Phew! The 2016 holiday season is winding down. That may bring an immense amount of relief, happiness, sadness or any combination of those emotions. But now is the time when Chicago parents look toward the next year and go, “Wait. Now what?!”
It’s not that Chicago’s winters are intense, it’s really more their unending relentless length that makes you research permanent relocation opportunities in St. Lucia right around early March (or April. Or May.). But fear not, fellow winter warriors! I have a few ideas that in no way involve Pinterest which might just keep you sane until we reconvene outside in June.
Burn the 2016 bridge
Deep breaths, everyone. Princess Leia’s death may have been a final gut punch in what was arguably a terrible year for everyone,* but let’s all take a moment to say good riddance to the year we’ve had. Isn’t there some saying about how you can’t appreciate the good without the bad? Let’s just remember 2016 as the latter part and go on from here.
Explore our city’s indoor offerings
I’m always bragging to friends who live in warmer climates about the indoor offerings our city has during bad weather. “All the museums!” I’ll say. “We have a million indoor play spaces, too!” I go on. “And even a lot of the coffee shops have great kids areas!” I gloat. Then, inevitably, I’ll turn on Netflix and refresh my weather feed begrudgingly until June. But not this year! This year I am actually going to go do the things. I will be one of those people who not just know about our city’s vast array of indoor activities, I will be one of those people participating in them. So let’s do it! Now is the time to use those museum memberships we asked for at Christmas! Allons-y!
(I promise I’ll allons-y once I finish this one last season on Netflix.)
Take up a hobby
We all know you’re not actually watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.** Maybe instead of absentmindedly scanning through your Facebook feed you can learn to do something. Might I suggest knitting? Bonus: you’ll end up with something you can use to bundle you and your little ones up when you actually do head out of the house. Check out your local yarn shop and ask about knitting classes/tutorials as well. You never know–it might be something new for you and your little ones to share!
Become a gym clogger
Whenever we think the winter will never end and all hope is lost, Girl Scout cookie season provides a light in the gray universe in which we reside. In both penance for eating our 2016 feelings and inevitably trying to survive the endlessness that is a Chicago winter, perhaps try out a new gym, gym class or other indoor fitness routine (indoor rock climbing, anyone?) and be one of the January gym-cloggers regular gym-goers gripe about. Plus, many gyms and studios offer kid care!
No matter what you choose to do this winter, remember there is no shame in your winter parenting game. We are all in this together!
*Save for the Cubs. Without riding that World Series high I am not sure I would have survived the election that came six days later.
**I highly suggest your mystery Mousekatool be wine, by the way.