Any homeschool mom who says that February is their favorite month is either lying or doesn't live in the northern hemisphere where it gets cold in the winter.
Or they know a secret that I don't.
Today the wind is blowing last night's fresh snowfall into drifts. I'm always amazed how the wind can make an inch or two look much worse. And the wind certainly makes the temperature feel worse. I really can't blame the children for not wanting to go outdoors.
But being stuck indoors with several children stuck 24 hours a day is a recipe for a crazy mom.
Ed and I both grew up on dairy farms where there was plenty of chores to get everyone outdoors several times a day to burn off energy. But without livestock, it is a challenge to find ways for our children to get fresh air and exercise every day.
Last week I was so desperate I stepped off the perimeter of our yard and found the approximate distance. Three times around the yard is a kilometer and fives times is approximately a mile.
Nearly every day since then I've sent the children out to walk or run a kilometer. Some have chosen to do a mile. The goal is to increase their distance so that by spring they will be able to do 5K - or 15 times around our yard.
Attitudes are usually much better after even 15 minutes of outdoor time. And hopefully the exercise will keep us healthier this winter.
And I found an added benefit. I've joined them a few times (since they whine that I shouldn't ask them to do something that I don't do myself). I need the fresh air and exercise as much, or probably more, than the children but usually I don't think I have time for a walk. Last night after the children were in bed, Ed offered to rock the baby while I took a walk in the falling snow. I balked, thinking of all the things I could do in the house, but Ed insisted, and that 30 minutes was probably my favorite half hour all week.
Why did I think that I didn't have time to enjoy pristine snow and quiet?
I would love to hear your hints on getting outdoors and enjoying exercise in the winter - or any other sanity-saving advice for mothers in February.