Self-care during the Holiday Season may not resonate with you as parents of adult children. But read my parenting blog to find out why our wellbeing is so important right now, what I plan on doing with my family, and how you can put yourself first so everyone is happy this holiday season.
Are you one of those parents that go into overdrive for the holidays? Do you find yourself shopping for all the food and the gifts and cooking and wrapping them? Oh, and don't forget about the decorations!! Yes, if you asked for help, there will be someone there, I am sure, but does that voice in your head say, it's easier to just do it myself so it will get done right?
It's hard to admit that inside our heads Martha Stewart's judging voice gets the best of us. When the meals have been eaten and the presents unwrapped, and the New Year celebrated, and it's time to put the tree out on the curb, (especially those of us with adult children who will leave us), we find ourselves exhausted and deflated from the whirlwind of it all.
How can we fulfill both the want to provide an amazing holiday experience for our loved ones and not deplete ourselves?
I recently sat down to dinner with my husband and began the conversation around Thanksgiving. This will be the first year we haven't gone to New Jersey to be with his family on account of the pandemic. I am Canadian, and we celebrated a full Thanksgiving meal in October.
So, I proposed we do something a little different.
Needless to say, he wants the whole shebang. My first thought was to tell him he can do all the shopping, cooking, and decorating if that's what he wants, while simultaneously imagining myself as the Grinch ruining the holiday for everyone.
If I hadn't given up drinking for the month of November, this is where I would have taken a large sip of wine to calm myself down, but instead, I took a big deep breath and remembered what my next Parenting 2.0 Social is focusing on.
How to pamper yourself during the holidays.
Who made the rule that the whole meal has to be made from scratch anyway? I broke down my to-do list and will just take care of the top 3 that brings me joy and delegate the rest. I am also adding 3 non- related holiday things to my list that bring me joy.
Top 3 to Keep on my To-Do List.
1. I love to bake
Basting turkey and peeling potatoes are not where I want to spend my time in the kitchen. So those I will delegate to one of my adult kids. I love to bake and decorate, so having fun with a festive dessert or two will be number one for me.
2. I love to decorate
Setting the table versus shopping for groceries is also something
I never get to do, and this year I will play with the floral arrangements and give the shopping list to someone else. It may even be Amazon!
3. I love homemade cranberry sauce
It's actually pretty easy and very satisfying to make my own cranberry sauce. I can make it ahead of time, and by doubling the recipe I will have extra jars to give as gifts.
Top 3 on my Joy List!
Because of Covid, I haven't ventured out to the nail salon, but I have discovered a fantastic brand of stick-on nails at my local drug store. They have lots of fun colors and taking some "me" time to make my nails look amazing will keep my joy level up. (Ask me the brand at the Nov 20 Parenting 2.0 Social
Start a knitting project
Knitting brings me joy! When the weather turns cold, I love to curl up with a knitting project. Knitting while watching or listening to something entertaining is the best and always puts me in a good mood.
Buy something I would normally make from scratch(yes this is holiday-related, but it feels very indulgent !)
This is where the "Martha Stewart" voice really punishes me. If I order a cooked turkey or stuffing, or (Martha forgive me) purchase gravy in a can, will the earth swallow me or my family disown me??
Highly unlikely! Right?? Giving up some control over the process may be the scariest part, but ultimately the most rewarding and freeing.
Giving Up To Gain More?
All of the crazy holiday work takes a tremendous amount of time. Preparing a picture-perfect holiday meal takes time away from family and friends. Admittedly spending time with family trumps perfecting the details. Maybe this is something I need to visit with my husband and ask him which he would rather. A perfect holiday meal or a joyful wife with more time spent hanging with the family?
I will choose joy.
The holidays are supposed to be fun and joyful.
You are the only person in charge of your joy.
If every memory of the holidays is of being exhausted and wishing it was over, this is your time to make a change. I guarantee that if you put yourself first, the joy you exude will resonate with everyone around you, and they will have no choice but to catch your holiday spirit.
How are you planning to treat yourself this holiday season?
Reply in the comments and join me on November 20th for our Parenting 2.0 Virtual Social