Photo: Sarah Ashman

8 Struggles All Parents In The Northeast Face During Winter

By
Share
Ad failed to load

There are a million reasons I would never want to live anywhere but the Northeast. I love it here. It's beautiful! I like having easy access to so many amazing cities (New York! Boston! Philadelphia!) as well as some of the most bucolic settings you'll find anywhere in America (The Hudson Valley! Or my home turf, Litchfield County, Connecticut!). I even love being among the "east coast liberal elite," even if it's said pejoratively (you can't shame me, Trump). I lived in Los Angeles for almost two years, and that experience has led me to adopt an oft-repeated adage of us Northeasterners: I wouldn't want to live anywhere without seasons.

Well...

Season are great. I love all the seasons... but winter really pushes it. It's not so much that it's awful. Snow is cool. Even cold has its place! Sledding, ice skating, building igloos, skiing, wearing knit caps without looking like a douchebag poseur — these are all wonderful. But come on, winter? Do you have to stay for so damn long? Like, I would be perfectly happy to give you from my brother's birthday, December 16, to the third Monday in February. I think that is perfectly reasonable. Surely you could get all the snow, sleet, ice and all out of your system by Presidents Day! But no. Here in the Northeast, winter can hit as early as October and go until the end of April. That is just too damn long.

Ad failed to load

And you know what makes it even worse? Having to manage your kids throughout the winter. Winter is hard on everyone up here, but parents have a tougher time than most. Here's why...

Ad failed to load

The Layers

Giphy

When it comes to children past infancy, anything more than a single layer of clothing runs the risk of becoming a battle. (And sometimes even a single layer of clothing is asking too much, which is why my kids run around naked all summer.) They complain that the clothing is too hot, too itchy, or feels funny because the seams aren't resting exactly parallel to their elbows as specified in their contracts. (You know the contracts upon which they have listed their specific demands which you have never actually seen let alone signed.)

Complain though they may, you as a Northern parent understand that anything less than, like, fourteen layers is basically just volunteering for hypothermia, so you go for it, day after day. Of course, then there's the business of stripping off the coat once you finally get them into their car seat (for safety reasons) and then hurrying to put it back on as soon as possible once you unbuckle them.

Layers are a completely necessary, massive pain in the ass, is what I'm saying.

Cabin Fever

Tumblr

My charming and sweet sister-in-law, who lives in Southern California, posts pictures of her kids on the playground in February. I check her local weather and it's usually in the mid-60s. I stare into the abyss and hear Simon & Garfunkle's "The Sound of Silence" start to play as my children run around my small apartment in circles, screaming as they dump every single toy they own onto the floor. I look out my window and gaze at the gray sky and the gray roads and the snow that was once white but is now gray and another little piece of my soul dies. By January, I've stopped crying when this happens. I ran out of tears around January 7.

Snow Days

Giphy

So it's not that we don't want to see our children, it's just that snow days throw them at us when we were in no way expecting to have to catch them. It's like, "OK, it's 7 a.m. Let me do these chores and then get everyone ready and off to daycare and then I'll go to work," and then Old Man Winter is like "HA! WRONG! HERE'S YOUR KID! I'M CLOSING YOUR DAYCARE FACILITY! FIND SOMEWHERE ELSE TO BRING THEM TODAY!" And it's like, "Well, crap, this is really inconvenient, Old Man Winter, because I have nowhere else to bring them and I have to go to work." And then Old Man Winter throws his head back and laughs because he's a total a-hole. I didn't know daycare facilities close sometimes until I was a working mom, but it totally happens.

As a current stay-at-home mom, I can tell you that snow days continue to blow. My kids go to preschool three mornings a week. I rely on those mornings to write, do chores, and get errands and appointments in that I can't do with them in tow. Snow Days throw off those mornings and create a domino effect throughout the rest of the week.

Ad failed to load

Finding Excuses Not To Go Play Outside

Giphy

Kids see snow and they want to play outside. You see snow and you see all the massive amounts of layering you're going to have to do. You also see how damn cold it is out and realize that you're going to have to be out there with them. Kids don't feel cold, but you sure as hell do, and it's not pleasant. Sure, romping about with your kids in the snow is fun... sometimes. It's not an every day sort of pleasure. Pro-tip: you can probably distract them from wanting to play outside by offering them hot chocolate instead. Honestly, the thought of hot chocolate when he comes inside is half  the reason my son wants to go out in the snow, anyway.

