It’s March in Ohio, which has me thinking…will we as moms be prepping for more snow play, or will we not see our shadows when we come out from hibernating in our yoga pants? Why does this matter you ask? It probably doesn’t in the grand scheme of things. But after a month or two of cold, snow, and gray skies sprinkled in…I start to twitch, my heads spins, and steam comes out of my ears. This is even after a mild winter.
I like experiencing all the seasons living here in Ohio don’t get me wrong, but winter is probably my least favorite. I need sunshine and warmth on my skin. I’m not going to lie, one major reason winter is not my favorite season is because I hate preparing my kids, my husband (yes you read that correctly he always needs my help finding his stuff even though I thought I organized it), and myself to go play in the snow. Although, preparing the kids for the pool is probably a close second on my list, at least during the winter months.
It’s not that I am a lazy mother by any means. But I dislike doing laundry. Especially extra laundry. I also don’t enjoy the fight that my oldest always puts up to go anywhere. I know, I know first world problems. Isn’t anger a few steps before acceptance in the grieving process? Well, I’m getting there, I promise. Although, I would describe a day where the kids have been off of school playing in the snow, followed by going to indoor swim lessons as “The Perfect Stress Storm Icing,” on my already taxed tush cake.
Don’t get me wrong, once we are playing in the snow or the pool, I try to stay in the moment and enjoy it with my children. I will even admit I sometimes have that “I feel like a kid again” feeling riding on a tube down a steep hill at a good 40 mph plus, or a fast waterslide. I’m pretty sure though no parent is really enthused about spending a lot of time packing up bags, scavenging around looking for the missing glove or goggles, or wrestling and wrangling children to prep them for fun. Especially if they have a child who are sensitive to tight clothes, tags, and certain textures, or because of age or physical conditions causing them to not be able to help. So, I thought I would come up with some rules and tips to help relieve your stress, if you are anything like me, from these activities.
Rules and Helpful Tips of Seasonal Fun Prep:
The first rule of seasonal fun prep is that you should talk about it to your mom friends. It would be like some free type of therapy. Actually, the first rule is… making sure you have all the necessary clothing and equipment prepped.
Snow Prep TIP:
I keep all of these items together by family member in a large ziplock storage bag (with names labeled on), and place those bags in a big tub that I keep in our laundry area and/or hall closet during wintertime. All of the boots (with the fur) are lined up on a waterproof mat right inside our laundry room. When we come in from snow play, I immediately dry any wet clothes and then promptly put them back in the tub, organized to reduce my stress. (I’m Type A -.)
Swim Prep TIP:
I keep all of the necessary swim items grouped together into categories that make sense to me, in separate waterproof bags, within a bigger bag to take to the indoor or outdoor pool. Similar to snow play, upon returning home, I immediately take care of wet items and resupply anything that needs restocked (e.g. swim diapers, regular diapers, hair detangler, bandaids). Also, don’t forget to shave or wax your necessary parts and pieces if you will be at the public pool, and make sure your swimsuit is kid proofed so you don’t have a wardrobe malfunction.
The second rule is…that you MUST have your child/children go to the bathroom before any other prep (think getting clothes on) is done to take care of their business.
IF your child vomits or poops in the pool, quickly yell to the lifeguard, “Oh disgusting, someone had an accident in the pool. Who would let their child do this?” Only teasing, you should run like the wind with your child/children in tow.
The third rule is…timing is everything. Make sure you keep in mind your children’s napping schedule, eating schedules, the weather forecast, and in the case of the outdoor pool – learn the rest period schedule. There’s nothing worse than arriving at the pool with your eager children ready to jump in, only to have to wait for 15 minutes while the lifeguards twirl their whistles around their fingers.
The fourth and final rule is…lower your expectations and go with the flow. Live in the moment. Try to have fun. Your children really do grow up fast. Just accept that one of your children’s boots will fall off at the sledding hill and they will step right into the ice cold snow with the only pair of socks you brought for them, while simultaneously your middle child asks you what flavor the yellow snow cone is supposed to be that they are sampling from the ground? As my mom likes to say, “It is what it is.”
Suffice to say, I hope March comes in like a lamb and goes out like a lamb. If we want lions, Mother Nature, we will go see them at the Columbus Zoo. Am I right moms?