mom hugging babyIt’s all about you: Checklist to Stay Sane During the Holidays

Can you believe it’s the end of the year? Most moms are exhausted at this point in the year and still and have to find the energy for the big holiday push.

So how does a mom stay energized and get it all done? One way would be to hire an elf to help out, but I think Santa has that market locked up by now!! Or you could hold a family meeting and make some requests. Week 2 of How to Survive the Holidays shares 12 things that can energize you when you need it the most, so you can create the holiday you’ve always dreamed of.

Family Meeting

Hold a family meeting early in the season, like 5 minutes after you read this, and tell your family you’d like to make a few changes to the daily routine so all the details for the holiday extravaganza can get done.

Dad does dinner

Provide dad with 12 meal ideas he can use to cook at least 3 meals a week for the entire month. Sloppy Joes and carrot sticks are fair game at this time of year.

Let the Kids Share Feelings

Little kids need to express themselves before accepting change. Give them permission to tell you when they don’t like having daddy do the things mommy usually does. In the evening, as the switch from mom to dad takes place, little ones will need a hug and a reminder that you’re in the middle of doing holiday projects, in order to make this work. Saying this out loud to your child also sends the message to dad that he’s on duty, now.

Dad does bath & bedtime

It’s true, when a mom stops doing the nightly routine a child may have a tantrum causing the other parent to say, “What can I do, she wants you?!” As a friend of mine once said, “If you want someone to step up to the plate, you’ve got to get off of the base first.” Try letting dad and kids deal with any bath/bed issues themselves, without any rescuing from you. This might be the year you can finish a project or sit down!

Dad draws a bath—for you

When exhausted do you dream of a warm candle-lite bath, but decide you’re too tired to turn on the water?! If so, use the family meeting to mention you’d like hubby to create a candle-lite bath, without you asking for it, at least 3 nights a week. Have him add a tiny bit of Lavender oil so you can sleep well. Lavender oil is very potent so more is not better! Besides, who knows what a relaxed mom might be interested in after a kind gesture like that?

5 minutes of exercise

Have hubby call on his way home so you’re ready to walk out the door as he comes in. Make yourself go outside for a 5-minute power walk or run. You’d be amazed at what walking really fast for 5 minutes does for you! Take extra B vitamins, and get extra sleep. It really helps.

Stop the Mind Chatter

If your mind races at night, program your iPod for 2 hours and treat yourself to sounds of the ocean or nature as you fall asleep. Instead of worrying that you’ll forget something you have to do, keep pen and paper beside the bed and jot things down.

Produce the Holiday Spirit

Activate the holiday spirit by giving and receiving lots of hugs. Oxytocin, the connection chemical is released when you hug. It also reduces stress!

Call a friend

Make a pact to talk with a friend at the end of the day. Each of you gets 3 minutes each to complain and release the day. You’ll feel more connected and relaxed afterward!

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Don’t tell the kids this one; let it be our little secret! During the holidays let some misbehavior go unnoticed. Think of broad rules to use so most behavior falls under only a few topics. Things like, share and be kind to each other, inside voices and behavior, public politeness, use whatever makes your world work.

Turn it up

Put some energetic music on each day, around 4:30pm, and dance with the kids. They’ll love it, and you get to release stress and increase endorphins.

Mother’s Helper

Teenage kids are on vacation too, and they need money. Reserve your mother’s helper now for 2 hours, 3-4 mornings a week. Let them play with the kids while you’re home. It’s inexpensive and you’d amazed at how much you can done without interruptions.   

With just a few changes you can actually restore and reenergize yourself this year. Here’s to taking care of you!

Sharon Silver is the author of Stop Reacting and Start Responding and The Authentic Parent Series. Go to to download two free chapters from her book and learn about other Proactive Parenting programs. Find Sharon on Twitter and Facebook.


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