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Needing advice this holiday season!

by April on November 28, 2014 · 1 comment

1660679_10101067252989214_7159010019283956799_nDo you ever have expectations for a holiday and it let you down a little? That’s the best way I can explain yesterday. I spent a lot of time yesterday making a lot of food for our Thanksgiving gathering so my grandmother wouldn’t have to do it all. I made ham, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, broccoli rice casserole, and two pumpkin pies. I didn’t want my grandma to overwhelm herself since she and my aunt usually do the bulk of the cooking, and my grandma refuses to ask anyone for help.

So I felt kind of special this holiday. I knew I was helping and I enjoy cooking. My husband, the kids, and I were running late and I was scrambling to get the food, kids, bags, camera, and jackets in the car. We were also trying to haul down stuff to my friend and garage sale stuff. We were a little overwhelmed but we were ready to be there.

I walked in the door at my grandparents’ house, trying to get my bearings, and the first words out of my grandma’s mouth was harsh sounding criticism over not preslicing the ham before we got there. It sounds so minor, right? But gosh, the tone of her voice combined with the feeling like I failed…  To be honest, I forgot. I was so focused on everything else I missed it.

Bam. Pride deflated.

I never felt like I could recover the day.

Now we’re well in the crush of Christmas and I feel off this year. Since we’re moving, we can’t really throw ourselves into heavy decorating or any of the regular Christmas activities, and I’m not sure what we should do in respect to presents and stuff. Personally, I just don’t feel like I can mentally add in Christmas on top of everything else I’m trying to keep straight in my head right now.

The whole holiday kind of feels like Thanksgiving did yesterday. Just deflated.

I want to make sure the kids have a great Christmas even though it’s not going to be the same setup as last year. I think we’re going to buy a small tree to keep high so the tiny terror (little man) doesn’t destroy it. I also think I’m going to do the 3 gifts idea for the kids, as Bluebelle is getting really into wanting all the toys in the world for Christmas. I’m also going to really focus on the biblical story of Christmas for her. She’s almost 5 and is really beginning to understand this. We’re going to buy gifts to give to other kids this year that need them. I want her to understand Christmas is more about pouring out love and kindness rather than consuming everything.

I think that may redeem Christmas for me this year as well.

If you’ve ever been in transition at the holidays, what are some tips and tricks to helping your little ones celebrate? What are some things you did to help yourself get in the Christmas spirit? Are the holidays ever hard for you as well? 

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Just a little encouragement today for mothers of littles:

Sleep training. We’ve heard about it and debated it. We either love it or dread it. With Bluebelle, I tried CIO with varied success. I did everything the books said, even though it killed me. Eventually I began to do what worked for me, but it took a long time.

With Squishy, I decided to lie to my doctor (I wanted to be spared the lecture) and do what worked for us. I nursed him to sleep, I rocked, I pacified. We went for walks, car rides, and whatever got us the most sleep. Most nights he falls asleep in my arms in the recliner, I transfer him to the crib, and he comes to my room when he wakes up at night. No big deal (for us).

Lately, he’s started putting himself to sleep. Nothing we’ve “trained” him to do, just Squishy. This morning, he asked Todd to put him in bed with him, gave his daddy a kiss, pulled the covers up, and fell asleep. As is.

Mamas, be encouraged. Whether you’re a “must train” or an “anti-train” parent, your kid will eventually sleep. Personally, I’m glad I didn’t stress over my boy the way I did my girl. We actually all got more sleep this way, and I was a lot less stressed.

Also, I hold no claim that I’m over this sleep struggle, but it’s looking like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel!
I know that when you’re in the thick of it, you can’t see the light, but there is light, my friends!

If you’re a parent of a non-easy sleeper, I’ve been there. You roll your eyes at the moms who brag about their 11-14 hour sleepers. You have no sympathy for when they are “tired” because their kid got up at 7 am. You want to tell the moms to shut their mouths and you might also hide them from your facebook feed for a while (guilty). But, one day, you WILL get there. Kids aren’t one-size-fits-all. You’re not screwing them up for life because they wake more than you want. You’re not making them dumb or anything like that. They are little people with real personalities.

Plus, one day they will be teenagers. Then PAYBACK.

Also, if you’re the mama of a good sleeper, good for you! Soak up as much sleep as you can for the rest of us. When your baby has a bad night, we sympathize with you. I pray all your kids are good sleepers, but if you get one that’s not, you’ll be part of a great network of sleep-deprived parents right alongside you.

Parenting is less about skills than we want to admit. It’s personality, luck, prayer, and a lot of hard work.

Sleep. We’ll all eventually get there.

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