Digging deep to get outside / Dur dur d’aller dehors…


One of my New Year resolutions for 2018 was to get outside for one hour every day with the acorns.

Three weeks into this new year, it hasn’t happened once.

Of course I could put it down to the flu/sinus infection that wiped me out for over a fortnight. But the truth is, motivation and time to get outside are in short supply on these dreary January days.

Pebbles and Squirrel come home at 2pm, only to get back in the car 40 minutes later for the second school run – and that’s when no-one goes to an extracurricular activity. By the time they finish their (useless/boring/detested) homework, Pebbles has usually been watching Netflix for an hour, but now his siblings are claiming their turn on the various devices, be it the laptop for Minecraft, their DS consoles, or the TV.

All too often, it is far easier to let them slump on the sofa, than to metaphorically kick them outside. While they raid the fridge and fruit bowl, I get some precious work done on the blog.

Hard to get outside

In an effort to keep them ‘unbusy’, I avoid signing them up for countless extracurricular activities. Yet at the end of the day, they spend more time on screens than they do playing, indoors or out, and I feel like I don’t see them much – unless of course cooking their lunch, cleaning up after them and nagging them about their lunchboxes count as quality time!

And so the guilt kicks in.

And so I long for longer, brighter days…
When their school cancels homework again for the last term of the year,
When getting outside doesn’t involve layer upon layer of clothing or muddy footprints all around the house,
When the neighbourhood kids come out to play and I have to repeatedly call the acorns in for dinner,
When the statement below actually rings true again.

Yet there is hope. Going out last Sunday for that incredibly blowy hike was nothing short of amazing. The acorns came home with rosy cheeks and still exhilarated by their battle with wind and rain, and I felt rejuvenated.

Time to dig deep and find the motivation to get outside every day. For the rewards are endless.

En ce début d’année, j’ai pris la bonne résolution de passer une heure dehors par jour avec les graines de chêne. 

Trois semaines plus tard, l’idée ne s’est pas concrétisée une seule fois.

Bien sûr, je pourrais blâmer la grippe/sinusite qui m’a terrassée pendant plus de quinze jours. Mais à vrai dire, la motivation et le temps sont des denrées rares à cette époque de l’année. 

Ecureuil et Caillou arrivent à la maison à 14 heures, pour repartir 40 minutes plus tard pour aller chercher Jedi et Sirène – quand personne ne va à une activité périscolaire ! Quand ils terminent leurs devoirs (barbants/inutiles/maudits), Caillou a déjà passé une heure devant Netflix, et les trois autres commencent à réclamer leur tour sur les divers appareils : l’ordinateur portable pour Minecraft, les consoles DS ou la télévision.

Trop souvent, il est bien plus facile de les laisser s’avachir sur le canapé, plutôt que les “jeter” dehors. Pendant qu’ils pillent le frigo et la corbeille à fruits, je peux passer une heure ou deux sur mon blog.

Pour leur laisser un peu de temps libre, j’évite de les inscrire à mille et une activités périscolaires. Mais en fin de compte, ils passent plus de temps rivés à leurs écrans qu’à jouer, que ce soit dedans ou dehors.

Quant à moi, j’ai l’impression de ne pas les voir beaucoup. A moins bien sûr que leur préparer à manger, nettoyer derrière eux et réclamer sur tous les tons qu’ils vident leurs lunchboxes soient une façon d’en profiter. Non ? C’est bien ce que je craignais. 

Un sentiment de culpabilité ô combien familier m’envahit.

Alors je me prends à rêver des beaux jours…
Quand, au dernier trimestre, leur école supprimera les devoirs écrits,
Quand les multiples épaisseurs de vêtements resteront au placard, et que les empreintes de boue dans la maison disparaîtront,
Quand les enfants du voisinage joueront dehors avec les graines de chêne, et qu’il me faudra les appeler maintes fois pour qu’ils rentrent dîner,
Quand enfin la petite phrase ci-dessous sonnera à nouveau juste.

Malgré tout, notre sortie décoiffante de dimanche dernier nous a fait un bien fou. Les graines de chêne en sont revenus grisées par leur bataille contre les éléments et moi, revigorée.

Alors je garde espoir. A moi maintenant de trouver le temps et la motivation pour aller dehors avec eux tous les jours. Car les bénéfices sont infinis.



12 Responses to “Digging deep to get outside / Dur dur d’aller dehors…

  • We’re terrible at getting the boy outside to let off steam. When I was his age I had siblings and neighbours to run rampant with, but it’s not the case here unfortunately. Thanks for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime

  • I am with ya! My kids don’t even go to school, so I have less of an excuse to not get them out more than you do. ha ha The weather has been such crap, though! For awhile, it was too cold to even let them play outside, regardless of how many layers they had on. Then everything thawed and was a muddy mess. But, I am trying to get better too. We played in the snow several times before it went away and I’ve been getting the kids out more this past week since the temperature has increased significantly. At the very least, the little one likes to come with me to feed the farm animals. 😉

  • Yes- it is more difficult during the winter- we feel it, too! Even playing in the garden results in cold hands/ face/ wet sleeves which freeze etc. Glad to read this- we all agree that it is important to get outside, but the logistics are tricky in certain weather! Roll on spring! #familyfunlinky

  • I love that you call your kids the acorns, and smiled my way through this whole post. As a homeschooling mum of four boys, I encounter many questions and observations, but my favorite is always, “What do you do about Phys Ed?”
    I just open the door.
    They can’t get through it fast enough.
    And now with some of them all grown up, I’m hearing about some of their shenanigans whereby they would orchestrate some sort of distraction for me so that they could sneak outside and play in the woods while I untangled things.
    Good memories.

  • It’s good to know we aren’t alone in this. Ok so our children don’t attend school yet but it is winter and unpleasant weather with the girls colds don’t mix. #ablogginggoodtime

  • I know what you mean! My kids have been sick for 3 months. The days that they’re not feeling awful it’s -40. We’ve gone out when we can, but I’m looking forward to some better play time now that they’re not as sick.
    Katelynn, hampersandhiccups.com

  • I put go outside more on my list this year. It’s funny, we who already do so much outdoors are pushing for more. We clearly know the benefits! Either that the winter months of extra TV and dark are making us feel guilty!! Spring will arrive soon x ‪Thank you for linking up to the #familyfunlinky‬

  • I know the feeling by the time we’ve walked home from school, picked up shopping etc done homework, it’s getting dark and nobody wants to do anything. We tend to try and do long walks at the weekends but I can;t wait for summer where we can get out after school more. Sarah #FabFridayPost

  • I think it’s hard to get outside when the weather is crappy, and winter always makes it so. But it’s compounded when there isn’t much time to go outside and you know the kids will get filthy and need more time to get clean again. #GlobalBlogging

  • It is so hard to find time to get kids outside at this time of year, unless you like walking in the dark, which most people don’t really. I feel your pain #AdventureCalling

  • It is really difficult with little ones. It sounds so simple but just getting them ready and kitted out for some outdoor time takes time, which at this time of year is in short supply because of the dark nights. As you say, though, it’s worth persevering and soon lighter nights and longer days will arrive to make it all easier. Thanks for joining us on #adventurecalling . We open again tomorrow morning for more adventurous posts. I hope you can join us.

  • I’ve felt that this winter has gone on for so long and sapped my motivation and energy, hence we’ve also spent too much time indoors. I can’t wait until spring arrives, I love it when the evenings get lighter. I’m already feeling better, so hopefully over the next few weeks we can get back outside and have some adventures! Thanks for sharing #AdventureCalling

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