Feeling Like a Pack Mule: The Craziness of Hauling Winter Gear
Let me set the all-too-familiar scene for you. It's 17 degrees outside. You just bundled your daughter so tightly that all she can muster is a waddle, and on the bus she goes, which means that it's time to pack up your 3-year-old for preschool, and because your 8-month-old can't very well stay home alone, that means she's coming, too. You've got the usual: diaper bag, purse, your son's backpack (because heaven knows it's too heavy for him to carry). You're a little heavily loaded, but nothing you can't handle.
I love my children to pieces and would never change a thing about having them in my life, but oh, how I wish for those days when walking out the door was as easy as grabbing my own gear and heading out the door without a care.
Then comes the fun part: cold-weather gear! Boots need to be on feet, which means you now have three pairs of shoes that need to fit somewhere. You consider shoving them all in the diaper bag, but decide to grab a plastic bag. (That's four bags you're carrying now, if you're counting.) Boots, coats, mittens (which fall off twice, and get dropped in the snow before they finally just end up in your purse), and hats. You make it into the car (scrape the ice and brush the snow) and head to preschool to find that the 10 parking spots available by the entrance to the school are full, so you'll be hauling everything in from the parking lot across the road. In the slush and snow. You balance your infant carrier in one arm and your four bags on the other shoulder. You grab your 3-year-old's hand, only to have one bag slide off your shoulder and hit him in the face. He yelps and looks at you like you intended to harm him and now refuses to hold your hand. Baby's crying, bags down in the snow while you try to explain to your son why he must indeed hold your hand in the parking lot, and now you've got to cross the street. What feels like an eternity later, you finally make it to the classroom door!
WINTER! It is my least favorite of the seasons. It's cold and wet, and it makes my life way harder than it needs to be. As a mom, I know that the minute I walk into a store with my kids, my cart will be filled with my children's stripped coats and hats. On the upside, by the time I get to the gym to work out, I feel like I'm already half done—at least with my weight-lifting portion.
My husband loves to remind me that because we live in an area where we get to “enjoy” all four seasons, we don't have lots of big bugs or snakes, and because our weather challenge is blizzards, we don't get tornadoes or hurricanes. So if anyone finds a place where it's always warm without any of those other nasties, let me know so I can stop having to admit that he's right!
I love my children to pieces and would never change a thing about having them in my life, but oh, how I wish for those days when walking out the door was as easy as grabbing my own gear and heading out the door without a care. For now, I guess, we'll just bundle up and hope for the best, or stay home and snuggle in front of the fire. I will continue to enjoy my burgeoning biceps and my official status as the mother of all pack mules!
Are my kids the only ones who refuse to carry anything!? Do you have any tips for me on how to lighten my load? As much as I love the muscles, I'm not going for body builder status!