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Why do we fear rainy days? Does wet weather make for wet parenting?

This is what I’m currently looking at. Note the steaming clouds on the left and the chute of water on the right. It’s raining.

We woke up to the sound of deep, rolling thunder and fat drops of rain smacking onto the eaves of our current residence. All four of us, including the dog, made a collective, smug, ‘we’re inside’ sigh and turned over in bed, holding hands and trying to catch a few more minutes. Personally, I was hoping hard that I’d get out of bed to cleared clouds, breaking sunshine and the sweet smell of drying grass. It’s not to be.

Why do we fear rain? Why does being a parent suddenly feel harder in the rain? I don’t have any answers. Part of me feels like slinging on a decent coat and some wellies and getting out there. After all, everyone’s least favourite pig advocates muddy puddles pretty strongly. Rain can be exciting, beautiful, and thought provoking. And although I know some kids hate getting wet, most don’t seem to mind. Maybe I should be thinking more like this:

  • Watching puddles form, rivulets run down the side of pavements, and the water run down the hilly streets of Bristol, could have curiosity value for a child
  • Mud is beautiful, a feast for the senses. I remember being knee deep and barefooted in it for hours on a childhood holiday, literally wallowing in the tracks created by the farmer’s tractor for whole afternoon. It probably had a lot of cow pats mixed in with it. I’m unharmed
  • Raindrops on roses? If it’s one of Maria’s favourite things, it needs investigating. In fact, that song is a checklist of awesome
  • Rain hitting the sea. If you’ve been lucky enough to see this in a monsoon country, you’ll know it’s a thing of beauty. I think that it probably still is on the UK coast of your choice
  • Raindrop racing. We tend to do this down windows from the inside. I’d argue it’s more interactive from the outside
  • Umbrella counting/spotting. Pretty neat way to pass the time in a cafe/on a walk – counting the colours and imagining the stories of the people underneath?
  • You spend a shed load on coats for your kids. A shed load.

I’m thinking that wet weather is a purely parental hangup. We get irritated at the thought of buggies pooling water in our hallways and standing in wet jeans as we get little bodies dry before our own. We fear wet hair, the chills we’re told the children will catch, and the smell of wet coat when it’s not hot enough to put the heating on to dry them. We curse the traffic and the full buses and the fizzing soft play hubs. The kids feel none of this. For most kids, they are told they’re staying indoors, rather than requesting it.

Baby led weaning happens, so why not baby led weather activity? I’m not accusing here, I’m kind of just questioning what I’m guilty of as well.

One of my most popular posts is on rainy day activities in Bristol.

One of the best things I’ve read about all weather parenting can be found here, from Rainorshinemamma 

How do you feel about rain?


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  1. I honestly don’t mind rainy days… as long as we can stay home in the dry 😉

  2. An interesting post, but I definitely don’t think it’s just baby related. I went to a festival a couple of weekends ago and have just started my wedding planning and the weather has been my key concern with both so far!

    • It rained part the way through our wedding day, and honestly, nobody noticed. But it was a concern of mine as well, that and people’s kids ruining the service. Feels like another life…four years on and about 30 more kids between us, we’d never have been able to get away with such a non-child policy wedding!

  3. Rachel Rachel

    well, beth loves a muddy puddle, even if they come with unidentifiable city slime and fag butts. and as you know from our battersea park experience, she’s like a heat seeking missile to a massive pool of water. i fear the rainy days i have to say. one thing i have noticed however is that whenever it’s raining she wants to ‘go to playground’. and whenever it’s lovely sunshine like it was last week she wants to stay inside and ‘play choo choo train’. why is this?

    • That is pretty mystifying. Perhaps she knows that if she goes to the playground in the rain she’ll have more swings and slides to herself? That’s pretty much why I go to the cinema on sunny days – less people to tolerate.

  4. Since getting a dog I fear rainy days a bit – I equate them to a muddy dog and therefore a muddy flat. Just need a country house and a boot room and I’d be fine

    • well, yes, there is that. It totally redecorates your hallway doesn’t it, especially here in Bristol where most of us have little porches and thin hallways, ours is covered in muddy tail whips!

  5. Big Trouble in Little Nappies Big Trouble in Little Nappies

    What a lovely post – and you are so right – since becoming a parent, rainy days brings to mind awful things like an overcrowded soft play of screaming children but it doesn’t have to be like that at all. My son love being outdoors so much, whatever the weather and I’m sure he’s not alone. Will gear up for a big session of Stuck in the Mud on our next rainy day!

    • Thanks! My husband and I were talking about this topic yesterday and he can’t think of anything he’d less rather do than stand out in the rain, so it’s a very personal thing. Let’s see how I feel after a good old rainy summer, hey!

  6. Haha I am definitely one of those people who stays indoors as soon as I see it’s raining. Kids love it though, putting on wellies and splashing in puddles, maybe I should take them out in it one day… maybe 😉 I did open the back door once and let Cherry dance around in it, that’s a much better option! x

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