I live in Boston, which means I spend a lot of my life navigating the four seasons, especially winter.
The logistics and organization behind getting baby, Mom, and Dad out of the house on a daily basis often feels like a part-time job, and when you add feet and feet of snow and brutal cold to the mix, it starts to feel unreasonable. Pre-baby, my husband and I enjoyed the snowy adventures of getting to and from work, weekend ski trips, and the excitement of a big Nor’easter. Different story with an infant! Here’s how we coped during a year of record snowfalls -- you can, too!
Be flexible with the office.
Work from home.
If at all possible, work with your company on their policy for working remotely and if applicable, test your computer and network at home to make sure you can access what you need remotely. It can be scary for mothers to leave their baby if there is uncertainty as to when they’ll be reunited.
Commute with neighbors.
We ended up carpooling to and from work in the depths of winter. By the time we split the cost of parking, it was about the same as public transport and provided us more certainty. It was a give and take with respect to aligning our work schedules, but the camaraderie made a tough situation more fun.
Have childcare backups.
Find a nearby back-up babysitter.
A babysitter within walking distance of your home is very handy! Chances are if your daycare is closed or your regular childcare can’t make it in, your neighborhood babysitter may not be able to get to their school or job either. It also helps in case you’d like to do some errands on the weekend and don’t want to bundle up your little one.
If you have a nanny, you may want to consider creating a “snow day policy.” After many early morning conversations with our nanny about how to handle the weather, we changed her contract to add two paid snow days and two late start mornings. This should help to ensure she doesn’t put herself in danger getting to work.
Take care of you.
If possible, avoid using thawed milk on days when there is some uncertainty with your work schedule. Thawed milk has a 24 hours shelf life, so you can’t necessarily save it for the next day.
Invest in some boots with good grip and take it slow! The sidewalks and driveways become treacherous to navigate as the snow starts to pile up. Sturdy boots and a baby carrier may be your best option for getting around.
As parents, we can’t plan for every situation. Just like our babies, we can’t control the weather; we just have to make the best of it. With limited spare energy, we tried to do our best to use it on areas we could control.