Surviving Solo… in the Winter

I have an immense respect for all the moms out there who are surviving this winter season on their own. Whether you are a single mom, have unconventional work schedules, or just find yourself tackling some of this season’s hardship on your own… give yourself a huge pat on the back. I can tell you that this winter season has not been an easy one for me. With a husband who works twelve hour shifts, and a very angry Mother Nature, I find myself muddling through just praying for spring. I seriously think I must have pissed in the corn flakes of Mother Nature, and now every single time she decides to dump a foot of snow on us, she waits until 6am when my hubby leaves. She then has a good old chuckle as snow continues to fall for the next eight to ten hours, forcing me to go out and clear the driveway just to get out.

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My kids…enthusiastically dressed for winter.

But of course, before I even think about how I am going to manage to clear the driveway, I am forced to face the reality that, once again, the buses have been cancelled. ‘Yeah… SNOW DAY!’ Awesome. A full fun filled day with two children driving me crazy inside the house. But wait… I can’t leave them unsupervised in the house for the hour it will inevitably take me to clear the whole driveway. So we start the search for two pairs of snow pants, boots, mittens, hats… you know the drill. Oh, yes, and now we have to get all this stuff on. Wonderful.

After a half hour of fighting, crying and complaining, we are ready to go out into the bitter cold to clear the driveway. Now, the last time I was tasked with shoveling, I naturally thought I would just fire up the good ol’ snow blower. Well, last time ended with me yelling profanities repeatedly while I frantically pushed buttons, pulled strings and inevitably kicked the damn thing a few times. But this time… is going to be different. I am going to conquer this ridiculous contraption. As I push buttons and pull strings… nothing happens. I am convinced now that this horrible machine has alliances with the dreaded lawn mower. I envision them at night conspiring against me in the garage as they pound back some gasoline and have a great chuckle at my expense.

With one last yank on the pull cord, I finally hear the bloody thing start up. The kids have already buried each other in the snow bank at the end of the driveway and are screaming and fighting. But not to worry… I can’t hear them anymore because I am finally snowblowing the driveway. It may have taken me a while, but I have won. I push the silly machine back and forth and curse as it blows snow everywhere other than where I want it to go. Then, I decide to stop pushing it into the blasting wind. This helps… a little.

When I finally finish the driveway, I pull the kids out of the snow bank and head inside. We take off all the layers of wet soggy snow gear, and then I mop up the front doorway. Somewhere along the line, it’s become tradition to have hot chocolate EVERY TIME we come in from playing in the snow. I get the hot cocoa’s ready, hang all the clothes in front of the fireplace and plop myself on the couch. I am exhausted. And it’s only 11am. And I get to do this all over again before we head out for gymnastics in about four hours…assuming that the expected six more inches of snow keeps coming down.
So for all you moms out there rolling your eyes because you do this all the time, know that I am not complaining. I am saying, ‘you are amazing’. Raising kids can be super hard. Winter weather can be really shitty. And sometimes tackling both at the same time is overwhelming. So this one is for all the moms who have conquered the winter weather, either yesterday, today or maybe in the days to come, you are doing a great job! Even if the snowblower occasionally wins a battle or two.

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