Melissa Sackett a.k.a Difficult Mommy has some sound advice for parents trying to survive the holiday break.
1. Don't be afraid to do nothing
This can be incredibly difficult, but sometimes much needed for the entire family. There will be days jam-packed with activity, but there should also be slow days. Pajama days. Where you stay home, make a mess, take a nap and recharge. Your kiddos will crave that downtime, and so will you. It is a must.
2. Stay on top of the mess
I`m not one to be constantly cleaning my house, anyone who has visited me knows that. It is lived in for sure, but during the holiday break, I spend 10 minutes tidying up like 6 different times. Between holiday treats, decorations, gift packaging, dishes, laundry, more dishes, the mess can get out of hand in a hurry. And don`t worry, it`s a family affair, not just a job for mom. Encourage everyone to help.
3. Go device-free
I`m the first to admit that I am not the best at limiting screen time for my kids. I`m of the opinion that the more I restrict it, the more they will crave it. But we have a rule as a family that all tablets and computers go away as of Christmas Eve and don`t come back until the new year. This is a time to play board games and build Lego castles. I do let them watch movies, and if they received a toy from Santa that requires an app there is an exception, but I have found this to be a good mental detox time before the new year.
4. Give yourself a holiday break survival 'gift'
I want you to take a minute right now and think of something that would make your break easier and less stressful, and then make a commitment to do it every day. It could be sleeping in every day, taking a nap, ordering take out, going to the gym every day, etc. Every year I go buy myself a giant thing of paper plates, cups, and flatware so that my dishes are at a minimum, it is one tiny thing that really helps me not to feel overwhelmed. Find your thing and do it.
5. RELAX! You are doing a great job
This is something I fall victim to every year. I think about the limited number of Christmases that my children will have as children. Did I make it magical enough? Are they for sure going to get everything they want? Are they going to start the new year right and feeling on top of the world? I'm here to tell you the answer is yes! Your kids are making memories to last a lifetime, even if that memory is just falling asleep on the couch while watching Home Alone for the thousandth time. They don't need all that other stuff as much as they need you, there and present for them. They need to see you have fun. That is the Christmas magic.