It’s that crazy, chaotic time of year again, when we spend a couple of months preparing for one big day!
And with so many expectations around the ‘Perfect Christmas’ its no wonder we all feel so overwhelmed.
But here’s some tips for keeping Christmas calm this year.
PREVENT OVERSPENDING AND OVER BUYING
Children don’t understand the financial cost of gifts, they value things on the value they have to them entertainment wise.
They like to play and experiment with toys, which usually means expensive things get broken. So, a good trick is to look at any new toy that we give a child as broken already. This money saving technique will prevent overspending on expensive toys while gift shopping. Making a list of what you’re buying beforehand, also helps. Then, wrap gifts straight away, keeping a note of what you bought for whom and how much it cost, to prevent over spending and last-minute panic buying.
PREVENT OVERSTIMULATION AND OVERWHELM
Routines are key. Children need to know what to expect, when, where and why more than ever during the holidays.
Work things around your child’s regular routine, not around anything or anyone else.
Stick to regular bedtimes and mealtimes, while offering plenty of warnings and reminders of what’s to come.
And spread the joy, anticipation and appreciation for visitors, sweet treats and gifts, over a few days, rather than in one go.
MANAGE YOUR OWN STRESS LEVELS
All that shopping, spending, wrapping and prep can be stressful, so don’t forget to take some daily U Time for yourself to just relax. Whether that’s a soak in the bath after a long day or sitting down with a cuppa, taking time to breathe in the here and now and get organised in your head, reduces stress.
Take our Mumatherapy Stress Checker Quiz now to check your stress levels
TRAVELLING TO VISIT FAMILY DURING THE HOLIDAYS
This year many of us will want to visit friends and family to make up for last year’s Covid restrictions but the mere thought of this maybe making you feel anxious. If so, plan ahead now to ensure you and your partner are not stressed with one another. Your energy (and anxiety) will rub off on the little ones, so calm kids need calm parents when travelling. But you can still expect some bored and restless behaviour along the way and if you have more than one child, there’ll be squabbling too. This is normal but you can help alleviate some of it by making regular stops for a feed, to stretch legs and take toilet breaks and making the journey a fun experience, by listening to their favourite songs or pointing out the scenery and playing games such as; count how many red cars you can see or spot the mini, and taking along activities such as colouring books or digital devices.
AVOIDING THE EMBARISSMENT OF TODDLER TANTRUMS WHEN VISITING FAMILY AND FRIENDS?
Be proactive in pre-empting your child’s moods and emotions and get everyone in your team. Let friends and family members know your child’s routines and triggers. And to prevent any undue attention, remind everyone beforehand that your child may act childish (kids are childish, so you don’t need to feel embarrassed by other people unrealistic, expectations of your children) and encourage grownups to just ignore any carrot flinging episodes or melt downs at bedtime.
HOW TO BALANCE EXPECTATIONS WITH REALITY?
Keep your own expectations realistic and stay present in the moment and forget what you didn’t do or buy, and stop worrying about how tomorrow will work out.
Christmas is a memory making moment, make happy Christmas memories your child will cherish, and enjoy this time yourself.
Build that Lego castle, watch that family movie together and stay present in each and every moment, that’s the real gift that keeps on giving.
Until next month,
Stay Present, Em x