Whole Parenting Family

Winter Blues Cures for Mamas



I’m working on a longer post about depression and motherhood, the darkness of parenting days, etc. Heavy stuff. Perfect for Lent. But as I’m not ready to slam you with that, I thought I’d share my light recipe for the winter blues. It’s very cold in Minnesota and I only get outside when I race between the house and the car to go places I absolutely must go (or my children must go–like the train store or BFF play dates). By the time February hits, I’m swimming in the blues of winter. In resolution to not wallow in self pity just because of the climate, here’s what I’m doing.

1) Cooking & baking with greater enthusiasm.

I’m cooking with a new vigor, thanks to my purchase of the meal plan from Wellness Mama. Consider taking a look at it yourself. She gives you a fabulous array of recipes, gluten-free (can be anything free as substitutes are listed), your grocery list, and the impulsion to just learn new healthy recipes already.

My baking has been taken to new heights thanks to my happy kitchen assistant, Mr. SuperBoy (aka le chef). He got his oil cloth apron from my girlfriend’s Etsy shop {Baby Back Bibs} and has a new lust for whisking flour and water together. Everywhere. Pouring. Whisking. Baking. So I’m finding new healthy recipes for baked goods–no sweet during Lent for this Catholic–and will do a post with them soon!

My advice: find good healthy comfort food.

2) Purging my closet and bathroom cabinets.

How many articles of clothing do you have that you’ve not worn in years? Maybe like me it’s because you thought you’d find an occasion to pair this striped tunic dress with some leggings and then a scarf? Um, yeah, the dress is way ugly and never fit right. Sending it out the door! AA’s collection of Old Navy button down shirts that are over a decade old and look it? Gone. My children’s burgeoning closets stacked high with three cousin’s hand-me-downs (love hand-me-downs-my-fav) but 10 pair of jeans for SuperBoy? Slimming it down.

My bathroom has so many old products in it! Like really old. Like perfume from high school? Like sample hotel bath soaps? After learning more by following my sister’s journey of hand-made organic products over at Brooklyn Herborium, I’m inspired to just pitch it, toss it, and clean house. If I don’t know what the ingredients are, or it’s over 2 years old, it’s gone. So I’m looking at needing to buy some products from my sissie as now I have very. very. little left.

My advice: shed the unnecessary and find a new home for neglected clothing!

3) Sprucing up our house with a little handmade-homemade projects.

Do-It-Yourself. Pinterest (follow me yet?) has inspired me. I’m working on a few projects to reorganize and reinvigorate the decor of our bedroom & office suite. I just am craving freshness and–it must be the winter–am ready to have a cleaner and more streamlined approach to our house. Junk, be gone! It helps me feel like I’m doing something other than just staying alive in the cold!

My advice: look with a new eye on your space and get help reconfiguring it to freshen up your fung shui!

4) New resolution for prayer time.

I pray with our children often during the day–mealtime, bedtime, nap time. I cannot say I’m consistent in carving out prayer time for me. I find time for facebook, I think I can find time for reflection. The stack of books on my nightstand can give testament to my attempt to edify myself before bedtime (not realistic–I just collapse into bed by the time I get there!). Instead of reading something, I think I’m going to make my prayer time a simple quiet meditation prayer. Have you heard of the Pilgrim’s Prayer or the Jesus Prayer? Check it out–Wiki dishes: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy on Me, the Sinner.” (over and over and over again)

My advice: make the time for reflection and restoration inside.

5) Crafting up a storm.

My etsy shop, Whole Parenting Goods, has been booming. Thank you, thank you so much to all my friends who turn to me for baby showers or new baby & mama gifts. It is such a delight to create for you! And thank you to my local retailers, Baby Banou, Blooma, and Peapods. I am so pleased to partner with places I love to be and shop as well. I’m working on cotton flannel blankets for Baby Banou right now–ooooh soooo soooooffffttt.

I’ve got a new nephew on the way (!!! just found out the gender this weekend !!!) and so I’m very inspired to knit, sew, and dream up little things for him and his sweet parents. Nothing like family to inspire you.

My advice: find joy in creating for others.

Come read more over at Small Town Simplicity’s Mindful Mothering Mondays.



  1. Lydia on February 18, 2013 at 8:30 am

    I love all of these ideas! February is always a tough month for me – squirrelly little ones and so much cold still, yet so ready for Spring! My concentration looks quite a bit like yours. More making, baking, cleaning, reading. And remembering that these days will be gone before I know it!

    Thanks for linking up!

  2. Tessa @ SAHM Experience on February 18, 2013 at 10:35 am

    These are really great ideas. I live in the cold Northeast, and I agree it gets hard to be excited about each day when each day is met with blasting wind and below zero wind chills. We spend a lot of time outside nordic and alpine skiing, and I love our seasons and love winter. However, I know my family and I will be ready for warmer weather, stronger sunshine, and being able to leave our million layers of warm clothes behind when we head outside. We are almost there! Three short months from now we will be in the middle of May!

    • Natural Mama Nell on February 18, 2013 at 3:42 pm

      Spending lots of time outdoors certainly helps! My little ones are so little that we don’t get out to play as much as I’d like–and SuperBoy has eczema which seems to be exacerbated by the cold. I’m glad that you guys get out and you’re right–we’re ALMOST THERE!!!

  3. Sara on February 19, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Love to find ways to cure the winter blues!

    • Natural Mama Nell on February 20, 2013 at 10:10 pm

      They’re brutal! And it’s really such a combination of mental and physical–it’s not just mental. When it is regularly below freezing, and periodically below zero, one simply has to do something!

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