Lisa here. We’re well into the holiday season. Are you enjoying it or are you surviving it? If you’re enjoying it, great! Tell us in the comments what you love about the holidays. If you find that you’re just trying to survive the holidays, keep reading for some tips to bring in the joy.
As a parent, a lot of your focus is on making sure your kids are enjoying this time of year. Also, winter break is coming up and you may be trying to figure out how to keep your kids occupied until they go back to school. Trying to balance family gatherings, keeping your kids, partner, and other family members happy, and managing your usual everyday duties can be exhausting. Many parents find themselves dreading this time of year, feeling stressed out and overwhelmed.
But you don’t have to. What if you could enjoy the holiday season without all the stress? While we aren’t promising a completely stress-free holiday, here are a few tips to help you minimize the holiday overwhelm:
Once you answer the above questions, you can set some intentions for the holiday season that will allow you to experience the holidays in the way that feels right and authentic to you and will allow you to continue to be the kind of parent you want to be throughout the holidays. Your kids will still have a great time even if you don’t do everything on their list. In fact, they’ll enjoy the season more if they have a parent who is relaxed and enjoying the moment instead of stressed and focusing on what’s next on the To Do list. So, take a few moments to visualize being happy during this holiday season and then let yourself have joy.
Let us know in the comments what you love most about the holiday season. Happy holidays!
Click here for a printable version of this post.
Sarah here. We hope you enjoyed last week’s self-reflections about your parenting prowess. And we hope you recognized your parenting prowess in action last week. Remember how I said that parenting prowess is naturally tied to self-confidence? Today is all about building you up and boosting your confidence in your parenting.
The thing is, you’re already doing some things right as a parent. We know that to be true, whether you realize it or not. Because whenever we meet new families—even families that are really struggling—we’re able to identify some strengths that they already possess. It’s just sometimes hard to recognize those strengths. Stress, unhelpful thoughts and challenging emotions like self-doubt, uncertainty, guilt and overwhelm can make it hard to see your strengths and feel confident in yourself.
Just like last week, we want you to engage in a little practical self-reflection. Read through the questions that follow and notice what thoughts come to mind after you read each question. If you’d like, you can jot down your answers, but no pressure. Remember there are no right or wrong answers.
When you acknowledge your parenting strengths and you think about what you’re already doing right as a parent, your confidence will start to grow. And once you’ve identified your parenting strengths, you can focus on intentionally utilizing those strengths to make your life easier. We know that as a parent, you’re a natural. But what really matters is that you recognize the ways that you’re a natural. We want you to toot your own horn! So this week, notice what feels “easy” or “natural” as a parent and identify the strengths you’re using in those moments. This exercise will come in handy next week, as we talk about managing the holiday season and your kids’ upcoming winter break.
Sarah here. We focused on parenting style in last week’s blog. Today, we’re focused more on self-perception. The Fall and Winter holidays are a time when we often get introspective: asking ourselves what we are thankful for, considering all the blessings in our lives and the like. So, this week, we wanted to change gears and help guide some of that introspection into a practical parenting exercise.
I will confess that when the phrase “parenting prowess” popped into my mind months back, I immediately questioned my word choice. Oxford Languages defines prowess as: “1. skill or expertise in a particular activity or field; 2. Bravery in battle.” I was delighted to discover that my gut led me in the right direction- prowess is exactly the word I meant. Parenting prowess is your skill or expertise as a parent. It’s your bravery as a parent in the face of challenges, conflicts, and daunting tasks.
With that in mind, read through the questions that follow. There are no right or wrong answers. Just notice what thoughts come to mind after you read each question. If you’d like, you can jot down your answers, but no pressure.
Now take a moment to notice how you approached these self-reflection questions. Did you think of specific examples or focus on your general sense of yourself as a parent? How did you feel when reflecting on these questions? Did you feel energized? Were you proud? Nervous? Did you feel stressed by the activity? Your process and feelings may give you some additional insight into how you feel about yourself as a parent.
And speaking of how you feel about yourself as a parent, let’s return to the idea of parenting prowess. Are you an expert in managing your family? Are you a sage parent? Are you a warrior or a strategist on the battlefield of life? Are you a diplomat who keeps the peace within your home? The idea of parenting prowess is entangled with self-confidence. How confident are you in yourself as a parent? If your answer is anything less than “very confident,” then know you’re not alone. We’ve got you and—spoiler alert—next week’s blog will give your confidence a boost! In the meantime, give yourself a little shot of confidence and notice examples of your parenting prowess over the next week.
Feel free to peruse our blog and see what Sarah and Lisa had to say about topics related to your needs as a busy parent. We will talk about everything from parenting values, to life hacks, to realistic self-care.