What presents will be under the tree? Do you get everything your child asked for? Which set of grandparents do you disappoint with the schedule you choose? How do you find the time for everything that needs to be done? How will you get your children to behave when they’re up way, way, way past their bedtime – and not incur the rolled eyes and pursed lips from the relatives who obviously think you’re not doing your best as a mom?
And no one's judgment of you can be as bad as how you judge yourself when you've gone past the end of your patience and lost it once again.
Every autumn when my kids were little, I would dread what was coming: shopping, cooking, scheduling, baking, planning, returning, wrapping, making lists, managing the budget, managing everybody's moods, standing in line, waiting in traffic, looking for parking, staying up late, losing my patience. I didn’t know how to manage my time (much less myself) and so the holiday season was filled with a long string of obligations I didn’t enjoy all that much. I couldn’t wait for January, and felt constantly guilty for faking my happy throughout the holidays.
I know the responsibility for putting happy into the holidays is pretty much all yours. Even if you have help, it’s probably your job to figure out how to make the season bright for everybody. It’s a big task and it can suck the joy out of everything.
I've created a short list of things that you can do to put the merry back into the season, especially for you, not just for everybody else. And since your whole family takes its cues from you, when you're happier, everyone else is happier, too.
Get new ideas for managing the holidays on my free call for moms happening on Thursday, November 5th at 1:00 p.m. (Pacific time). If you can, listen live, because I'll be answering questions at the end of the call and you may surprise yourself by having a few of your own. Even if you can't make the call, sign up to get the recording. You'll get ideas for dealing with rude relatives, managing the stress of everything that needs to be done, tools for figuring out what to say yes to and what to decline, and how to make the good stuff stick (instead of being forgotten in the overwhelm of tantrums, shopping, parking, baking ...)
Here are the details:
Free Call for Moms: What to do if the holidays aren't happy (for you)
Thursday, November 5th, 1:00 p.m.
Go to the Holiday Call page to register.
I know it's a little early to start thinking about the holidays but they'll be here before you know it. Let's make sure you're ready.
Kathleen Ann Harper is a certified life coach and the author of The Well-Crafted Mom, a resource for moms with ideas, tips, and tools for managing the beautiful mess of motherhood. The Well-Crafted Mom will be available in print in mid-November, just in time for the holidays.