Can you believe it’s the end of the year? Most moms are exhausted and have to dig deep to find the energy for the big holiday push. Many moms, including Circle of Moms member Katie, live to regret their too-ambitious holiday plans. As Katie says, “Help . . . I am behind! "
So how does a mom stay energized to get it all done? One way is to see if an elf shows up to do it all. Or you could hold a family meeting and make some requests. In this week's column, the second in a 3-part series on surviving the holidays, I'm sharing 12 things to energize you, the person at the center of the holiday whirlwind, so you can create the holiday you’re dreaming of.
1. Hold a 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 the holiday extravaganza gets done.
2. 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.
3. 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 takes place little ones will need a hug and a reminder that you’re in the middle of something, in order to make this work. Saying this to your child also informs dad that he’s on duty, now.
4. 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!
5. 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?
6. 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.
7. 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 worrying that you’ll forget something you have to do, keep pen and paper beside the bed and jot things down.
8. Produce the Holiday Spirit
Activate the holiday spirit by giving and receiving lots of hugs. Oxytocin, the chemical of connections is released when you hug. It also reduces stress!
9. 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!
10. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Don’t tell the kids this one; let it be our little secret! During holidays let some misbehavior go unnoticed. Think of broad rules to use so most behavior falls under that umbrella. Things like, share and be kind to each other, inside voices and behavior, public politeness, use whatever makes your world work.
11. 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.
12. Get a 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: 108 Ways to Discipline Consciously and Become the Parent You Want to Be, and the founder of Proactive Parenting. Her book and site help parents gain more patience by responding instead of reacting as they deal with the whirlwind of emotions created by raising kids ages 1-10. To be notified about the discipline webinar series she’ll be offering next year, sign up for her email newsletter. You can also find Sharon on Twitter and Facebook.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.