• Substance Moms

Choose Hibernation, Mama Bear


I’m not from Minnesota originally, but I live here now. I don’t know if there’s a support club for people like me in the winter, but I would only join it if I didn’t have to leave my house.


I was DETERMINED to have a good attitude about winter this year. And as I watched the first snow gently falling from the sky and sipped a frothy latte in my cozy kitchen, it was so easy! But then it happened--the children wanted to go play in the snow. And after spending thirty minutes getting two kids into mittens and snowsuits and hats and boots for five minutes of playtime this morning, I have my Winter Mom campaign slogan ready--Choose Hibernation!™


And, thanks to my best friend Google, I have found so many good reasons to campaign for this! Here’s a list of reasons we should take winter inspiration from the bears for more than a faux bearskin rug in front of the fireplace! **


  • Bears are super trendy right now. Especially Mama Bears. How many of you have matching Mama Bear and Baby Bear pajamas? Hibernation seems like the next logical step.


  • Hyperphagia. Ever heard of it? It refers to the excessive eating and drinking bears engage in when preparing for hibernation. It’s perfect timing for us, too, because Thanksgiving and Christmas both happen at the beginning of winter, and I could not possibly think of a better time to engage in some purposeful hyperphagia!


  • Bears lose 25-40% of their body weight while sleeping! Did you catch that? WHILE SLEEPING! Have you ever heard of a better way to lose weight?? I certainly haven’t! It’s even better than going keto and living on bacon and whipped cream!


  • Bears give birth during hibernation. Now according to my meticulous research on Wikipedia (just kidding, I went to bear.org. I care about my readers too much to do shoddy research), bears don’t actually give birth while asleep. They sort of wake up to give birth, but they get to sleep through that whole last trimester. I would have done anything to sleep through that period of time. And after giving birth, they get to stay in a semi-sleeping state for several months while feeding baby bear whenever he cries. No leaving the den. No dishes. No laundry. Literally sleep and nurse, without any pressure to get out of bed, ever.


  • Bears can hold it all winter long. No mid-winter trips to the bathroom. You know, before kids, I don’t know that this would have meant a lot to me, but post-childbirth, that sounds like a dream!


  • Two words. Hibernation Hygge. Yes, I can spell it. And I might be able to pronounce it, but I’m not sure. Hygge is a Danish word, meaning something to do with coziness, and a feeling of comfortable intimacy, and some other things. Apparently it’s not a word that translates well. We Americans aren’t entirely sure what it means, but it’s Danish, and suddenly we want it. If you’ve never heard of hygge, just trust me, you want it. It sounds like something that goes really well with hibernation and fur. The alliteration alone is very hygge.


  • When bears wake up for the spring, they know that by the end of the year, they’ll be hitting the den for a few more months of sleep. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that if you can just push through this summer with your kids, you’ll get to sleep for five months? I feel like I haven’t slept really well since I got pregnant with my first child five years ago, so the idea of knowing that hibernation is coming...well, that pretty much brings tears to my sleep-deprived eyes.


So, my fellow Mama Bears--who is with me? Love yourself, love your children, and love winter more when you Choose Hibernation™! If you have any questions, I’ll be awake in the Spring!


** I know some of you love winter. It’s your favorite season, and you would weep icy tears if you missed it. You don’t need to hibernate. Minnesota was made for you. I might think you’re a little weird, but I will love you anyway!



Anita grew up in Belize as a missionary kid. She has lived in 3 countries and traveled on 5 continents but can't resist the allure of subzero winters so she now lives in MN with her Egyptian husband and two daughters. She loves God, unreached people groups, and pretending to be trendy by drinking coffee and documenting it on Instagram @savethecamels.

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