Mom Guilt: Winter Play Edition

By , February 11, 2013 4:51 am

Hello, my name is Rebecca, and I suffer from “seasonal-affective, indoor mom guilt.”

I know my kids don’t get enough outdoor winter play — or at least some of them don’t, some of the time. I guess Colum gets recess at school, which is plenty on a cold day. But Irene is in half days and doesn’t always get recess and then I tend to think the one and a half year old gets plenty of exercise just running around the house. Between naptime restrictions, school, extra curriculars, early sundown and the fact that it is just so damn hard bundling up three kids for 20 minutes of outdoor play, I know we’re not outside as much as we should be.

Compound that with the “I need to cook more from scratch,” “my house is a pig sty,” and “I need to work more to make ends meet” flavours of mom guilt and taking the time and energy to go outside in February feels like an impossible task. So when nature dumps a boatload of pure white, fluffy snow on our fair city and then follows it up with the most glorious, sunny and mild day, I know I have to take advantage.

“Okay, guys. Why don’t we just pick up the toys and books off the living room and dining room floors and then we can go tobogganing!”


“I’m too TIIIRRRED. I don’t know hooooowww to clean up!”

“Buh, buh, buh.” Eats playdoh, picks nose.

I pretty much lost it, replete with threats and yelling and hair pulling. Where have I gone wrong?! How are these my children?! Then Ed kind of lost it on me with the classic, “Maybe we need to teach them how to clean up,” line. Because I’ve never tried that. I ended up slamming the door to my bedroom like some emo tweenager (PMS much?) and picking laundry up off the floor and hurling into the hamper until the rage settled. (That is the best and most efficient way to tidy a room, by the way. Highly recommended.)

At least we all got a good cry out early in the day? We did eventually make it out of the house.


That’s the way, baby girl. Nice and slow on your bum. Isn’t that fun?


Oh no. Please don’t take the baby down on the toboggan. Really, I mean it. Don’t do it. Really.


I command so much respect and authority. She LOVED IT, by the way.


See you, suckers!

We all had a blast and the only person who got remotely injured was me when I wiped out freaking walking down the hill on the way to the car. I’m fine.

So I’m good now until March Break, right? Are we supposed to do this every day?


“Mom Guilt: Winter Play Edition”

  1. bea. says:

    We took our two tobogganing Saturday AND Sunday. I was exhausted before we got there from wrestling kids into snowsuits and I am hurting today from dragging them up the hill.

  2. Amy says:

    OMG! The husbands with their “maybe we need to teach them to do XX” (usually clean up) bullshit. OH I HADN’T THOUGHT OF THAT! Why don’t you come home at 2:00 every day and be the primary caregiver since you know so much about it and have the infinite patience and energy required to teach small children to do anything rather than just getting it done yourself!?

    Sorry, I may be reading too much of my stuff into your post.

    Soon (well, eventually) your kids will be old enough that you can just kick ‘em outside and they will amuse themselves in the snow. Yesterday mine (9 and 7) built some crazy snow fort in the neighbour’s front yard. (Why the neighbour’s and not ours? I don’t know.) Even going tobogganing is better: we can just stand at the top of the hill yelling advice while they do all the work. Parenting: it gets better too.

    • rebecca says:

      Yes, I could already see that in another year or two we could just hang at the top watching. That will be AWESOME. (Well, I might like to take a turn or two, too.)

  3. melissa says:

    Your tweet yesterday encouraging everyone to go tobogganing led Sean and I to do some Googling on parks in the neighborhood with good sledding. Then we looked at the Canadian Tire website and realized that all the sleds were long gone. Neither of us have snowpants so we didn’t make it out. But we thought about it. It’s really too bad we didn’t get out – we were all getting a little shack-wacky by end of day yesterday.

    Glad I’m not the only one who feels guilty about not taking my kid outside enough in the winter. Just another thing to add to the list o’ guilt. ;)

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