The holidays are coming!!! It's time to plan to be kind to yourself
Being a parent is hard work. Being a parent during the holidays ramps up that responsibility exponentially, add to the mix a "spirited" child and it’s as though you are about to embark on a tough guy/gal mudder obstacle course. You’ve got to be ready for the electrical shocks of sugar and stimulation highs. Like the mud crawling sections the disrupted schedules or the relative who insists the meal has to be smack in the middle of naptime or long past your child’s normal bedtime can send you slipping and sliding or just suck you down. The only way to get through is to prepare ahead and to know whose going to lend you a hand when you hit the wall.
So before you “take off” into the challenges of the holidays think about what the flight attendants tell you every time you board a plane – if the oxygen masks drop, put on your own first and then assist those around you. They know that in order to help others you have to catch your breath first. The same applies to you as a parent during the upcoming holidays. That’s why it is so important to plan to be kind to yourself first so you can handle with grace the nurturing of your children and the obstacle course of holiday traditions.
Schedule an afternoon or heck, why not a full day – you deserve it. Okay, so maybe an hour, but whatever time you can grab, stop and ask yourself, what fills me up? Your answer will be very personal and is likely to be different from those of your friends. It doesn’t matter what it is, but it is important to stop and ask; what is it? Who do you love spending time with? What empowers your spirit, body and mind? What do you need in your “support stations?”
It is so easy to get caught up in the rush, plunging forward with no forethought as to where we are going or how we are using our time and resources. Sometimes the weight of the “shoulds” gets so heavy we simply shut down, finding ourselves spending hours watching television or going on social sites. Suddenly the deadlines loom in front of us and we swing from inaction into over drive spending more money than we want to or can and yelling at our kids to “hurry up” so we can “make merry.” No one likes to lose their cool with the kids. It feels even worse during the holidays when we are supposed to be having fun. The race to nowhere leaves us feeling like a loser.
So take that deep breath. Get a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and reflect on what makes you feel strong, confident and calm. Who are your comrades in arms willing and able to pull you over the wall? Write your answers down and plan for them. Be kind to yourself. Spend your time thoughtfully and joyfully without rushing or “shoulds” pressing on your shoulders. Your children will thank you with their smiles and peals of laughter and you’ll feel like a true “winner” in the “tough guy/gal” obstacle course of the holidays. Now that’s worth celebrating!
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