Mothers: 3 Ways to Find Balance and Keep the Magic Alive During the Holidays (for Your Children AND Yourself!)
I don’t know about you, but lately I’ve been exhausted. Motherhood is tiring. The holidays are tiring. It’s easy to forget about yourself in the mix, miss out on the joy and magic, and end up completely depleted.
It’s the time of year when nature wants us to curl up inside, in front of a warm and cozy fire, snuggling up with a book and a hot chocolate. Instead, many of us find ourselves in a mad frenzy to create a Christmas that is “perfect” for our families, and sometimes for visiting relatives too.
It’s easy to spread yourself too thin and end up exhausted and missing out on the spirit of the season and all the joy that is possible (but it is possible for you too! Read on...)
It’s so easy for our children to experience the magic and wonder of the holidays. It’s nothing they need to work on- it just happens! They are energized by this season rather than exhausted by it (yes, you say, it’s easy for them because they don’t have to do all the work to prepare for it!)
But it’s possible for you too- when you make the intention and understand why it’s important.
You deserve to feel the joy and magic of the holidays. Yes, you do.
If feeling deserving is a hard one for you, you can always look at it from the angle that it benefits your children when you enjoy the holidays.
Children are deeply affected by your energy, and it will help them feel even more joy when they see that joy in you!
You are modeling for them how to be a grown-up during the holidays. If they see you stressed out and exhausted, chances are they will repeat that same pattern when they grown up with their own families. And of course you don’t want that for them.
So that is why it’s important that you count yourself in, but...how can you get there? How can you find lightness and joy during the holiday season and within yourself?
Here are 3 ways...
1. Focus on what energizes you and helps you remember the magic.
Start by shifting your focus.
It’s easy to get caught up in your head and all the overwhelm of the holidays.
The magic, joy and love of the holidays is found only in your heart (follow the advice of all those t.v. Christmas specials!) Focus on that warm, fuzzy feeling and ask yourself, does this (activity/party/celebration/group of people) make me feel *magical*?
What really and truly brings you joy this time of year? Going skating with your child’s class? Making Christmas cookies with your pre-schooler?
For me, I love to go snowshoeing in the mountains with my family. Being outside surrounded by snow-covered trees feels exciting and magical. The fresh air and exercise energizes me. Being with family helps me feel warm and connected.
I also love doing Christmas baking with my oldest son. But not too much. If I plan on trying out 5 new recipes (so tempting!) then I feel overwhelmed. So we’ll stick to one or two.
What helps you feel *magical*?
2. Let go of things that feel like obligations.
What are you dreading?
I haven’t send out Christmas cards for the last couple of years. It started to feel like a weight and not something I enjoyed. I have let go of that obligation. Maybe one day, when my kids are a bit older, I will send out cards again.
What feels that way for you?
Are there numerous holiday parties that you feel obligated to go to? Choose the ones you really and truly want to go to, and let go of the rest.
Which people will you genuinely enjoy being with? What experiences do you actually want to be a part of your holidays?
3. Get help with the obligations you just can’t let go of.
If your house is going to filled with relatives and you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the obligations of cooking and cleaning for them, enlist help.
So many moms take on the responsibility of doing everything all. by. themselves.
You don’t need to do this. I hear you, and understand you. I have been there. But know that you really, really don’t. If help doesn’t volunteer itself, ask for it. Most people enjoy contributing to family celebrations.
Some of my favourite memories as a child are being in the midst of extended family crowded in the kitchen, everyone working together to make an amazing holiday feast. It’s a great experience for children to get involved and helps them create wonderful holiday memories.
Every time something gets added to your to-do list around the holidays, ask yourself, does this add to the *magic* of the holiday season for me?
And you can always be inspired by the excitement in your children's eyes and know that the same feeling can be part of your holiday experience too:)
If you'd like articles like this (helpful, relevant tools and support for mothers) delivered to your email inbox twice a month, sign up for my newsletter.
If you're really struggling this holiday season, or anytime on your motherhood journey, I support mothers through online workshops, individual and group counselling. Check out my services here.
Katherine Aucoin, Motherhood Counsellor
Hi Mamas! My name is Katherine and I'm a motherhood counsellor and a mom to two little boys. I'm here to offer tools, insights and support to help you be the best mom you can be for your children AND yourself.