How I’m getting through this long-ass winter

Amy Maureen Lynch | Notes From Another Land | Winter In Canada With Lots of Snow and Kids

That Canadian winter life…when your kids are stoked because it’s hit 0° after weeks of some low -20°c to -30°c temps and they get to ACTUALLY play in the snow (while I shovel the driveway)! ☃️

It’s been snowing in Ottawa since November and it’s now March and we’re still under a pile of it.

Between multiple trips to the doctor, pharmacy, indoor play dates, I thought I’d share a few of the things I’ve been up to this winter as a parent and how I try to enjoy hibernation season.

Which, in reality can last up to six months in Ottawa–not quite seasonal–if you ask me, Mother Nature. People joke that we get Winter and Not Winter as opposed to Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.

Secret to sanity: We play a lot in the snow

And by play, I mean, the kids wander around the yard and driveway during the daytime as I attempt to shovel at warp speed before they get bored and venture too close to the road.

I’ve tried strapping the youngest into a sled and parking him for a bit. It lasts a few minutes.

I tell the oldest to be careful as he climbs up his ever-growing ‘snow mountain’.

The snow is too high for us to open the gate to our backyard soooo we try to get creative with the snow banks–er, snow mountains–and use them to make snow couches and slides.

This works well until it’s below -15°c (or colder). Then it’s time to pack it in, use the basement to run around, visit a shopping centre, drop in, soft play, museum, library, gallery, café, indoor pool, you name it we’ve tried it.

This winter we’ve been asked many times:

“When is summer coming?”
“Can we go to the park today?”

I never realized it until the kids started getting older and more active…you can’t really use the parks in winter (a.k.a three to five months of the year) because things get frozen, icy or are inaccessible because the paths aren’t ploughed!

We tried our first weekend away sans kids since…ever in February

BUT then the whole crew caught the flu.

Amy Maureen Lynch | Notes From Another Land | Winter In Canada With Kids Flu Season


We’re lucky the grandparents were babysitting so we could take the break in the first place, our hotel had a pool, we ate brunch in Montreal at a leisurely pace, the house is now spring cleaned (early) and we are still getting lots of cuddles.

I’ve spent lots of time lying in bed, having feverish dreams, not being productive, sipping tea, smoothies and reading library books.

I’ve also mopped the floor more times than I care to count, gone through a lot of tissues and am pretty sure our family is keeping our local pharmacy in business.

Another flu season: 1, our family: 0.

Last year around this time I was #cancellingplans due to post-holiday flu, extreme cold and general weather-related sickness. But at least we had a mini break to Ireland and got to see a bit of grass before returning to the snow.

All I can say is, roll on spring! 🌷 🐞

I took some pottery classes and used the kiln room to stay warm

Me…solo, without kids.

I spent a few mornings in the sunlit studio at Hintonburg Pottery making things out of clay, doing a bit of creative meditation and staying very toasty with the kiln room below us.

I didn’t have to answer any questions other than, “Which colour of glaze would you like?”

There were no snack breaks and I could pee when I felt like it. Sheer bliss.

The last week of our class we spent the morning in the witches kitchen (glaze and kiln room) which was like a light sauna. Close your eyes and you’re *almost* at the Nordik.

Right afterward, I went for lunch and my order was number 34–which I exclaimed is my age so it must be a lucky sign–followed by the cashier telling me I don’t look a day over 27.

This was the second server to tell me that in 2020 and yes, I tipped over 15 per cent.

Pottery must be magical, creative hibernation for the win!

I’m attending (and planning) events around the city

I’ve been writing a lot lately about Babies, Business + Breakfast, the parent-friendly professional development community and events I’ve been hosting around the city.

In addition to planning more frequent events in 2020, I’ve also been trying to attend more professional development with and without my kids.

Stay tuned for future posts about my experiences and read previous ones on the blog here.

Subscribe to our (FREE) community newsletter!

(If you’re not in Ottawa–or Canada–stay tuned as I’m working on some related parent-friendly professional development resources and offerings for you.)

Babies, Business + Breakfast Event Header

Over to you now, any creative ways you’ve been surviving this extra-long winter in Canada?

Published by Amy Maureen Lynch

Over the past decade, Amy Maureen Lynch has negotiated remote work arrangements, freelance client work and validated business ideas, in between living and working in Canada, Europe and Australia (and having three kids). She writes about travel, international family life, creativity and flexible work on her blog, where you can read about her experiences bringing her children into business settings and access flexible and remote work resources to help you navigate the future of work: She produces and hosts the Mixing Babies And Business™ Podcast, parent-friendly professional development events, digital resources and advises others on creating inclusive and flexible work solutions at: Amy’s first book, Startup Blogging: Validate A Business Idea and Build Your Audience, is based on her journey as a blogger, writer, founder and parent to date.

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