A Montreal Winter With My Toddler: Snow, Snot and Smiles

I HATE winter.  Actually, DESPISE would be a more accurate description. You’d think that after living my entire life in Montreal, I would have developed a certain level of acceptance and simply surrender to the frigid cold, the ridiculous amount of snow and the wind chill.  But unfortunately this is not the case. And now that I have an active two-and-a-half- year-old toddler,  I’ve been forced to confront winter head-on, instead of avoiding it like the plague as I had done in the past, hiding under blankets in my warm socks.photo (4)

Looking back on my own childhood, I don’t really have any memories of playing in the snow, building snowmen or sledding at Beaver Lake.  I never skied and I am really embarrassed to say that I never learned to ice skate.

We simply weren’t an “outdoorsy” family.  And although my parents did the best they could, I somehow feel like I missed out, like I could have been exposed to more…

Like many of us do, I want more for my son than I had growing up. So I was determined to get over my gripe with winter and become one of “those moms” who actually owns a pair of snow pants. When winter arrived I invested in a good quality down jacket, a pair of warm winter boots and all the necessary accessories. I had visions of tobogganing with my son, and playing in the snow.  I had the best of intentions to make this winter one my son would remember.

20140125_111208Let’s just say, it didn’t really pan out that way.  In actuality, this winter kicked my ass and put a real damper on all my plans.  The ridiculous weather conditions really intimidated me.  I would see all these families braving the cold and inevitably, I would feel incredibly guilty that I wasn’t out there doing the same.

To be brutally honest, getting my son ready to go outside felt like such an ordeal! Between the amount of winter gear, the constant runny nose and the mittens that just refused to stay on his little hands, I was ready to just give up on the idea of actually enjoying winter and creating positive memories with my son.

But one day, when we forced ourselves to go outside in an attempt to alleviate the cabin fever we were experiencing, my son looked at me in his huge winter coat with snot running down his nose and exclaimed, “Mama, I’m happy.”  My heart melted.

And it was in that moment that I realized that sometimes as a mom, you have to do things you really don’t want to do.

And although I was used to making sacrifices for my family, I came to the realization that I had been reluctant to push myself out of my comfort zone.

I’m not gonna lie.  I still hate winter with a passion.  I know I’ll never be that winter-loving mother I see frolicking in the cold with her kids. But I’m trying not to pass these negative feelings on to my son.  For now, my son views winter with amazement and excitement and I really don’t want to ruin that for him.logan

The other day I rolled around in the snow with my son, made a snow angel and built a snowman. My toes were frozen, my cheeks stung, but I put on a happy face, toughed it out and actually had fun!  And my son’s laughter made it all worth it.

This winter has taught me a valuable lesson, but it’s time for winter to make its long-overdue departure…..here’s hoping that next year, I’ll kick winter’s ass!


  • Didi
    Posted at 18:25h, 11 March Reply

    You guys have really had a terrible winter. It has to stop sometime. Try to remember how beautiful it is in spring and summer!

    • Stephanie Brookman
      Posted at 18:34h, 11 March Reply

      Yes Didi!! It has been brutal. Can’t wait to store away the winter coats and boots!!! Trying to stay positive and I’m ready to embrace spring with open arms.

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