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8 Ways Winter Turns Every Mom Into an Overbearing Parent

Photograph by Twenty20

For the first time in three years, here in Los Angeles we are experiencing what the rest of the country normally refers to as winter. Well, at least for the past week we've had temperatures that dipped below 50, which is basically arctic to us Angelenos! And we've had something else we haven't seen here in years: rain for days.

There isn't a local in town who isn't thrilled with our recent onslaught of rain. (We've been in a serious drought for a few years). Last week, we had so much rain that some streets were flooded and few roads washed out.

There were no floods where I lived, and I only found out because my mom texted me from her home in the suburbs of San Francisco to tell me her friend in New York had heard that Los Angeles was overrun by water. Positive that I and my family were in the midst of a real-live disaster movie, my mom's friend wanted to make sure I was OK, which in turn made my mom want to make sure I was OK.

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Truthfully my mom confessed to feeling silly texting me about the potential of flooding, knowing she was probably going to receive the text version of an eye-roll and an, "Oh Mom, don't be ridiculous!" back from me in response. Instead I thanked her for her concern and assured her that our city could handle a little rain and that we were all fine.

If you're sure your kids are going to freeze with just one cloud in the sky, you're not alone.

But let's face it, no mom in the world wouldn't do the same thing in reverse. That's because we can't help but worry about our babies, even if our babies have their own babies. See, winter brings out the overbearing mother in all of us moms; logic ceases to exist and weather-related anxiety sets in.

So if you're sure your kids are going to freeze with just one cloud in the sky or you secretly want to pick your kids up from school early anytime it rains, you're not alone. It's not you, it's winter. Trust me. Here are some ways winter makes every mom an overbearing one.

1. We'll layer our kids up anytime it dips below 70.

Where you live it might be freezing, or not. It doesn't matter. As soon as the calendar says December and the temps dip below 70, we all break out the wool sweaters, jackets and hoods. We'd rather our kids sweat through winter than freeze through it.

2. Let's bring extra clothes, just in case.

Most moms have filled their purses or cars with extra clothes, just in case there's a torrential downpour. As if our children will melt if they get wet or cold, we're always prepared for any weather situation at any time.

3. Let's stockpile food, also just in case.

Just in case we get snowed in (we won't), winter makes moms want to start stockpiling food as if we're hibernating. I don't know about you, but the minute it starts getting cold I start buying large quantities of soup, rice and frozen foods just in case the weather keeps me from getting to the market. I live in Los Angeles, not the Himalayas. I can get to the market.

4. We feed our kids soup. And more soup.

Good thing my kids like soup.

I'm always cold, which doesn't mean my kids are. But on any cold day, I've got soup on the stove and I start using words like "hearth" as if we were living on the frontier and should gather around the fireplace for a hot bowl of comfort food. Good thing my kids like soup.

5. We call and text our adult children incessantly. (They're still our kids!)

Once the newscast tells us there was an ounce of rain or snow in our adult child's city, we whip out our phones. My mom's not the only one frantically calling her grown child or texting her college-aged kid the minute she hears winter has gone awry in her kid's city. Every mom does it. How else does the weatherman stay in business?

6. We'll put rain boots on our toddler if there's a potential for puddles. (20 percent chance of drizzle? Time to gear up!)

Sure our 3-year-olds will end up in the hospital if they have wet feet, we'll force them to wear rain boots long after it has stopped raining. Sadly, rain boots are just about the most uncomfortable thing to wear all day, especially for a day of preschool, which probably takes place inside.

7. Under no circumstances can the kids leave the house with wet hair.

Sure our kids will contract a deadly flu, we can't live with ourselves if our kids leave the house with wet hair. You can't actually catch a cold from having wet hair outside. You can catch wet hair outside, but not a cold. But still, what mom lets her child go outside in the cold with wet hair? None.

8. Are you sure it's warm enough in here?

We crank the heat so high, our kids will beg to sleep with the window open even if it's snowing. I spend most of the winter adjusting the thermostat in our house. It's not much the bill I'm worried about, it's the kids. I'm sure that they'll freeze to death in the night without the heat on, but they'll also get too hot with it on. It's a delicate temperate dance that always has my house too hot. But otherwise, I'm up all night sure my kids are freezing to death. Again, we live in Los Angeles. They're not freezing to death. Ever.

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So even though you've got your kid in three sweaters, a pair of gloves and a hat just to walk to the car, don't worry. You're not crazy and you're not overbearing. Well, you are overbearing, but it's winter's fault. At least that's what I keep telling myself every time I turn the heat up past 70.

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