When we were first married the holidays were a really stressful time. We were trying to figure out this parenting thing, we’d think we had a good handle on it and then – BOOM – the holidays would hit and throw everything into a tizzy. Babies would get off of schedules and routines, they would be crabby, we would be exhausted. Was it worth it?
My opinion at the time was no. Lugging around our two kids under the age of two wasn’t worth it, after all, it was just one day. One day out of the entire year – why did we have to go to three Thanksgivings on ONE DAY?
My husband I talked about it. We loved our families but we needed a break. We needed to not have our lives turned upside down for one day. We thought about asking our families to move Thanksgiving but then that just seemed absurd to move one day for our one family – so clearly that was not a solution. Finally, we decided to go to one Thanksgiving and actually enjoy our time. Not rush around. Not stress out. Not throw babies off of routines and enjoy the holiday.
But here’s the thing….
We made a mistake by not going to all of the Thanksgiving gatherings
From one mom to another… go to the gatherings. It IS just ONE day. I was looking at it all wrong. I was thinking “why are we doing all of this for one day” instead of thinking “why can’t I do this for just one day?”
My best advice to families with young babies & tots… go anyway.
Go anyway even though you’re exhausted.
Go anyway despite that your kids haven’t napped and are crabby.
Go anyway even though you’ve already been to two other engagements and are literally stuffed.
Go anyway because you’re thankful and grateful to have places to go and people to see.
Go anyway because the people you’re going to see, may not be here in years to come.
See here’s the thing, we made the decision to divide our time and not go to all the Thanksgivings. But we were wrong. Time passed. People passed. We’ve lost numerous family and friends that we will never see again on the holidays, or any time.
Don’t make the decision we did.
Rush to see those you love today and joyfully attend your gatherings. Instead of complaining that we have to go to so many gatherings, embrace them for the blessings they really are and give thanks.
So, how do you you embrace the holiday hustle when you have littles? Check out this article for some real life tips you can use right now.
More reasons to make the sacrifice for one day
We do far more every day for far less
It’s one day! If I sit down and think about all the things we do on a daily basis, they far exceed the hassle of the holiday hustle. Sit down and really think about what you do on a daily, weekly monthly basis and compare that to the delight of eating delicious food with family.
Maybe it’s because I’m older and my kids are now older (ages seven and nine) but I can now see that we do far more every single stinking day, for far less reward. I’m talking about working long hours, rushing kids to sports and activities, volunteering at church and school and beyond, helping in our community and making time for friends and family. We stretch ourselves all the time for people we don’t know – yet we make excuses to not have time for the people we say we love?
Your kids are watching you
Your kids are watching you and how you are with your family. They see you making time (or making excuses) and that will shape who they become and how they show up in the future. If we teach our kids that family doesn’t come first, that we don’t embrace others and do for others even when we don’t feel like it then they won’t either.
This doesn’t mean being frazzled and burned out. Read this article to help take the crazy out of the holiday hustle. What this does mean is changing our mindset to be one of thanks that we get to see family and friends. Gratitude that we have so many loving people in our lives. A heart of joy that these people are alive and well because they may not be next year, or we may not be.