Holiday Planning Guide for Moms
It’s the second week in September and my parenting tip is all about relationships during the holidays.
But First, I have a gift for you if you’re worried about your picky eater.
I know you don’t want judgement about what your kids will and won’t eat over the holidays. Click HERE to get my Picky Eater Solution! You’ve got plenty of time to cure your picky eater and won’t your mother-in-law be so surprised when she sees Junior eating her green bean casserole without complaint!
Now that you don’t have to worry about Junior’s dinner time melt down, it’s time to focus on avoiding other dramas during the holidays. Oh, we all have had a fantasy or two about how the holidays can be with family. And then there’s the reality…
Before we know it, we will be in the thick of the holiday season. And the parenting help you need, whether you know it or not, is to be well prepared!
I’m not talking turkey or side dishes. I’m talking negotiating with your spouse about where you’ll spend the holidays. This can get very complicated and so, that’s why I suggest having the talk in September. Hey, how about TONIGHT?
4 things to consider before speaking with your spouse to help the conversation with your spouse go smoothly:
- Family Dynamics – This can get complicated. “Thanks, Captain Obvious.” There are many varieties of “family” and we need to take an honest look at our loved ones and decide how much time we can (or can’t) spend with them.
- Fairness – Remember; fair is not equal. Fair means everyone gets what they need. If one grandparent is ill, maybe visit that one, even if you were there last year.
- Time – We live in a huge country! Family is often spread across it. Consider the time (and hassle) factor of traveling with kids. Maybe it’s time to host!
- Budget – This really could be first on the list but I wanted it to be last. Sometimes grandparents’ gift to you is a little help in this area if needed. An open, and honest discussion (yeah, I know, money can be a tough topic) is essential to prevent resentments. One option is to host (and search for AirBnB options for visiting family).
After you’ve come up with a plan you think will work, ask your spouse to use the same 4 considerations before you chat. Then pick your weekly date night to sort it out. This conversation could go over very well at a candle lit table!
Don’t forget about YOUR family!
Now that you’ve got a plan, give yourself a few days to consider the implication of your plans on your family.
It can be exhausting traveling and if you are used to a cycle class during the week, your spouse runs every other day, and the kids are used to daily drills, how will everyone get exercise (it’s an amazing stress reliever so don’t skip it)?
Do a little research and maybe there’s a new hiking trail in your hometown (greenways and beltlines are very popular right now). See if there’s local museum to visit with just your family so you can get out of the house and reconnect.
It’s great being around extended family for sure but it can be stressful. Staying connected with your immediate family can reduce outbursts and misbehavior for the kids AND you!
There will be time, just before the trip, to express your expectations of behavior to the kids. This is a great time to remind them to mind their Ps and Qs, review tech rules, and tell childhood stories about when YOU misbehaved and how grandpa solved it!
After you come up with the plan, share it!
Since you’ve been so awesome and gotten your plans made well before Halloween, researched what time you want to spend with your family away from the grandparents, and agreed on the plan with a few days to work out the kinks, you can inform family members so they know what to expect from your visit.