The January, almost February Blahs

I think we have them.

Sebastian had to write an account of his weekend for homework today. It went something like this: “First I played on my DS. Then I played on the Wii. Then we went to Costco…”

Holy Hannah.  It’s when it hits you that your seven-year old’s only trip outside this weekend was to go to freaking Costco, that you realize that you’re kind of falling down on the job, so far as keeping the kids active is concerned.  But it’s so hard, this winter.

The problem as I see it, is that it hasn’t really been cold enough for a proper winter, nor warm enough to pretend that it’s not winter.  (By the way, that *thud* you just heard was the sound of my husband falling off his chair in surprise that I’d ever wish for colder weather). There’s been no snow on the local hill for sledding.  It’s been arguably too warm for skating at our local rink.  But still, it’s not warm enough for road hockey, too damp for hikes, too grey for outdoor time (and too not summer, no matter what the temperature).

And there are too many good books to read. There’s hot chocolate to drink, and there are movies to watch. There are endless games of chess to be played. There’s Lego to assemble. And yeah…we have some computer games too. And music practice! And cooking! And You Tube! And more books!

My conscience requires that we get outside and breathe in some fresh air, for the good of our physical hearts and minds. We keep talking about “getting out there” but can find a thousand reasons why “out there” remains out of reach.  Last Saturday I went for a run in what is euphemistically called a “wintry mix” of snow and rain.  Runners tell you that the first ten minutes (no matter what the weather) are always the worst; after 15 minutes, I felt like a penitent: damp, whipped by the wind, frozen and miserable.  That feeling of accomplishment that  accompanies a good run was not to be mine. I gave up, sulked home and stood under a hot shower for far longer than necessary.

This lack of momentum seems to have captured us all.  We can suggest an outdoor activity to the boys but that would mean interrupting their chess game, and my book reading. Like bears, we hibernate, the lot of us, scratching out the days until the sun shines a bit longer and we stretch our legs, ready to make use of them outside.

What do you do to shake off the January Blahs? Do you fight them? Do you embrace winter by spending as much time outside, or do you hide indoors, too? If you have any great activities for beating the blahs, let us know.


5 thoughts on “The January, almost February Blahs

  1. At this point I’m up for any suggestions! My almost-two-year old needs to MOVE more. He has taken to getting up at 4 am and only naps if he’s in the stroller or car. And if anyone opens the front door he makes a beeline for it. I’ve embraced the muddy laundry and am trying to let him just play, but as soon as his hands get cold/wet he S…C….R….E….A…..M….S and we’re done. On the few days when we’ve had enough snow (this morning I have BIG plans….) for him to be outside he’s in his element. And, more importantly, he SLEEPS. We’ve tried swimming (which works but is limited to pool time), the gym (excellent daycare) and all the usual – Science Centre, ROM, AGO etc. Indoor playgrounds. Racing around our house until my head feels like it’s going to pop. His favourite seems to be torturing his older brother. So I’ll be checking back in for ideas. After we go out an make the most of last night’s snowfall. It’s 6 am and they already have their snowsuits on…….

  2. I hear, Marcelle! I have a case of the January blahs too. I usually find good things to do with the kids at or Both these sites offer suggestions that run the gamut from predictable to unusual and they both feature a lot of free activities! No need to be blah and broke!

    Only a few more months to go, only a few more months to go . . .

  3. Seems like another reason to loathe global warming. That in-between, when it’s not wintry enough for winter activities, but too icky and chilly for warmer-weather entertainment, is just awful. I’m in Ottawa, with more snow, so it’s been easier here. We didn’t have proper sticking-around snow until a few days before Christmas, and I was so grateful that it came when it did–with visiting cousins, we had four small children in one small house, and I think everyone would have gone insane without all the trips to the toboggan hill!

    • P.S. Sorry, that wasn’t very helpful with tips, was it, other than maybe, if the snow won’t come to you, go to the snow!

  4. We have three boys who LOVE pajama days even more than we do! We count on them to get us out and about in the Summer, but at this time of year, it gets tricky. My tip is to enroll in activities, that way you have to go out and do them. Ski lessons (ski hills make their own snow!), skating lessons, swimming, indoor soccer, whatever it takes. At least the kids get some activity and everyone is forced out of the house. That is the one thing that works for us, that and booking a flight to somewhere warmer always seems to perk us up!

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