In These Dark Days

January can be such a difficult month in parenting.  The days can be dark and long.  Much of the U.S. has been under sub-zero temperatures, and that can make days with small children rather long indeed.  This can be the kind of month where mothers are feeling tired, cranky, even depressed or overwhelmed.

This is a good month to focus on the importance of warmth: warm thoughts, warm deeds, warm and gentle hands, quiet voices, warm clothing, warm foods. 

This is a good month to make sure you, Mama, are at  your peak physical and mental health.  Get those Vitamin D and thyroid levels checked; get screened for depression if you think that may be a possibility; menu plan for nourishing food.

This is a good month to tweak your rhythm or change it entirely.  What will your older child do whilst your younger one is trying to go to sleep?  What will you do to get out physical energy if you are stuck in the house because it is literally that cold? 

This is a good month to revisit singing and music to warm the atmosphere of the home.  Some of you have emailed and asked about music resources.  Here are a few of my favorites (if a book, also includes CD’s because I know some of you may not be able to read music!):

This is a good month to do some story-telling.  Try Suzanne Down’s Juniper Tree Puppetry website and sign up for her email newsletter:  http://junipertreepuppets.com/blog/

For inspiration in story-telling, how about this book by Nancy Mellon called “Body Eloquence”?  http://www.amazon.com/Body-Eloquence-Power-Awaken-Energies/dp/1604150289/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1296213082&sr=8-1

This is a good month to do some some art with your children.   Pink and Green Mama reads this blog and has 400 projects on her website here:  http://pinkandgreenmama.blogspot.com

This is a good month to get ready for February festivals!  How about getting ready for Candlemas (http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/01/29/the-magic-of-candlemas/),  Chinese New Year (http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/02/09/chinese-new-year-in-the-waldorf-home/) or Valentine’s Day? 

Many blessings,

Carrie

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8 thoughts on “In These Dark Days

  1. Carrie, I just want to say how grateful I am for you, your posts and the world of other good blogs/people you have shown me. I am a work in progress, sometimes a very rough work, but you inspire me to keep trying.
    Thank you.

    • Tina,
      You are a wonderful mother on a wonderful journey. Hold that in your heart and know that you are the mother your children need. We are all in progress, I know I am!
      Many blessings,
      Carrie

  2. Oh, I’ve really been experiencing winter fatigue and we have at least two more months of it! We got some hockey sticks in hope of revamping outdoor fun, and that’s helped a lot. Thank you for all this new inspiration, Carrie. :)

  3. love this post…focusing on warmth around here has done wonderful things and another of your suggestions, calming rhythmic afternoon activities. I managed to convince my 3 year old he loves baths and a daily hour long one at 3 pm, with warm ups of course, has done total wonders for our afternoons. Indoor swing is also a lifesaver in the winter days. We have been drawing pictures of animals nestled in their homes and telling tales of their winter quiet. And telling and retelling The Mitten and Goldilocks and also about when both of my children were born. Also lots of shoveling and snow play for my dear boy. Book/CD recs are timely for me as I was just feeling the need for more songs.

    Wondering if you have advice about first instrument for mom…Pennywhistle? Pentatonic flute? Kinderlyre? Diatonic flute?

    Oh, and two other winter activities that has been making a difference for me: yoga for building heat and meditation for inviting the season inside.

    • Lauren,
      Kinderlyre is what most Waldorf Kindergarten teachers use, especially if your oldest is three. When your oldest is five or six, I would suggest you learn how to play a pentatonic flute in preparation for teaching him in First Grade.

      I love rhythmic afternoon activities!
      Many blessings,
      Carrie

  4. Your words are so centering, soothing, grounding. One of my sisters and I have children just the same ages, so we are going through the same things at the same time, and have both struggled with rhythm and warmth in our homes at this time. I have been sharing your blog with her, and it has helped us both tremendously. You have inspired us countless times to continue striving to be the mothers our children need us to be, even on the worst of days. Thank you for your work.

  5. So true, Carrie! January can be so dreary. The holidays are over. We’re getting tired of the snow. I’ve been thinking for awhile that I would do some things to liven up Valentine’s Day (even though it is such a Hallmark holiday.) Thanks so much for your posts. Such insight!

  6. Hi, Carrie. I am a longtime reader of your blog and I just love it. I recommend it all over the place! You have such grounded words of wisdom with a simplicity and beauty that shines through. Whenever someone asks about the practicality of Waldorf, I always refer them to you.

    We are also a Christian, Waldorf-inspired family living in the cold snowy north so we are doing LOTS of storytelling and puppetry at the moment. Just this week we did some “moving pictures” which my dd (age 5) has just been entranced by. We’ve had so much fun making up our own stories with these. I have a picture posted here telling about our experiences: http://canticlesbycandlelight.wordpress.com/2011/01/30/whoa-it-moved-it-really-moved/. Just as a thought for anyone else needing some more ideas for surviving the winter.

    Blessings and peace,
    Allison

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