One More Way to Stay Sane in Winter (especially with small children)

Staying Sane with Small Children in Winter | A Simple Haven

ately, I’ve been living in the land of epiphanies: I should read non-fiction during the day (when I’m fresh) and fiction at night (when I’m exhausted).  People weren’t overstating how fabulous the Harry Potter books are. For me, self-care requires discipline but is worth the time, effort, cash, etc.

When the polar vortex makes it a pain to take small children anywhere but you’re dying to get out of the house/have to return library books/need some bananas, pile in the car with a friend and her kids and do errands together.

It was amazing.

How it Worked

My friend and her two kids picked up me and my two kids.  We put on tolerable kids’ songs. We drove through Starbucks; the kids got hot chocolates, I had my first sugary drink in over a month.

Then we went to the library. I got out. Alone. I picked up the books I had on reserve, browsed for a minute, then left.

Meanwhile, my friend drove our kids across the street to the police stations to meet a real, live police officer. She had him explain the importance of seat-belts and remaining in seats to our little big girls (who, in their excitement to be in the “way back” together, had been demonstrating a need for this reinforcement).

She picked me up at the library and then it was off to the grocery.  I shopped for both of us while she drove through the car-wash, which the kids thought was fantastic.

Then we sang a few rounds of “The Wheels on the Bus” on our way home.

Why it Was So Fantastic

It only took about two hours and it was such a bright spot in my day. The kids had fun, my friend and I checked off some errands, and we all got out of the house for a bit. And we got to spend time with friends we love in a really low-maintenance way.

And let’s be honest: going places with small children in winter rarely feels low-maintenance.

I realize this wouldn’t work with two large families, but as long as I can work out the numbers of friends to seat-belts, I’m going to keep this idea on my list of ways to stay sane in winter.

(And frankly, if I didn’t have much room in my car, I’d probably ask a college student friend or favorite babysitter along. I’d enjoy some adult conversation, my kids would love hanging with a new person, and I’d still be able to run into the library by myself).

It’s nothing brilliant, really, just doing mundane tasks with friends. But on a cold winter’s day when daddy was traveling, it felt pretty brilliant to me.

How do you stay sane during a long winter?




About Jenn

Jenn is a mommy of three and wife to her best friend. She enjoys good books, dinner guests, elevenses, and proper apostrophe use.

  • Kaitlin

    Although I don’t have any kids yet, I’ve done something similar with a good friend who has a toddler. Even though running errands together may not sound “fun”, we always feel productive and encouraged by the time together. It makes shopping a little easier for her, having an extra hand, and planning time with a friend a little easier for me, not having to wait for a nap & errand free afternoon date. Glad to hear we aren’t the only ones!

    • I love that you do that with her! I’ll bet it’s soo appreciated! (I’d appreciate it, anyway. :))

  • Brenda Venable

    Staying sane during the winter??……….. that’s easy………….. take a 20minute atv ride down the snowy trails with Mr. B ‘out on point’………….. exhilarating time for us both. Come back, stoke the fire and head downstairs for some crafting time while the kid sacks out on the bed. Bottom line…… keep them moving, then rest time is easier for everyone.
    So glad you have such sweet friends to travel with in Bloomtown. Working together to get things done can always be fun and entertaining. Be careful on those snowy roads.

  • I love this. So,so brilliant. Now if we only had a drive through close to us…although one mum could pop out and get the coffee. =)

  • Kristen Groth

    Okay I need a 12 passenger van:)

    • I totally thought of you! No, you just need a college student. Or a mom friend with one baby. Or an elderly neighbor. Or a favorite babysitter. 🙂
      (Or me! I’ll come hang! :))

  • Christy

    This is ingenious. Sharing with Mum friends. 🙂

  • Love it! Since we’re out in the burbs, I carpool with a good friend to the zoo, but just doing daily life activities together sounds so great too!

    I think this is a great way for moms who want to be involved in discipleship/mentoring of younger women in the church too. So often I think it looks like getting coffee reading a set curriculum or something, but really, it can be simple as “want to go to the grocery store with my crazy children and chat?” 😉