Ice And Snow Adds At Least 10 Minutes To Any Commute

Giphy

This is even assuming you don't have to dig your way out of your driveway, which blows and can take hours if you don't have a snowblower. Even on a "good" day, you probably have to scrape ice off your windshield and drive slower than usual to account for roads that have narrowed because of massive piles of snow and ice slicks. Considering every child you have automatically adds about 10 minutes to your getting out of the house under the best of circumstances (not even including all the damn layering you're going to have to do), you're going to need, like, 14 hours to get ready to go anywhere.

Mud And Puddles All Over The Floor

Giphy

Either you have to resign yourself to the idea that the area in front of your door will remain a muddy pond for the next few months, or your kids will forget to take off their shoes when they come inside and track the stuff all over the house. Either way, I hope your mop is in working order, because you're going to be using it a ton.

Ad failed to load

Kids Have A Very Difficult Time Moving In The Snow

Gifsoup

OK, it's hilarious to see their tiny, uncoordinated little legs try to walk through snow. But it's also annoying if you have stubborn children like mine who insist upon walking absolutely everywhere by themselves and do not accept assistance of any kind. To exacerbate this problem...

Kids Freak Out If So Much As A Single Snowflake Touches Their Skin

Giphy

So it's like, "I want to play in the snow!" and then all of a sudden you hear them wailing and you think, "Oh no! That snow must be filled with battery acid and razor blades!" but it turns out they just got a fingertip sized amount of snow between their coat and mitten.

Yes, parenting throughout the Northeast winter is not for the feint of heart. When times get tough, just do what I do and remind yourself that you only have to go through a very wet spring and humid summer to get to the glory of your next Northeastern fall...

Giphy

Images: Courtesy of Sarah Ashman; Giphy(7); Gifsoup; Tumblr

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

21 Moms Share The Most Surprising Part About Having A C-Section

Honestly, I don't think we, as a culture, talk about C-sections nearly enough, especially considering so many mothers experience them. And because of a number of factors, the little we do talk about it always seems to be a familiar narrative: "It's n…
By Jamie Kenney

13 Yummy Instant Pot Recipes To Make Under 30 Minutes

An Instant Pot seems to be the must-have appliance in every kitchen these days. If you are anything like me and never knew the beauty of a Instant Pot, you are about to have your life changed. Basically, you put some ingredients into a pot, set the t…
By Kristin Manna

9 Things The First Six Months Of Motherhood Will Teach You About Your Baby

Personally, the first six months of motherhood was a mixed bag. I learned some harsh lessons about myself that made taking care of my baby seem overwhelming. For example, I was clueless, and no amount of research could help me feel like anything but …
By Steph Montgomery

These Photos Of North West Then & Now Will Take You On A Sweet Trip Down Memory Lane

When Kim Kardashian welcomed her first daughter, North West, with her husband, Kanye West, in 2013, her whole life was changed. The social media and reality TV star became a mom for the first time and her Instagram presence took a very adorable turn.…
By Casey Suglia

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

This Is What It Means If Your Pregnancy Test Changes Overnight

The time between when a woman suspects she might be pregnant and when it is confirmed for sure is the longest of her life. Regardless of whether you are hoping for a positive or a negative result, the odds are good that you are sweating bullets when …
By Shannon Evans

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

This Woman Thought She Had An Eyelash Stuck In Her Eye. Then It Moved.

I'm not a person who is easily icked out. As a kid, I collected bugs and thought I was going to be an entomologist and asked Santa Claus for ant farms and nets to catch bees. I'm still super curious about anything that flies and crawls, which might s…
By Karen Fratti

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

8 "Mistakes" I'm Glad I Made During My First Pregnancy

As an adult, I've learned you never really stop hating being told what to do. When I was pregnant I was getting instructions at every turn, from doctors, relatives, and complete strangers on the subway. I would nod and smile but then go about making …
By Liza Wyles

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack