The Holiday season is almost upon us, and with small children or a newborn that means a little more chaos.
Whenever families gather together nothing ever seems to go according to plan or even smoothly for that matter and we wouldn't have it any other way.
Looking back on past holidays you might wonder how you've even survived this long with how hectic the holiday season gets. From gifts to get-togethers there's no true test of strength quite like surviving an action packed holiday season.
Set the Tone
It's easy to fall victim to the stress of the season, but remember that kids can smell your fear. Staying a little extra calm and collected will give your kids a good model for their own behavior, encouraging everyone to stay a little more positive and holly jolly. Sometimes that's easier said than done, but it's worth remembering that this is the season of giving and being thankful for everything we have and stressing about small things discourages the positive message for everyone. If you have a child with special needs, this calming center will be soothing for them once environments get a little uncomfortable or outside their control.
Make a Plan
Being a little extra prepared never hurt anyone, in fact when it comes to planning a holiday event you can never be "too prepared." With little ones running around it can be difficult to focus attention on the tasks at hand. Make plans for kids to stay involved or occupied whether its setting up to entertain or packing up to travel. Keep some activities and welcome distractions on hand for car trips and ways for the little ones to keep themselves entertained while visiting family. Plan a little extra time into your holiday schedule for meltdowns, tantrums and create a buffer for any bump that's bound to happen along the way. Be understanding when your baby gets a little stressed out and communicate to your host that you have an escape plan in the case of small disasters or terrible twos.
Whether it be taking that extra moment to relax and collect your thoughts or to ease up on your usual routine, try to let things roll off instead of piling up. Things will get burnt or broken, you'll be late to dinner and the dog will escape down the street in the snow. You'll forget the pacifier at home and your kids will get carsick...into your purse. Things happen! Most of these things are beyond the control of even the strongest willed mother and for whatever reason this becomes more true than ever before when you're trying to make successful holiday plans. Learn to laugh off the things you can't control and remember that these will all be memories we can't ever forget. Give yourself a moment to breathe when you feel overwhelmed and remember it's all going to work out.
Ask for Help
Don't be a hero! There's just too much for you to do on your own and quite frankly a little help goes a long way. Are your kids under-foot? Try giving them a task to help you in the kitchen like stirring potatoes or arranging bread in a basket. More helping hands sorting out small tasks will keep your holidays feeling like a well oiled machine instead of a where's waldo poster. To keep tensions low, consider the way you ask for help. Instead of using words that seem threatening or demanding, a conversational tone will work wonders on even the fussiest of kids and relatives. Remember that teamwork makes the dream work, especially during the holidays.