By Heather Miller

With the holidays now behind us we are now faced with the challenge of winter. That wonderful time of year where it is dark before 6pm and cold all day long. This time of year can be insanely frustrating for moms (and dads) of small children. I mean seriously, what exactly are we supposed to do with them?? I have come up with a few suggestions to get you through this, borderline crappy, time of year.

1. Just go ahead and brave the elements. Do this in the beginning of winter, otherwise you will rather have your eyebrows threaded than wrestle your three year old into a coat, hat, and gloves. Just like everything else, the beginning is always more tolerable than the end. You will awe over how adorable they look in their cute, little cold weather gear, post too many pictures of it on Facebook, and be super impressed with yourself that, no matter the weather, your kids made it outside.

2. Movie it up. Hit up Redbox like it’s your job. If there is a time of year where it is more than acceptable to let your offspring veg out in front of the tube, that time is now. Pop that popcorn, adorn those pj’s, no matter the time of day, and grab some blankets. Winter was made for movie marathons, no guilt allowed! Hell, order a pizza while you’re at it.

3. The Dollar Store is your friend. Go there and shop like you have a bottomless wallet because, let’s face it, it is the only place that we can. If they can create with it, buy it. There is no such thing, to a kid, as having too many pom poms, glue sticks, pipe cleaners, stickers, and construction paper. Best part, you don’t actually need a craft plan for this, just let them go! Sure, you will have a mega mess to clean up after, but who cares, you will also have bought yourself a few hours of peace. All for the low price of $1 an item.

4. Have a pool day! By pool, I mean bath. Suit those kids up, googles and all, and run a nice big bath. Throw in some of their favorite pool toys, break out the beach towels, and have a living room picnic afterwards. This is a great way to break up the season and remind the kids, and you, that warmer, brighter days are ahead.

I hope these suggestion are helpful with getting you through the dark, cold days of winter. Hang in there, moms (and dads), spring is just around the corner and we will be back to reassuring our kids that every bee they see in the backyard is not actually out to get them. Until then, good luck, and don’t forget to pour yourself a nice tall glass of bourbon at the end of the day. We have to stay warm, too, after all. Cheers!