Keep those lines of communication with your kids open- even when it's tough!
Hi and welcome back! Lisa here. So, you’ve survived the holiday rush. In no time at all, your kids will be heading back to school. If you’re like one of my good friends, you’re ready to get back to a sense of routine. She takes down her Christmas tree and she and her family clean up the house the day after Christmas. This clear dividing line between the holidays and regular life signals to her family that it’s time to get back to their usual schedule and routines.
At first, I thought this was a little abrupt. But after thinking about it some more, I realized that it actually helps her and her family prepare for their return to work and school. That got me thinking about how hard it is for some families to readjust once the holidays are over. Over winter break, everyone gets used to sleeping in and not having a strict schedule to keep, so it can take a while to get back into the swing of things.
Here are some helpful tips to make your family’s transition back into regular life a bit easier.
Pat yourself on the back for making it through another holiday season and through a pretty tough year. Whether you flew through this year with minimal difficulties or you’re dragging yourself across the finish line- you made it and you get to celebrate!
Remember that as 2020 comes to a close, this will be the last installment of our blog. We have thoroughly enjoyed communicating with you throughout the course of this year. We have some exciting things planned for the next year. If you haven’t already done so, sign up for our newsletter so you can be the first to hear how we’ll be supporting you and your family in 2021!
Sarah here. With only a couple of days before Christmas and just over a week left in 2020, I know that many of you may be feeling majorly stressed out. If, like me, 2020 threw you for a loop, you may be way behind with holiday planning and shopping. Between the pandemic, finances, and practical considerations, a lot of families are not ending the year as they normally would. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t be traveling.
So, whether you’ll be traveling this holiday season, or you hope to travel with your family in 2021, here are some travel tips to make your journey a little easier:
Whether you’re planning to travel with your kids in the coming days or weeks or whether you hope to do so next year, ideally, you’ll enjoy the journey and the destination. Traveling with kids can be a nightmare but it can also be great! Take a little time before your trip to plan and prepare for what you anticipate will likely happen. Things may not go exactly as you hoped, and problems inevitably arise in life- planning and preparation won’t prevent that. But they can help you head off potential problems before they arise so you can enjoy your journey a little more.
Remember that as 2020 comes to a close, we’ll be saying farewell to our weekly blog. But we won’t be leaving you high and dry. Please stay tuned for more information about how we’ll be supporting you and your family in 2021!
Sarah here. It’s official: 2020 is almost over. Sadly, that doesn’t mean the stress of this year will expire at midnight on December 31st. What it does mean for many families is a big increase in stress- both positive and negative. Kids will be out of school soon, young adults and other relatives may be visiting, your To Do list is likely longer than usual and there are only a couple of weeks left in the year. Hopefully you’ve been reading our blog for the last couple of weeks. This month, we’ve talked about examining your expectations for this holiday season (It Can Be the Most Wonderful Time of the Year) and being deliberate in what you choose to do and not do (Will I or Won’t I? How Do I Decide?).
For our regular readers, you may recall that as 2020 comes to a close, so too will our mom blog as we set our sights on new challenges. One of the things we hoped to accomplish with our blog was to get the word out to moms everywhere that they are awesome and that everything doesn’t have to be perfect for it (and for them) to be okay. To that end, with just over 2 weeks left in the year, I know it’s easy to get bogged down in stress and overwhelm, so I wanted to revisit something we’ve touched on throughout the year: no matter how hard you try, you are going to let people down, and you’re going to mess up and/or not finish everything on your To Do list. BUT you can either do these things intentionally or let the pieces fall where they may. If you opt to be deliberate, you can choose who you let down and how, choose what you outsource or spend time on, choose to accept and learn from failure, choose to be okay with less-than-perfect, choose to prioritize yourself, choose to pursue your interests and advocate for yourself, and choose to teach your kids how to do all of these things too.
Take a minute to reflect on how these ideas sit with you. Does this way of being intentional sound like a fantasy? Like something that would sure be nice if you could figure out how to pull it off? Or, does it sound like some foolishness to you? Are you unwilling to consider the possibility that less-than-perfect is good enough (at least for some things)? Is it inconceivable that you could feel good without completing your To Do list? Is it worth it to work round-the-clock to try to make sure that everything gets done and no one is disappointed, even if it means that you’re exhausted, stressed, cranky and miserable? I know that I personally tend to have a picture in my mind of how things “should” be and what I “should” be able to do, but often those images are totally unrealistic. I’ve worked for years on being more flexible, being really clear about my priorities and expectations, being okay-ish with things getting done over doing them perfectly, with accepting that I won’t be able to do everything and will sometimes let people down. This stance helps me make sure that my well-being isn’t constantly being sacrificed and that the person I’m letting down isn’t always ME.
If you want some help with the homestretch of 2020, you’re in luck because I have compiled a “greatest hits” list of our blog posts just for you. While we have touched on so many topics this year, I’ve curated a list of posts that are jampacked with encouragement, information, tips and advice that you need right now. Remember that just because you read a post or completed a worksheet months ago doesn’t mean that you’re done with these resources. Often, we benefit from reading back through information, completing activities a second time and/or reflecting on our prior responses. We’re all growing and changing all the time, so it makes sense that you may have a different perspective and different needs right now than you did before. Just note that we included links to the archive for the correct month, but you may have to scroll through that month’s posts to get to the correct one.
For the benefits of being okay with less than perfect and time-saving hacks:
For the importance of setting limits on your time, saying no and helping your kids learn to speak up for themselves:
For ways to encourage your kids to find things to do during their break and/or pain-free ways to spend downtime together as a family (i.e., ideas for how to get through the next few weeks of winter break):
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.