Christmas is such a fun time, but for a mom with young kids, it can also feel a bit stressful. That’s why today I want to give you some easy, actionable tips to not just survive the holidays with kids, but to thrive through them.
No one wants to stress through the holidays, especially not moms!
And you shouldn’t have to stress. After all, moms deserve to relax and enjoy the festivities just as much as anymore else. If not more so!
So instead of running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off, slow down and relax this season. These easy tips will make your holiday with kids more manageable, and hopefully help you to wind down and enjoy this busy season!
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How To Thrive Through the Holidays with Kids
Keep to Your Routine
My number one tip to thrive through the holidays with kids is to keep to your routine as much as possible.
That means eating meals at regular times as much as possible, as well as snack times. If your kids are young enough to take naps, strive to keep nap times at the same time each day. And don’t forget to adjust if you visit family in a different time zone (been there, done that)!
Keeping your kids on their regular bed time routine and time is crucial as well if you want to eliminate stress.
Sticking to your usual routine helps your kids feel safe, secure, and in control–at least somewhat.
When you’re on a routine, your kids know what to expect next. This helps them to relax and manage any stress they may be feeling from the holiday festivities.
Now, don’t get me wrong here. Keeping to your routine does not mean that you cannot enjoy the festivities, do special activities, or attend parties.
Quite to the contrary! I firmly believe that by sticking to your routine when possible, your kids will cope far better when you do stray from the schedule and do something special. Despite popular opinion, it has been my observation that kids who have regular bed times typically fare far better when they occasionally stay up to attend parties or activities.
Make Time for Special Activities
Now, this may seem a little contradictory to what I just got done saying about routines, but hear me out. The holidays are all about spending time with family and doing special activities.
Just because you primarily stick to your routine doesn’t mean that you can’t make time to do special things together.
By all means, take time to go look at Christmas lights, decorate the house together, go for a sleigh ride, see fireworks. Go to that Christmas party, stay up to welcome in the New Year. Do things you don’t normally do to make the holiday season special. Make it a magical time for your kids.
Just don’t expect your kids to fare well if you load up your calendar with activities every single day and then have no semblance of a daily routine. The routine is what makes the holiday activities special. The routine is what grounds your kids enough to enjoy the special times.
Make Time for Each Child
Around the holidays, it’s extremely easy to get caught up in busy-ness. There’s just so much to do and so many things to see and do.
The danger here is that sometimes we get so caught up in all the things we have to do and want to do, that we forget to make one-on-one time with our kids.
Next to throwing the routine out the window, I believe this is the second biggest reason kids struggle through the holidays. Heck, it may even be the biggest reason.
Kids of all ages–babies, toddlers, elementary age and beyond–need to feel loved by you. They need your undivided attention.
Does this mean you have to cater directly to them the entire day, every day the whole year? No. But it is extremely important to make time each day to give your full attention and love to each of them.
Even if it’s only ten to fifteen minutes of playing with them during a lunch break. Or reading to them before they go to bed at night. Whatever it is that works for you and your kids, make the time to do it every day.
Set aside a minimal amount of time to spend with each individual child. It will result in far happier kids, which ultimately makes the holidays far less stressful for you.
Actively Involve the Kids
One great way to minimize stress and help you thrive through the holidays with kids is to actively involve them.
With everyone rushing around preparing for the holidays, it’s easy for young kids to feel overwhelmed and overlooked. Rather than letting them feel out of place, actively look to involve your kids in the festivities.
When you go out on special events or activities, ask them about what they see or what your doing. Do they like ice skating? What’s their favorite house that’s decorated with Christmas lights? Can they help decorate the tree/house?
Especially as Christmas gets nearer, try to get them actively involved in buying and wrapping gifts for other people, whether it be family or friends. Baking cookies? Let them help make the dough or decorate the cookies.
By keeping your kids involved in what is going on, you minimize the risk of them feeling overlooked or ignored. Ultimately this leads to fewer tantrums and happier kids.
Give Everyone a Job
Believe it or not, moms aren’t the only ones who can check things off the holiday to-do list.
To help get things done quicker, try giving every child a job that is age appropriate for them. Holidays with kids doesn’t have to mean extra work for mom to do. Even young kids can help with basic things like cleaning up toys, folding laundry, matching socks.
Enlist your kids to help wherever you can. You’ll be minimizing the work you have to do, and at the same time keeping your kids involved with the goings on.
Imagine how proud they will feel when the house is clean and decorated and ready for company, all because they had a part in making it happen.
Most of all, the best thing you can do for yourself to help you enjoy and thrive through the holidays with kids is to have patience.
I know that isn’t always easy.
You’re not the first mom to lose it with their kid, and you won’t be the last.
If you feel yourself about to lose patience, try stepping away for a moment. Find a quiet room and take a few deep breathes. Calm down before going back and addressing the situation.
Remember, they’re just kids. They have bad days too. With patience, you can work through it with them, and set yourself up for a great holiday season.
What’s a special activity you love to do with your kids during the holidays?