Romper

Screw Cabin Fever — My Kids Are Going Outside This Winter, Come Hell Or High Water

Courtesy of Gemma Hartley

The first snow has fallen on the ground outside, covering everything in glittering white. Our quiet street is peaceful in the dense silence. Or at least I assume it would feel this way, if I weren’t harboring a snow-crazed toddler who keeps screeching that she would like to make snow ice-cream and go skiing, despite the fact that there is a mere few centimeters of powder on the ground.

As I look toward the long winter ahead of me, I know the magic will soon wear off and my kids’ cabin fever will set in. And boy, am I not looking forward to that day.

As much as I might love a good Pinterest crafting afternoon (at least in theory), I do not have the patience to spend day after day turning paper plates and pipe cleaners into bad wall decor. I can only feed them so many mugs of hot cocoa with marshmallows before their stomachs start to hurt and my parenting is put into question. I mean, thank God for Netflix, but let’s face it — at some point, while my kids are stuck inside, I'm probably still going to have have way too many hours of the day to fill.

So I have decided that this winter, my kids are spending time outside, come hell or high water.

Courtesy of Gemma Hartley

The truth is, there are only so many hours I can stay inside with my darling children before the urge to strangle myself with a Cheerios necklace overcomes me. Keeping them inside all day, every day because there’s a little (or a lot) of snow on the ground? It’s just not going to happen, my friend. I don't care if there are three or three hundred inches of snow on the ground — my kids are going outside this winter.

If my kids learn one skill this winter, you can bet it will be fully dressing themselves in snow gear in five minutes or less. I will give prizes and bestow honors upon the child who is quickest to get out the door.

In fact, when the first snow fell this year and I wasn’t prepared with proper snow gear, I did not let that deter me from sending my kids outside. I duct-taped their too-short snow pants to their boots to keep out water, then sent them out the door. If my kids learn one skill this winter, you can bet it will be fully dressing themselves in snow gear in five minutes or less. I will give prizes and bestow honors upon the child who is quickest to get out the door. I will throw chocolates into the snow like they are diving rings at the summer pool. They’ve got water-proof gloves on. They’ll survive.

Courtesy of Gemma Hartley

I mean, what kind of a mother would I be if I didn’t prepare them to survive in the harsh winter weather? My kids will know how to build igloos, fashion sleds from whatever is lying around in the backyard, and possibly hunt small game in the snow out of sheer necessity. I’m making them more hearty by sending them outside. That’s solid survival parenting right there.

When all’s said and done, these parenting tactics might be a little more self-serving than I'd like to admit, but at least I know my kids won’t suffer from cabin fever. Sure, they might get a little frostbite, but isn’t that worth it in exchange for a sane and stress-free mama? I think we all know the answer to that is yes.