3 Tips to Help Moms Survive the Holidays

Posted December 6, 2019 by Prairie Wife -

The Holidays are ALWAYS full of hustle and bustle, but I feel like for moms there is an extra added dose of “Can I possibly get this all done in time?”

I know that’s certainly what I’m feeling now in my current season of life as newly back to work mom!

I’m working so hard, on pausing and remembering what is truly important about this time of year…God and family time.

It’s never okay to let the stress of the holiday season take over and ruin the joy, so here are three rules that I know will help all of us to survive the holidays.

  1. Lower Your Expectations

It’s easy to get stuck in the bigger is better Pinterest and Instagram perfect holiday trap. But unless you truly enjoy spending 12 hours decorating your home or get a thrill painstakingly frosting dozens of cookies…skip it. Let your kids help decorate the house and embrace the fact that your tree is only decorated from three feet on down.  Think about what makes up your favorite holiday memories from the past. I bet it’s more about feelings rather than a certain gift. When you focus on creating that feeling of wonder, love, and family rather than the perfect moments, you’ll be amazed at how much easier those to do lists are.

Speaking of lists…

  1. Make a List and Check it Twice

With five children and a whole slew of friends and relatives to shop for, lists are vital to keeping track of all the must-dos. My husband and I sit down and create a list of people we need to shop for. This list includes a budget (that we really really try to stick to), specific gift ideas, where the items can be bought, and by what date we need to have the item purchased. With several relatives that live across the US we need to make sure that we get the gifts shipped on time. Don’t forget to add teacher gifts to the list as well. If you’re throwing any parties it helps to make a plan for dishes you’ll be making, and right away make the grocery store list.

  1. Outsource Whenever Possible

Take those lists and split them up with your partner. If you create the detailed lists above together, there is no reason why they can’t help out. Another favorite trick of mine is to hire a babysitter for a few days so that I can knock out all the holiday shopping and shipping without keeping track of the kids. If budgeting is an issue, see if you have a few friends that would love to trade out babysitting at no cost so they can do some kid-free shopping as well. Having a big party? Hire a house cleaner to come just this once. Eliminate the need to cook by getting premade food or trays of goodies from a local restaurant or grocery store. Shop small and local for unique gifts by going to the little boutique just a few blocks from your work on your lunch break. Keep in mind too, a lot of local small businesses DO have websites. This saves you some time AND might help you skip a step by allowing you to ship wrapped gifts right to your loved one’s door.

Bonus Tips

  • Instead of buying gifts for all your friends throw a fun and low-key girls only party at your house.
  • Teachers love gift cards (or at least I did). Buy a bulk package to a local coffee spot and have your children write a heartfelt letter to them.
  • When in doubt go with your gut. It’s truly the thought that counts with gifts.
  • Give yourself permission to skip traditions if they stress you out. This includes Christmas cards, office parties, cutting down a real Christmas tree, and holding huge family gatherings at your home.
  • Create new traditions as your family grows and changes. Sometimes switching things up can bring back that excitement and JOY that you’ve been missing.

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Categories: Life As It Happens, Parenting, Prairie Life

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