The Winter Doldrums
Ugh, winter in Chicago. Lately tons of schools have been closed because of extremely low temperatures, we are starting to get hit with snow and ice storms, the flu is an exceptionally vicious strain this year, and now there is an outbreak of measles in the suburbs (if you are local and aren’t aware of it, read this article from NBCChicago). No fun at all.
So what are we moms to do? Simply pop in a movie and watch the clock tick away? Not a chance. Here are some ways to slow down and reconnect this winter that will make everyone feel refreshed and even strengthen your relationships.
Ways to Reconnect
Use Social Media to Actually BE SOCIAL
Instead of only using Facebook and Instagram to highlight all of the amazing fun I have with my family and friends, I also use these social media outlets as tools to finding friends in the area with similar interests and situations. We then set up play dates to get together and actually BE SOCIAL away from the computer screen. I have reconnected with so many friends from high school in a new and exciting way, as well as made many other “friends of friends” who play such important roles in my life as a mom.
Visit family, especially the elderly
When my boys and I don’t have anything scheduled for the day and are itching to get out of the house, there is one place we always end up at: Great Nana’s house. I may be a little biased, but my grandmother is the COOLEST around and whenever we visit, the boys love to play catch with her while she chats about the latest in reality TV with me. My boys have so many great memories of their great grandfather, who passed away a year ago, because we visited them so often.
Opt for Music Instead of the Television
I have found that the times when we have the most fun as a family, there is music on in the background. It encourages us to dance, sing, and just be silly in a way that you can’t do with the TV on. No one can chant the Chicago Bears fight song like our family, trust me!
Use the Gadgets for Good
The past few years my sister, who is also my best friend, has spent a lot of time traveling with her husband. While they were in Australia for a few months last year, we took advantage of Skype and FaceTime to talk as often as possible, even so they could serenade our little guy on his first birthday. And the best part? Those programs are FREE!
“Family Member Choice Day”
People of all ages feel special when their “wants” are addressed. So to make every family member feel special, every family member gets one day per month to determine our three meals for the day and two special activities, one at home and one out and about. It is a great way to try new things and simply have fun.
“One on One” Dates
With two little boys under the age of four, it is difficult to have special time with each boy separately with our hectic schedule and life getting in the way. So on Saturdays, we alternate partnering up with our little guys for their soccer lessons and then a special activity afterwards. Each of our little guys totally lights up getting undivided attention from either Mommy or Daddy. And don’t forget date nights for the parents, too!
Unplug and Recharge
Many families have “screen free” rules, and the one I like the most revolves around the dinner table. No screens are allowed, whether television, Kindle, or smart phone It is a time for us to recharge by sharing a nice meal and chatting with one another about anything and everything under the sun.
Join Mommy/Parenting Groups
Meetup.com is a great way to meet people in your area with similar interests, and you can also search Facebook for groups with certain key words so that you can find friendly resources in your area. Just be sure to meet in public before establishing a relationship, even if it is just a play date.
Hope this post helps you combat the winter blues with the awesome power of human relationships!