As the unofficial Household Holiday Leader in my little family, I'm feeling a little less overwhelmed and bunches more grounded this year than in the past.
It feels similar to the difference between being a new mom, verses a few years later being a second time mom. As a first time mom, I remember feeling utterly overwhelmed, not knowing what I really needed in terms of stuff, or how exactly how to parent. The second time, I got rid of all the crap that society brainwashed me into thinking I needed, listened to my instincts and freed up time and space to just be.
So this year, I'm revamping and creating some new rules:
1. I have just accepted that December is a crazy busy month for both parents and kids, and we can only do so much. I've tried to wisely pick and choose the few fun events we go to. I have tried to drop the guilt and desire after I see how cool all the events we missed were on Facebook.
2. I will lower my own expectations, and take the pressure off myself.
3. I have come to realize that being a stressed-out frazzled, overwhelmed mom, who is under-slept from staying up late hand-making shit, and endlessly scrolling website for perfect presents, is really not bringing the good vibes to the table in the morning. That was the me of years past. And the me of this year wants to be happy. So that means simplifying this season. And showing up each day with the joy and warmth that I want my family to remember the season to be.
4. Going forward, I pledge to not be the Christmas Elves sweat-shop dictator Mama who forces her kids to Christmas craft, cook, decorate, or any form of holiday hoopla just for the sake of memory making if they don't want too. ("But kids I am only home for four hours this weekend we MUST bang this out now!!!!!!! There are only three December weekends until Christmas! Let's hop to it!) No no. I will not force them. Coerce maybe. And if I do suggest anything, I pledge to do so with calm and peace, promising to remember point 2 above - lower my expectation.
5. I will not over-buy. It's a hard lesson, but its true. I want my loved-ones to be happy. But deep down I know it's not all about the presents. Nor do I want my kids to become too entrenched in material wants and woes. We all know how the high of material gifts fade away quickly and what is left must be something other than a void. I will try to stress the magic of the season, the joyful moments and the love of connection.
6. I attest to try my best this holiday season to deeply listen to my loved ones for what they really need in the moment. Maybe its just a hug. Maybe it something more elaborate and festive. Maybe its an early night to bed. Maybe its that special present to knock their socks off. But I will try to deeply listen, without my own judgments or expectations, to what my loved-ones really need.
And hopefully that will my little family truly happy. And that will make me very happy too.
Please share with me how your holidays will be different this year from lessons you have learned in the past!