It’s Sunday night, and I am finally enjoying some quality downtime now that my kids are sleeping. This weekend has been hectic, and my kids have experienced a level of crazy I didn’t think existed. Don’t get me wrong- with my kids being 7 and 4 years old, I’ve seen my fair share of crazy in my house. But as the Holidays get closer, the craziness intensifies.
There is extra sugar around with Holiday treats, which brings on manic sugar highs.
There are events that keep us running nonstop, which causes exhausted cranky kids.
There are toys and gifts all over the stores, causing a bad case of the “I wants”.
Amidst all of the chaos of this season, it can be hard for parents to get the rest and care we need to keep going. We don’t have time to lounge in a hot bath, or to settle down with a good book in the middle of the afternoon. And after the kids go to bed? If you’re like me, you can barely keep your eyes open long enough to wash your face before bed.
The biggest piece of advise I can give in this situation, is to ask for help. If you have a partner, try a divide and conquer plan to allow each person some time to themselves. If you’re a single parent ask a trusted friend, relative or care provider to watch your children for a little while so you can sneak in time for something that helps you reset and relax.
For me, this weekend I still managed to sneak in a trip to the gym, a girls night that included wine and vision boards, a long walk around my neighborhood while listening to an audiobook, and taking the time to enjoy the sweet moments when my kids reminded me that their tiny hearts know what the true meaning of Christmas is.
I noticed that looking through the chaos is so difficult, but if you can manage to, it will completely change your perspective of the moment.
For example, this morning I really didn’t want to get out of bed. I was up late last night, and my kids can never manage to sleep in on the weekends. As frustrated as I was at being woken up before the sun, when I looked over at my kids snuggled up on the couch together I noticed how much they love each other. My son had his head on his sisters shoulder, and she had her arms wrapped around him. They sat quietly, cuddling while watching tv. And then I realized we were up early enough to actually be able to make it to church on this first day of Advent.
So off we went to get a head start on our busy day. And you know what? It felt great! Instead of lounging around being lazy, we were out and about and being productive. Of course we still had our moments of crazy, but a few deep breaths and a change in perspective helped me to make it through.
And when I started to feel the stress of the day sneak up? I left my husband in charge so I could take a nice long walk around the neighborhood.
And if all else fails, spread some kindness. Because the world can always use more, and it is one of the best stress reducers I know.