Frontline Mom
Fitness, Motherhood

Cabin Fever

February 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

I can’t complain about the winter this year. It has been particularly warm, March-like most of the season. Except today, after a light snow dusting yesterday, the cold hit. So much for my 4 mile run outside – 13 degrees is too cold for me to run outside. The last time I ran outside in this kind of weather my lungs froze…looks like it will be the treadmill today.

Living in the Midwest means getting used to inevitable snowstorms and regularly getting somewhat stranded in your home on account of bleak weather panoramas. In Chicagoland, its more the cold and wind that stops – less the snow. In Michigan, with their lake effect snow, its a whole other story.

So what’s a family to do when taking a drive, or even a walk, is out of the question? The only answer is to bring the outside indoors. Games become a key appeal – board games, video games and any made-up game that my five year old invents with her princesses, legos, blocks or other toy. We often build forts with pillows, create picnics in the living room for my children’s stuffed animals and make crafts with snowflakes and other wintery-themes.

These unexpected “holidays,” when everyone is at home with no plans for going out (understandably), is often a good time to call the relatives on Skype. Another fun activity is baking cookies like I did with my my Mom and brother when we were snowbound as kids. Something about snow seems to bring the family together.

Its also a fun time to curl up with the cats and read a book but quite frankly with two kids under five this doesn’t really happen too much.

Now, giving the kitchen an extra scrub or getting an early start on the week’s laundry duties are also options for being productive while stuck indoors, but why not use the time to do something that’s not a chore? Somehow when its a snow day outside the last thing I want to do is create a work day inside.

One friend gave me an idea to make a home movie about the experience of living through the storm. Most people don’t think of recording their homes’ interiors because they can come to seem extravagantly ordinary, but one’s ordinary experiences are usually what future generations find most thrilling to learn about. So why not also make a time capsule or a scrapbook? It’ll be interesting for the kids to consciously think about what they would like to say to family members or to themselves in the future. And it might just make for some fun viewing doing a snowstorm a few years from now.

What’s your favorite thing to do when “homebound” because of weather?

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