Surviving the perils of the festive season
The Christmas and New Year period is a time of highs and lows. We go into it with such high expectations, and although most of us succeed in bringing some of that Christmas magic that the TV tells us about into our homes, when things go wrong, they do so in big style.
Speaking of the TV, everyone’s favourite soaps, EastEnders and Coronation Street are seen as something of an exaggerated or intensified reflection on real life. And there you see it all distilled – families united in love, laughter, happiness, tears, divorce, murder and train crashes. And it all happens on Christmas day.
Of course, in your home or mine, the divorce and murders are muttered threats, and the train crash is of the metaphorical variety, but there is little doubt that many of us come out the other end of the holiday period needing a holiday. Here are some survival tips to keep you going.
1) A little space
Some disclosure, here, the phrase “me time,” is one that makes me cringe, but you definitely need a little space to yourself from time to time. I had a friend who went to a construction sign company and bought one of those free-standing DO NOT ENTER signs that she was able to carry around with her to block doors to the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and so on. It was done in fun, but I think it’s the best £20 or so she ever spent!
2) Share the joy
A phrase that I’m much more fond of is many hands make light work. When you are trying to get things done with the kids under your feet, you get grouchy, they get needy and it all ends in tears. Even the smallest ones can put those tiny hands to good use if you find them something interesting to do – and if it helps you to get the job done, that makes it a win / win! Mixing ingredients in the kitchen, looking up a “useful” recipe tutorial for you on YouTube or creating that perfect dance routine to show the grandparents when they turn up are all highly valuable tasks that they can take from your shoulders!
There’s lots going on, we all know that, but if you try to do everything, you will be exhausted, the kids will be over-stimulated and nobody will end up having a good time. Take a step back and think about what is really important. Saying “Sorry, we really won’t have time,” is not going to make you sound like a miserable person or a bad parent – after all, at this time of year, you’d quite understand if someone said that to you, right?
Rest, sleep and downtime are even more important over the Christmas and New Year period than at other times, so make a point of including them in the schedule – for the adults as well as the kids. Have a wonderful, and peaceful, holiday season.
- This is a collaborative post