the slippery snow everywhere, and Christmas ornaments with their sharp hooks of death. Beautiful, lovely parts of the season are now setting off my inner mom alarm as potential injury causes. And, a heads-up to everyone who comes over next month; all of our ornaments are hung four feet off the ground.
Say Goodbye To Your Fluffy White Sweaters
OK, technically you don’t have to say to say goodbye to them, but trust me; this is coming from someone whose white shirt literally got swiped with a colorful paint brush just yesterday. It’s best to pack them away until our kids are older.
Winter Clothes For Kids Are The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of
I can’t. I can’t. What is it about dressing a toddler boy like a tiny Liberal Arts professor that makes me melt? Winter is best for this because all the layers and corduroy are finally weather-appropriate.
You’ll Wonder What You Used To Do During The Holidays
I mean, logically, yes, I used to celebrate with my adult family members and we used to drink and eat and be merry and casually open gifts.
However, now I understand that those years were meant to be restful respites and to prepare me for my years of parenting, when everything is covered in glitter and twinkle lights, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.