December 2016 -
Life is extra hard in winter. The everyday things like getting the kids ready for school and then driving the car become more complex and take a lot more preparation. We wake up to temperatures from anything between -5 to -20 or even colder and often lots and lots of fresh snow. The only way I manage to get through the mornings stress-free is by getting up at 0600. That gives me two hours to have a shower, practice some yoga and get ready, let the dog out, get the kid´s packed lunches made, my packed lunch made, boys up & dressed, breakfast done, feed the dog and then walk her, remember to heat the car, have the boys dressed and in the car by 0800 ready for the school run (5 to 10-minute drive depending on weather) and then get to work before 0830 when my shift starts.
The car needs to be heated with snow/ice-free windscreens before the school run. We recently installed a car heater which I absolutely love. Before moving to Norway I didn't even know these things existed. I didnt even now people could change their tyers to Winter tyers! With the car heater, you can say goodbye to scraping icy windows in the morning and all you have to do is switch it on an hour or two before leaving. Some people have the fancy version where the car heater can be managed from one’s phone. I however have the more basic version where I have to physically switch it on and as I have to go out anyway, I don't really mind. What does the car heater look like? Well, it is a slim box on the passenger side and it blows warm air into the car, just like a hairdryer. A brilliant invention. After an hour the car is warm, and the snow and ice have melted away leaving the boys and me with a comfy cozy school run ahead. Forget to switch it on and I am faced with about ten minutes of scraping ice off the windscreen and will have to drive with gloves as the steering wheel is too cold to hold. So the car heater is not just a luxury it really is essential.
The boys need the right gear for the weather, a change of mittens and socks in case they get wet and cold feet, and a change of woolen long johns & top. Wool is my hero my champion my absolute must-have on my body in winter. Nothing else beats the cold like 100% pure wool. It simply rules the winter wardrobe in our family.
It is a thin line between being comfortable in the cold and suffering and it all comes down to how you are dressed. The other day I dropped off the boys at school and Magnus only had a pair of thin woolen gloves on. I didn't think to check whether he had a warmer pair at school. Instead, I was probably carried away thinking about the other 100 things that had to be done that day. When my husband picked him up at the end of the day, he was apparently crying in the playground because his hands were so cold he couldn't feel his fingers! I felt TERRIBLE and I can assure you there is an extra pair of everything in his school locker so that he will never freeze again.
As the Norwegians say, there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes. Dress well for the cold and you can enjoy being outdoors for hours.
I work at our local medical office as a medical assistant. A job I absolutely love because it is so diverse, because my colleagues are fantastic and because I am always learning something new. Not to mention having the loveliest patients in the world. The winters are manic at the weekends and holidays with all the ski injuries. During the winter season, we work weekends and all the holidays, Christmas, Easter, etc, its our peak time at work. Last winter we treated almost a thousand ski injuries. My days vary from working in the lab taking blood samples, to working on reception, ordering the medicine, taking ECGs, X-rays, etc. There is rarely a dull moment at our medical office.
After work, I drive home to pick up our beautiful dog and walk her before picking up the boys from kindergarten and school. Home to make dinner and on three evenings a week, we drive back out again for the after-school activities.
It was only after our youngest son turned four earlier this year that I slowly began to have more time for myself, finally able to do those things I so wanted like build a new website/blog, start writing again, study, exercise more often etc. Don't get me wrong I love and adore our children but they do suck the energy out of you! By the time they are asleep in bed around 8pm, finally, an hour or two to myself and I am cream crackered. I have about enough energy to lie on the sofa with a book or watch something on Netflix. This is a huge problem seeing that in January I become a student and will need to juggle motherhood and work with studying and daily home yoga practice. So my evenings better perk up!
Everyday life is hectic, to say the least. Just writing about it makes me feel exhausted. However I am not alone, I bet every parent with children feels the same. Before having kids I was NEVER tired. That is what children do to you (and maybe the fact that I am not 25 years old anymore!). Of course, it is totally and utterly worth it. That moment when you tuck the kids into bed and the sense that the day is done. The love I feel for my children and how they fill my life with such happiness is so rewarding. From the moment I wake up until the kids are in bed life is about others, it is about what I want it to be, full of love for the people around me, close and far, and that really is worth my best effort. It is what I have learned since becoming a mother. From the day I had my first child, life was no longer about me but about the little one and our family. It took time to adjust and naturally I had some frustrating moments where I missed my career, missed traveling, my old life, and friends back in London, feeling stuck with the baby. With time, and after our second child arrived I just relaxed and learned to enjoy and worship every little moment with them. That for me is when I started really living.