The Easter Bunny may be hopping into town soon, and right behind him your in-laws and extended family. Woven into the basketful of stress: your kids are home from school all day on spring break.
Like all holiday seasons, Easter and Passover brings with them family, traditions and memories. They can also bring meltdowns, unwanted stress, added responsibilities, and egg on your face if you haven’t figured out how to manage the chaos.
So what’s the plan for your spring break? How are you going to hide all the chocolate eggs Grandma tries to shove at your three-year-old? How are plans going for organizing the neighborhood egg hunt? And what’s on the menu for Easter dinner?
“How do you deal with challenging relatives at family gatherings during the holidays? “ asks Connie L. in Circle of Moms' Austin Texas Moms Community. She's concerned because “Not only are they rude to me, but they also make mean comments to my kids. The kids don't understand because they are too young, but it makes me see red. I need help."
She's not alone. Many community members seek advice at this time of year on how to deal with the chaos of the impending holidays—in particular the stress that "loved ones" can bring to the festivities.
If you’re determined not to be stressed-out and want to avoid clashes with your relatives, check out these holiday survival tips we’ve compiled from Circle of Moms community members and experts:
1. Don’t Spread Your Family Too Thin
You can’t be everywhere at once and this is especially true during the holidays, when grandparents, step families, and best friends invite you and your kids to share in their celebrations. “It can be especially hard when your family and your husband's family put pressure on you to be there for every holiday,” says Sarah O. a member of Circle of Moms Young Moms Aged 20-30 Community. “But family should know that their children are going to grow up, branch out, and have families of their own. They will learn how to deal with it. The best advice I can give is that YOUR family your baby, your husband, and you come first.
2. Stay on Schedule
Despite the visiting relatives, time off from school, and the added pressure of having to entertain everyone, keep things simple by mantaining a schedule that's a regular as possible, says Lori Lite, a childhood anxiety expert and creator of Stressfreekids.com. “Sticking to a schedule helps to keep some sense of normalcy when the chaos of relatives' visits and the holidays hits,” she explains.
3. Reinforce the House Rules
Create a united front with your partner to reinforce the house rules, says Julie Simens, a clinical psychologist who works with teens and their parents. This is particularly important if you have older kids returning from college, or high school kids who are testing their freedom during the break from school. “Your college kids who have been living in the freedom of campus life will naturally want to stretch their curfews and other limits, says Simens."You do not want the kid playing Mom against Dad."
4. Ward off Unwanted Advice
Holiday gatherings can easily become a forum where relatives offer unwanted advice. But Circle of Moms member Lydia R. offers this idea for deflecting negative comments: “My personal favorite for most unwanted advice is smile, nod and ignore. You could always try ‘Thank you for the advice. I will think about it and ask you if I need any more.’ If someone is getting really pushy I usually just look at them and raise my eyebrows as a signal to tell them to back off.”
In the end, don’t sweat the small stuff, says Lite.
What survival tips or concerns do you have about surviving the spring holidays?
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.