Snowstorms and Motherhood: A Reflection

Our family spent the weekend cloaked in white. As the first major snowfall touched down sometime between midnight and 7 a.m. on Saturday, I braced for the unpredictable — workouts would be missed, dinner would be centered on warmth and convenience, and cabin fever would set in. Fortunately, New England wasn’t clobbered with snow the way the mid-Atlantic was, but still: snow had fallen and everything in my routine had to be put on hold.

I must’ve become more laid back, in the past year. Over the course of my 20s and 30s, I’ve become a slave to routines and schedules. If I don’t work out 5 times a week, I get panicky about weight gain. If I have my kids all day, indoors, I get anxiety: How will I keep them entertained? What if we can’t go outside? What if they don’t give me a break? Somehow, this weekend I was able to let go of such concerns (for the most part).

Snow storms are beautiful for so many reasons. Like sickness, they stop the scheduling and planning, but you don’t have to be sick to enjoy their arresting beauty. They represent the best parts of winter, offering loads of opportunities for fun if you can just bear with the cold.

Last year’s constant barrage of snowstorms left me feeling spent and overwhelmed. While I appreciated how lovely they looked outside, I hated my spouse’s irritability over snow plowing and shoveling chores. I also hated driving in slippery conditions, and a lack of parking. And finally, I hated that some of my editors couldn’t lessen my work load just because it was snowing (I’ve since had to let go of certain editorial opportunities). Thankfully, I was able to teach most of my guitar lessons in a timely fashion, and write articles between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. when the house was quiet.

Today, I’m excited because I’m getting ready to take my 3.5-year-old out for his first time on a sleigh. Some of the hills I’ve been eyeing for our excursion are a bit worn down. I’m nervous as heck that I’ll do something wrong. But I’m going to give it my best shot anyway.

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