I am used to the rain; I’ve been an Oregonian for 20 years, so I know it is just part of the contract of living in Oregon. So it really didn’t bother me until I had children because it messes up my day now that they love to go to the park. So these are my 10 tips on adapting to the rainy weather with toddlers.
1. Buy a raincoat, for everyone. Don’t be like me and think your kids will wear their giant parka even in 60 degree rainy weather. Just get them a raincoat. They will wear it more than any other coat in your house.
2. Buy rain boots for your toddler that fit. Not ones that they will struggle to walk in until summer when the rain has stopped for two months. Then when the two months is up, they outgrew them.
3. Stack towels by every door. I’m serious. If you have dogs, stack even more towels by the door. It will be a life saver.
4. Accept an invitation. Another mom friend calls you to come over, and you haven’t showered or left your house in 5 days. Pack the kids up, and go. You will feel refreshed even if you smell like dry shampoo and wet dog. On another note, try to be the one who sends the invitation every once in a while. Even if everyone declines, I am sure they all appreciate the thought.
5. Indoor activities are your saving grace. They are usually worth the money too. Whether it is JJ Jump, Playdate PDX, OMSI, or the Clackamas Town Center play area, go whenever the rain starts to feel like it will never let up. A new venue for you and your kids will cheer everyone right up! Also doubles as a great way to invite another mom friend out.
6. If the sun comes out, drop everything (including reading this blog post) and go outside! You’ll thank me later when you get back to reading this. 10 minutes of sunshine will do wonders for your mood. 20 minutes? Woah now, what is this, Hawaii? Let’s be real.
7. Relax about the mess. Your kids will get muddy. They will get wet. They will be head to toe covered in pine needles. Bring towels, wet wipes, extra clothes (for yourself as well… I always forget this one). Enjoy it! Remember when getting dirty was part of the fun? I’m not talking about making mud balls and throwing them around, I am talking about going on a nature walk, collecting sticks, leaves, stomping in puddles, and just relaxing about the cleanup that is looming.
8. Exercise. Go run (decked out in bright rain gear). Go to an exercise class. If you cannot take your child to Stroller Strides, post up in your living room during that precious naptime, and work out. Even 20 minutes will help. Even stretching will help. If that naptime isn’t happening, post up the kid with an episode of Little Einstein’s, and meditate the best you can for a few minutes. If that ain’t working, continue to the next idea.
9. Exercise with your children. This may be nearly impossible if you are like one brave mother I know, with 5 children under 8. But you won’t know until you try. Stretch with them, show them yoga poses (my kids love the tree pose), chase them SAFELY for cardio (I have been known to do booty kickers up and down the hallway), or even try to bicep curl them. This may be hard if you have giant children… Like I do…
10. Find the joy in the weather. This is the most important! Today I showed my son where the rain goes down the storm drain. He was fascinated, and that look was worth getting rained on. I showed him how the rain drops collect on the leaves. I showed him how to splash in puddles (ok, he knew this one already, but it is fun to do even as an adult). We went inside, and he fell asleep listening to the rain fall (okay, I mean he just fell asleep, but that isn’t as eloquent).
We are so lucky to have our children grow up in such a beautiful state. We have an ocean to our left, a mountain to our right, trees EVERYWHERE, rivers EVERYWHERE, and people who truly care about protecting our home EVERYWHERE! The rain may make taking the kids to the park difficult, it may make having straight hair difficult, it may make your house smell like wet dog for 6 months, but in the right light, it can be the most beautiful gift we can receive. It’s easy to complain about the rain, but like number 10, positive thinking is necessary to have a good day! I implore you all to find something you love about this weather.