Maybe you’re like me and you enjoy the holiday season; maybe you’re just trying to get through it…
But one thing is for certain… If you have kids, you’re definitely trying to survive it! So I came up with a few tips to help make it through the holidays ….with kids… and without losing your sanity (at least not completely).
1. Plan your Holiday Season (and holiday break for the kids!)
A calendar is a moms best friend. (I know… only Old People use those things.)
But, it really can save your life…and sanity. Plan your days, events,
holiday parties, and use it to plan out activities for the kids while they’re home from school. You don’t need anything fancy, just keep it simple.
Here is a Free Printable Copy of the Calendar I use!! Printable Calendar
2. Recruit help from the family(after all, they’re all home anyway.)
While you’re planning your month out on your calendar, go ahead and create a chore list/chart. Chances are your family may already have one, but change it up a bit for December…
Don’t let everything fall on you. With all the cooking, baking, wrapping, decorating, and more that you are undoubtedly doing, you’re already more than doubling your work load this month. Have the rest of the family help with daily chores.
Keep it light and easy, but every little bit helps.
3. Wrap presents as you go… or a few each night.
This is a big one. If you’re anything like me, wrapping presents is fun… for the first 10 or so… but after that, you’re wondering why you bought so much? Asking yourself questions like, “Do they really need this right now?” Because you’re over it.
Wrap as you go! When you buy it, wrap it! Put it away.
(I personally keep a list of what I wrapped so I don’t forget what I got…mom brain and all) You’ll thank yourself on Christmas Eve, I promise!
4. Let it go…. Let it go….(I know you sang that!) & lower your expectations.
I know you want that Martha Stewart Christmas… and you’ve worked so hard, pinning every cute Christmas photo on Pinterest you could find, with high expectations of what your home will look like, how your day will go, how the food will be… But STOP!!! Twenty years from now you won’t remember what color table-cloth you used. You might remember all the unnecessary stress you put yourself in that year.. But, what you should be remembering, is the time spent with your family. The first year your son got a bike, the way they where all so happy that morning… Those things you won’t find on Pinterest.
5. Make your life easier! (even if it’s not photo perfect)
When you have kids you’re used to messes..and I’m sure lots of them. But on the holidays, make your life a bit easier. Buy every single paper item you can find.
Paper plates, napkins, lots of paper towels… even plastic silverware.
All that time you’ll spend doing dishes, you’ll be missing what’s important, and, just adding more stress to your heavy workload… And let’s be honest, the kids couldn’t care less what they’re eating off of.
6. Make Breakfast the night before the Big Day.
We all know that our children wake up at 5 AM Christmas morning, ready to see what Santa brought them…. I always have my Coffee ready, to just turn on! In addition to that, I make a breakfast casserole. Super easy to prep, and all I have to do is throw it in the oven in the morning. That way you’re not missing any time with your family by making a breakfast. While you’re opening presents, it’s baking, and ready when you are!
Trust me, you’ll totally thank me for this one on Christmas morning.
There are many options for pre-made/prepped breakfast, but here is one of my Favorites: Breakfast Casserole
7. Create time for yourself… and remember, its okay to say “No”.
With the holidays looming, your main concern is more than likely your family, right? Sure, me too. But you know the saying “If Momma ain’t happy, no one is”. This is all too true. Make sure to set aside time for yourself. Me, I like to get Starbucks and walk around Target. If that’s not your thing, pick something you enjoy and just do it! Taking a few hours to yourself is very much deserved during the holidays…especially for us Moms! And, know it’s okay to say no. Don’t get overwhelmed by trying to make everyone else happy. Sure, they’re happy, but when you look back on your holidays, do you want to say “how ran down and tried you where all season”, or be able to say “you were so blessed with so much going on that year, you didn’t get to do everything.” Choose the latter.
8. Look for the joyful moments/memories in the chaos.
You know those times you plan something fun or exciting for your family, and the kids are a nightmare? And you spend the whole trip/time battling kids? Yeah, well they won’t remember that. They’re going to remember the fun, and the memories they made with their family, not how annoyed you where. So don’t let that be your memories either. Trust me, I get it! It’s easier said than done, but try to take a step back and look at what memories you’re creating. What fun you’re maybe missing by being annoyed. Enjoy this time with your family….
Getting through the holidays can be tough with kids… Remember, you’ll never get this year, this Christmas morning, this holiday season, or these memories, ever again.
So make the most of them, and let the stress melt away!
With Love and Coffee,