Holiday Done by November One
Once again we find ourselves on the cusp of the holiday season. With this comes excitement, joy, magic, stress, exhaustion, and more gray hair. How do we manage to succeed at the holidays every year?
Plain and simple…we don’t. We survive. We get through it.
Shouldn’t we see this season as the time we get to celebrate all that we have with the ones we love? No stress, no fighting, just peace, love, and joy.
We have children, husbands, wives, partners, parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and so many more people that we suddenly have to entertain AT THE SAME TIME. It’s too much, too overwhelming. If you’re anything like me, you have two modes during this season:
- Do it all at once, by yourself, in one day, running around like a mad woman.
- You shut down.
As parents, we want to make this the most special time of year for our children at the expense of our own sanity. We love our children and want them to look back at these moments from their childhood with nothing less than pure happy memories. While behind closed doors we’re screaming into pillows because we ran out of scotch tape to wrap last minute presents on Christmas Eve and your spouse is cursing in traffic because you forgot to get the carrots for Santa’s reindeer.
Somewhere amidst all this chaos, there needs to be B A L A N C E. But where do we even start?
Start with NO. Easy. Simple. No
Be the advocate for you and your family. Everyone and their brother is having at least one holiday gathering, and if you say yes to all of it, you won’t have a moment to breathe. So…..
No Lydia, I can’t come to your Winter Solstice potluck.
No Carol, I can’t make it to your pre Thanksgiving dinner.
No Todd, I can’t bring the green bean casserole to the office party.
There is absolutely no shame in saying no to any of the 47 events you get invited to. They will survive. And honestly, how much better would it be to have a family pizza and pjs night while watching The Grinch? Probably better than forced conversation at your co-worker’s girlfriend’s ugly sweater party.
Set some boundaries
Let’s be real, extended family members are the worst part of the holidays for many of us, and they all have opinions about you and your children.
Cousin Barbara thinks your child is too chubby.
Uncle Frank thinks your child is too skinny.
Your teenage niece, Samantha, thinks the shoes you chose for your toddler are
“Cheugy.” (Insert eyeroll emoji)
Grandma is worried if the baby is too cold under their blanket.
By the end of the night, you’re fully ready to put a hole in the wall. Family, at times, seems to only have things to talk to you about when it’s criticizing your parenting choices. Even though it may be coming from a place of love, it still makes you crazy. Setting healthy boundaries with family members may be a daunting task, but once they are in place and understood, it will make holiday family gatherings smoother.
Simplify your Traditions
As parents, we burn ourselves out around the holidays by making the most of every moment for our children. Now there is nothing wrong with this until it becomes a heavy, day to day, burden on us. When it reaches that point, we become easily agitated, our fuses are shorter, we lose our patience quicker, and kids notice this. Yes, you stayed up all night decorating their playroom to look like Santa’s elves came and moved everything around and it looks amazing! However, you got no sleep, you yelled at your husband 12 times, and mayyyyybe the wine you had to take the edge off is still in your system. Your child may remember how cool it was to wake up to that sight, but they also heard you fighting last night, they see the anger on your face from lack of sleep, and that affects them too.
Don’t get me wrong, if you’re able to do all of these super awesome things and it doesn’t wear you down, keep going! But if it is a form of stress or anxiety, it may be time to let some of those traditions go. I can promise you, your child will survive without 7 different types of homemade holiday themed cookies.
Your children would rather do a handful of fun activities with happy parents, than have constant entertainment from angry ones.
We only ever want what is best for our children and we work ourselves to the bone to provide holiday magic because we love them so much! Keeping these three simple changes in mind will get you from suffering through to smiling through this holiday season.
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