There's no doubt about it – being a parent in winter is hard work.
The rain, the darkness, the cold mornings – there are so many things that make it trickier than normal. I don't know about you, but I'm counting down the days until it's spring.
Here are 10 reasons why parenting in winter sucks:
1. Everyone's tired all of the time
I think it's got something to do with the darkness. The lack of sunshine makes everybody extra lethargic, including me. Cleaning, working, getting the kids to school, food shopping – all seems harder than normal.
2. The colds are never-ending
There's always someone sick. It makes the work-life juggle even trickier. It's even worse if there's a sudden onset of the dreaded Man Flu. And don't get me started on the piles of dirty tissues all over the place. Gross.
3. It pours at school pick-up and drop-off
You can count on the weather gods always timing the biggest rainfalls at school pick-up and drop-off times. Not only do you end up carrying everyone's bags and artwork, you somehow always forget to bring an umbrella for yourself.
4. There are clothes drying all over the house
The washing machine and dryer is always on in winter. You're constantly dodging drying racks full of damp clothes and there are soggy sneakers propped up in front of every heater. Gone are the days of fresh sheets blowing in the wind on a sunny day.
5. They eat more food
I say "they" eat more, but it's really all of us that eat more. And I'm not sure if it's the dryer, but clothes start shrinking. Food also disappears at an alarming rate and you find yourself stocking up on extra bread, milk and cereal constantly.
6. Nobody wants to get out of bed
Snooze buttons all over Australia are getting a work out during these freezing days. Who in their right mind actually wants to leave their warm bed? But you have to and that's why you find yourself shouting a lot about how 'people' have to 'get out of bed right now or you're all going to be late'.
7. You can't go outside
It's so wet, dark and cold all of the time that it's virtually impossible to spend any quality time outdoors. That means your kids are also always inside with you all of the time which makes it hard to get any alone time. It's also impossible to get them off their devices and as a result everyone gets a little grumpy.
8. Your kids demand to wear nothing
If your kids are anything like mine, you have to fight with them everyday to wear suitable winter clothes. Sometimes I have to plead with them to wear any clothes at all. Apparently when you're eight you don't feel the cold so you don't need jumpers or pants.
9. School sport is miserable (for parents)
The kids might love it, but standing on the sidelines watching your kid kick a ball around while it's freezing, foggy and drizzling is not fun. In fact, it's the opposite of fun. And it's uncomfortable standing around in fifteen layers of clothes, plus beanie, scarf, gloves, raincoat, two pairs of socks and boots. Michelin Man is not a fashion look of choice.
10. Indoor play centres are pits of hell
There I said it. If you look in the dictionary for the definition of hell you will find the words "indoor play centre" and in winter they also double as cesspits of snot. Where else are you going to take your toddlers when it's raining and you desperately need five minutes to have a coffee? But far out, the price you pay for it, it's almost too gross to even think about it.
So, if you're like me and you're already whining about winter, stay strong.