Inside snow

In my previous post I confessed my deep feelings for snow. I really hate spending time in snow. It’s cold. It’s wet and it makes me a whiny mess. But, my kids do find the snow interesting and fun to play with.

Subscribing to my “whatever” philosophy means letting go of the drama and chaos to find a more peaceful existence. I don’t mean Zen like peace- although that would be nice and a bonus if it included wine, but more of an ease to our pace. If you’ve never had to dress two three year olds before, let me share that it can be a pretty dramatic process. One twin is ready to go before the other and starts to get antsy. That’s when the chaos sets in (and the whining). No one likes to sit and wait for help with their boots so they try to put them on without my help, which is a frustrating process when you have little hands. After 20 minutes of whining, kicking and crying (sometimes by me) I’m usually done with the whole process before we’ve even opened the door. Thankfully, Pintrest has a solution! Snow table!

A snow table means I don’t have to put on boots. I don’t have to rummage for hats and mittens and scarves. I don’t have to pretend to have fun when I’m really freezing! I LOVE YOU PINTREST! We usually stay in our jammies and play for as long as the interest holds. I try to throw in extra things to mix with, build with or change the color with to keep it interesting.

I pulled out the water table we had stored in the garage, recycled a left over plastic party table covering and rummaged through the house for some fun things to play in the snow with.

Reused our summer water table for a snow table.
Reused our summer water table for a snow table.

The plastic cover under the table catches all the over flow of snow. I can wrap it up and throw away, or if the mess is small enough wipe it up and I can use the cover again. I have this in the kitchen where the floor is tile so really if it goes passed the cover it’s no big deal.

Ice Legos in the snow.
Ice Legos in the snow.

Next: fill with snow! Now you can be done at the point and just hand the kids a few wooden spoons, or plastic cups. But, this time (since it was our 1 billionth snow day this year) I added in some rainbow colored ice cubes, penguin spoons and little toy polar bears. The girls loved it and I stayed toasty- win/win! My one daughter said, “It’s just like ice Legos!” Suuurre… yeah…that’s exactly what I was going for. *wink*

This busy fun lasted about 30 minutes before it was too cold to handle and both girls discovered their hands were now stained from the food coloring.

Food coloring does rub off on little hands.
Food coloring does rub off on little hands.

Whatever… it was 30 minutes of quiet with my cup of HOT coffee! Well worth the effort and mess!

Talking Heads

Anyone remember those stuffed talking heads from the 90’s? The ones that look like little cartoon heads with tiny arms and legs- you’d hit them and they’d say things like, “yadda, yadda, yadda” and “whaateverrrr!” I remember my brother gave me one because apparently I said, “whatever!” a lot back then. It was my catchphrase before I even knew it was my catchphrase!

I was thinking of this little talking head the other day when I saw picture after picture posted on Facebook of my friends taking their kids out in the snow to play. I felt a little guilty for not taking my little ones out. I hate the snow and cold so much. I hate how long it takes me to get all three of us dressed. Ugh. So, I posted kind of a joke question asking if I was horrible parent for not taking my kids out in the snow. I didn’t really expect anyone to answer the question. I obviously don’t think I’m a horrible parent. I thought I was being funny and sarcastic. There were actually several replies; some agreed the snow is overrated. But, one comment stuck with me. It actually said I was “taking away my kids choice” to have fun.

So here’s how it really went down. Me: “Hey kids look at all that snow!” Kids: “Wow!” Me: (in silent reluctance I ask) “would you like to go outside?” Kids: “No! We want to stay inside where it’s warm!” Me: “Ok then!” I asked, they replied with their choice.  Why would I now spend 20 minutes forcing them into snow pants and boots all the while crying they don’t want to go outside? Whatever. We watched Disney princess movies and ate a popcorn in our jammies. I didn’t post any pics of that. I didn’t want anyone else to feel guilty.

How many times do you feel like other parents opinions and comments make you sway in your own parenting choices? The guilt we feel as parents can be a powerful thing. Having twins I feel like the mommy guilt tag teams me, and it could easily take me down if I let it. So now I’m going to grab on to my trusty catchphrase the next time I feel that guilt well up and think, “whaateverr!” and let it go.

The Day I Became the Whatever Mom

January 31 018

I think it is important to share that I am afflicted with a type “A” personality; which basically means I am very high strung and I want things done my way. I tend to fall apart when things do not go according to plan. And, by fall apart I mean I have a full systems meltdown (which I did when my girls were around two and a half).  I am very lucky I get to stay home with my twins. I do not however have access to family, back up child care and my husband works 98% of each day. So, most days I am out numbered.

Now, let me share with you that having twins as your first born is hard work. There is already a major learning curve to being a first time parent, but you throw in that extra needy little human and things get tough. Whether you have one, two or several, that first year is all about getting your parental bearings. Even with all the curve balls I hit that first year, it was still the easiest so far. Both kids were on the same eating and sleeping schedule. Juggling feeding and bathing two babies alone was difficult, but I managed. By the grace of God they both took two naps a day which gave me approximately three and a half hours to complete my household chores, maybe rest and watch TV. They were in bed by 6 p.m. and I had three more hours to get things done (and drink some wine). Since they were so portable we went for a walk three times a day. Errands were nearly effortless when I only had to pick up their carrier and lock it into the stroller. I was able to get things done, maybe not as perfectly as I could before kids, but my house was orderly, my kids were clean and dinner was on the table every night. I felt like I was THE domestic goddess. My type “A” was happy!

It all changed when my twins started walking. In opposite directions. I could no longer keep them contained and everything they touched was now out of place. They started protesting against diaper changes, wardrobe changes, bath time, car seats, the stroller and what was on the menu. It was exhausting. But, somehow I was determined to continue operating at a level of perfection only I had created. Until one day I landed myself in the ER with my first ever panic attack (a fore mentioned full system melt down). I hated it. I hated feeling like I did not have control. That was the scariest part. After meeting with a neurologist (I was convinced it must be “a tumah”) I realized I needed to make some changes. I needed to let some things go- namely my expectations.

My kids deserve a healthy mom. So, “whatever” became my mantra. I started saying “whatever” to the dishes now and then. I started saying “whatever” to the crumbs on the floor and the splatters of paint on the table after art projects. I even started saying “whatever” to keeping every single thing perfect. I lowered my standards from unattainable perfection to “whatever works.” I’m not going to lie. It was and still is difficult to do. I still get a twinge of “oh man I should be doing THAT!” when I go to other kids parties, or see friends awesome Pintrest projects. I get in a rush to make things bigger and better than I have planned. Then reality sets in that the only extra hands I have are little ones and I call upon my mantra of, “whatever” and I let it go.

I started this blog to give moms permission to do Whatever it takes to get through the day as a parent. You don’t need to keep it all together and make perfect crafts. You don’t need to put perfectly hot meals on the table every single night and hand deliver perfectly folded laundry. So, give yourself permission to leave the dishes in the sink a little longer while you play dress up with the kids. Our little ones actually want to be with us and shower us with kisses for a very short time.

Is your mail piling up? Is the laundry calling your name? Does your neighbor give you funny looks because you feed your kids out of a squishy pouch while driving to school? Repeat after me, Whatever! It works for me!