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Friday, December 18, 2015

prioritizing your holidays: how to stay calm and be merry

Christmas is coming! I love it... and yet, it's super stressful, too, and slightly overwhelming if you're a busy person, like I know all moms are.

There are so many pressures out there and internally to do it all as mothers, but I find this happens particularly during the holiday season. We want to keep our children happy and in the spirit, enjoying every little thing since we know they're only little once and for a short time. We know that it flies by. We want to make the most of the short season, too, so we try to cram it all in.

Trips to see Santa Claus, holiday parties, yankee swaps, pot lucks and work gatherings. Cards to family and friends, other small gifts to teachers and daycare providers. It's a LOT to manage.

It's important to do the small things, what matters to you and your family. Your own traditions, not just what others are doing. Do the Elf, or skip it and create some other tradition. Whatever works for you.

Kids love those little fun holiday events, but what they enjoy more is a happy, sane, stress free mama instead of someone who isn't enjoying the season due to saying yes too much to obligations.

Here are a few ideas to help you relax and prioritize what's important in the last week before Christmas. These ideas should help you get through the busy part of the holiday!

  • Take a break. Take naps. Skip things. Say no. It's OK to not be involved in every little part of the holidays. 
  • Pick and choose, prioritize what is most important. I add to our calendar all the fun events, but end up skipping at least half of them when we're too tired or too busy that day. It's nice to have ideas and options of fun things to attend, but we prioritize what's most important. Your kids don't have to see Santa 10 times, just because you found that many events happening. 
  • Stay organized. Write it down! My white board is covered. Yesterday we had so many events happening I had to write out an hourly list of where we were supposed to be! Text, sync up your calendars and phones. Email. Whatever it takes to make sure you're on the same page as your partner. 
  • Exercise. For me, this helps me de-stress. It also keeps me in check with all the candy around! Exercise helps me sleep better and feel more energized also, so I'm ready to face whatever busy events we have planned during the holidays. 
  • Plan ahead. Don't leave things until the last minute if you can help it. Write cards out in advance. Do a little at a time, and ahead of time. 
  • Ask for help. You are Super Mom, we know, but that doesn't mean you have to do it ALL during the holidays, too. Ask for help with wrapping or labeling cards. 
  • Give up control. You can't control how others react, how events will happen when your children are tired, all the sugar or excitement making your kids crazy, etc. Just let it go! Try to enjoy it, maintain a routine, and move on from the chaos, focusing on the good stuff.
  • Online shopping! Hopefully this is a no brainer for you and you're almost done shopping by now, but online is where it's at! Shopping in your pajamas?! What could be better? 
  • Two birds with one stone. Try organizing your shopping list so that you go out to similar stores in one trip versus multiple trips. 
  • Remember the reason for the season. It's about love and family and friends... not parties and spending more money and gifts. Those are fun and a part of it, but don't go overboard. Try to stay within a budget and let go of pressures for higher expectations. 
  • Let things slide. It's OK that you aren't caught up on dishes, emails or laundry. It's cool that you're eating out a few times during the busy season. We're all human. It's all good. 
  • Simplify. Make things easier on yourself but cutting some things back or out. For example, we returned all library books after Thanksgiving and won't take out anymore before Christmas, because I just don't want one more thing to look for or deal with. 

May you enjoy what matters this holiday season!  Do what works for you instead of keeping up with Mama Jones or Pinterest! 

Merry Christmas, happy holidays! 

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