Nobody told me winter would last forever.

Nobody talks about how hard it is to survive a Prince George winter. They talk about all the amazing trails, and activities, and community events that Prince George has to offer, but somewhere in the conversation the challenge of winter survival is forgotten.

Not from these parts, or any white parts…

I grew up in the Vancouver area where snow might last 16 hours (I know it hangs around a lot longer these days, but 20 years ago…), and the hardest season was the 85 days of rain from September to November. With bread bags on my feet, my socks would still be soaked by the time I got to school.

In 2010, I moved to Prince George to attend the University of Northern BC. I was drawn by their desire to let me attend their school following a transfer from an unknown women’s college in the United States. It never once dawned on me that maybe I would be moving to an entirely different climate. But being from the Lower Mainland I was completely unaware of Canadian Winters. Sure, we joke of dogsleds and igloos, but those jokes have become a little less “haha funny” and more “holy shit this is real” over the past 9 years because this is a place where people skate to get coffee, ski to work, and sometimes a Moose walks up to your front door.

The one thing I wasn’t prepared for was the deep white cold of winter. 

Is it just me, or is 8-15 weeks of nothing but white entirely upsetting?

The fact that I can barely remember what grass looks like, and sometimes even pavement, really begins to nag at a part of my brain. I spent 22 years living with grass 360 days a year, so shifting into 280 days a year (more or less) is a challenge.

The never ending winter, the white on white on white, and lack of anything alive out in the world is taking a toll on my mental health. As a stay at home mom, I don’t have the luxury of going to work and changing my scenery every day. It’s day in and day out home life with young children in tow. And if you’re a mom, you know how much young children love the cold weather – they don’t, they feel equal discontent about the grocery store. This means long days at home trying to corral wild children into maybe taking a nap so you can make dinner, or enjoy a moment of not being touched.

And,I’m sure I’ll get the same up beat positivity soaked comments like my last post about winter sucks when you didn’t grow up here, but winter is an entirely new level of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

And if you’re an anxious person, like me, then you’re probably beginning to forget how to socialize and when you do see your friends in public you’re a) terrified and hide behind the display of soup, or b) overwhelmed with joy and completely bombard them with conversation so they never want to see you again.

Nobody told me winter would last forever.

Seriously.

Never in my entire childhood growing up did I think that snow could hang around this long and that my feet would never feel warm again. I didn’t realize how much the cold would make my body hurt, or how a case of the sniffles just doesn’t disappear.

Sure, I knew it snowed in other parts of Canada, but to be truthfully honest, this 4-6 months of snow is completely overwhelming, exhausting, and depressing. I just don’t know how to cope with it anymore. I don’t know what to do to make the days feel worthy of livelihood.

My Question For You

Is the long 5-6 months of winter easier if you grew up and it’s your normal? And if you’ve moved here from somewhere that experiences all the warmth of other seasons, do you find struggle with the endless amounts of snow?

We’d love to hear about your experiences living in Northern BC and Motherhood.

 

3 Comments

  • Kelly

    I originally grew up near the Northwest coast in Terrace, BC. We had winter there, but it was usually snow and rain mixed. My back was sore 4 months of the year from shoveling wet heavy snow and trying to move large frozen boulders from the end of my driveway the plow left there! When I moved here almost 5 years ago I was pregnant with my first! So when winter came I had an infant who napped a lot and gave me time to keep up on shovelling (a bonus here is the snow is pretty light). The sunshine and blue sky definitely help here! I enjoy that, but fast forward to this winter, now with two children, 4.5 yo and a 1.5 yo, Plus I work full time, I too, am so done with winter. I am finding February was really hard this year, along with the really cold weather, and the sky being dark on the way home from work I am done. I try really hard to concentrate on the positive! My neighbours are great and they have helped snow blow my driveway this winter quite often (even shovelling off my front stairs). I am blessed and it’s a long season here but it’s a season. Spring will come and I will forget about this hard February until next year! I am definitely thinking in the future a hot holiday away in February come future years! I guess there is plus and negatives to every place! Making an effort to get out for activities or play spaces during the winter is necessary❤️

  • Tara

    I moved up here from the lower mainland as well. It’s our 2nd winter here and I’m not sick of the snow yet. It’s still a novelty. Ha, I’ll never forget the confused look on my coworkers face when I asked them what a snowblower is. But it’s exciting to be able to take my son sledding or skating. Actual outdoor skating! And I am just so relieved to see the sun throughout the winter, not months on end of rain and darkness! I do however have a hard time adjusting to the cold. Um…-20 to -30? What the?!

  • Katie

    I was born and raised in Smithers, BC and from what I can remember during childhood, winters were a lot more extreme in terms of heavy snowfall and frigid temperatures believe it or not! I remember the river creating ice jams almost yearly and one year in particular, the ice jam had spread onto our hay fields and turned the whole thing into a gigantic skating rink! But the older I get the less risilient I am to extreme winters. I’m personally a summer and fall person, so now I try and plan a sunny getaway halfway through this 6 month season to break it up haha! It snowed here March 1st. Big thumbs down

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