12 Mom-Tested Tips for Surviving the Holidays

12 Mom-Tested Tips for Surviving the Holidays

The most wonderful time of the year is also the most hectic for many moms.

By: Lorraine Allen

Holidays. Yikes. “The most wonderful time of the year?” Debatable, for many moms. Sure, every mom loves to wrap gifts. And decorate. And host. And cook and bake, and keep the kids from arguing, and the dog from eating the decorations. Every mom loves to fill her home with that magical, memorable holiday cheer. Yup. We do. But we all know this is not easy. We all know that deep, deep inside our caring, loving, sweet mom hearts, we also secretly count the days until it’s all over, and we can go back to our normal level of chaos. Right? Right. I know.

And I’ve got you covered: I have here a full dozen mom-tested tips to help you stay calmer, more sane, and get through it all with extra cheer and less stress this year. So relax, enjoy, and cheers to you, amazing mamas. You all deserve it! Seriously.

1. Go ahead, let your eager kids do ALL the decorating this year -- who cares how crazy the house looks?

2. Insist on rotating all the cooking between all the grown-ups you’re spending the holidays with, so you only have to cook one night (and so does everyone else). Email a spreadsheet around, a few weeks ahead, and let everyone pick a night and write down what they'll make, so you don’t all make tacos or pizza.

3. Let your husband take on some of the extra responsibilities that come up over the holidays. Send him on errands, have him do some laundry, he can bake some of the cookies. You don’t have to do it all.

4. Give your kids extra chores. Trust me, when school’s out, they are literally looking for things to do. So make a list, and check it twice. They can clear the plates. They can sweep those leaves. They can walk the dog. They can fold laundry. They can earn those gifts. It’s not child labor. It’s called holidays, and everyone should be pitching in.

5. Plan activities ahead. Either make dates with friends or buy tickets to shows, so you have set plans that get all of you, or at least them, out of the house.

6. Take long walks, even if it’s cold outside. Just get out of the house, and enjoy some fresh air and distance. (Distance is key.)

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7. Lock yourself in your bedroom, lie down with your feet up, and rest or read for 30 minutes after lunch, and soak in some serious peace and quiet.

8. Take a long, hot bath, and pretend you’re floating in the Caribbean. Make it a nightly holiday ritual, and it will totally relax you and melt away the frustrations (and aches and pains) of your day.


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9. Catch up with friends. The holidays are a time to reconnect with all those you love, especially those who never drive you crazy and who always understand you. No matter how crazed you might feel.

10. Escape! Explore somewhere new, or go on an adventure. It could be a hike, a trip to a farm, or a visit to a zoo or museum. You don’t need a plane ticket to bring some excitement into your day.

11. It’s OK to cry. Really. The holidays can get the best of anyone, and no one will call you a Grinch just because you get a little extra frustrated with all the extra work, and all those extra people in your home.

12. Breathe. If you do nothing else to keep yourself sane over the holidays, try 30 minutes of yoga or meditation to regain some inner peace, and take some deep, calming breaths. Think: The New Year will come soon enough, and we can all turn over a new leaf.

How do you stay sane and calm during the hectic holiday season?

Lorraine Allen is a writer, and mom and personal chef to one spunky 6-year-old girl with severe food allergies. You can enjoy their delicious recipes and follow their amusing family cooking adventures at Feeding Lina.

Image ©iStock.com/PeopleImages

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