As a parent, you love watching your children experience the holidays. Nothing is more priceless than watching their faces light up as they see their first snow, open their presents and experience all of the sights and sounds of the season. However, no one can deny that having kids can just add another level of stress to the holidays.
The good news, it IS possible to eliminate some holiday stress, even when you have kids!
You Don’t Have to Attend EVERY Event
When you have children, you are no longer just attending family and work parties. You now have to work around school and friend events as well. And as a parent, you more than anyone know that children are not always the most well-behaved when party-hopping. When navigating the holidays as a parent, remember it’s ok to say no to some of these events, even if it is because you need the time to shop, prepare for your own party or just spend a moment with your kids.
You Don’t Have to be a Super-Parent
Your children will hear about a variety of holiday traditions and the most lavish toys of the year from their friends and classmates. As a parent, you may not be able to arrange all of the experiences your children want to have this year. And getting your kids every gift they ask for is usually pretty impossible (the pony and spaceship probably won’t be happening). Instead of spending the next few weeks feeling as if you are “disappointing” your children because you cannot do everything, manage their expectations from the beginning. Explain what is, and isn’t, possible to keep you and your kiddos happy.
Specifically, a great tactic to avoid getting out of control with holiday shopping for your kids is the “want-need-wear-read” technique. Basically, choose something your children want, something they need, something they will wear and something they will read. This will not only simplify your shopping experience, it will also help you pick out truly meaningful gifts for your kids.
Utilize “Family Time” Thoughtfully
One of the most special aspects of the holidays is family time. Especially if you have out-of-town relatives, this will be one of the few times of the year they get to see you and your kids. Let them bond with the children and use this as a moment to finish your shopping and party preparation. Your family gets their own time with the kids, and you get some alone time to fully focus on your holiday tasks.
Children bring an extra element of spirit and joy to the holiday season. That’s not to say they do not sometimes make the holidays just a tad more stressful as well. Remember how fun it is to have your children around for this special time, and you will be able to navigate this season happily and stress-free.