By Brooke Radloff, MA IWLC
If you are pregnant, postpartum or have small children at home this holiday season, then I have a message for you . . . Simplify. Be kind and easy with yourself. Lower your expectations—for yourself, your partner and the holidays themselves.
Don’t try to do everything. In fact, make it a goal to do less than ever. Practice saying no, exorcize your “shoulds,” give precedence to your well-being and prioritize your sleep and sanity over obligation. You won’t always be pregnant, or postpartum, or be a mom of small children. Give yourself a break. Give yourself a pass. Give yourself a pat on the back for doing all that you are already doing….because it’s a lot.
You are doing a lot. You hear that?! Growing, feeding and caring for small humans are big and decidedly important jobs. It will run you ragged if you try to do that well, take good enough care of yourself AND everything that is expected of you this holiday season. Not to mention whatever else you have on your plate with work and life.
Although not all of them will be, many of those expectations are put onto you by yourself, so that should be a gift you give yourself this year—A free pass to do the bare minimum. Celebrate simplifying your holiday season.
When my youngest daughter was born we were nigh on the holiday season. As I prepared for her birth I didn’t give much thought to how we would manage the holidays that year. And yet, there I suddenly was—new baby in arms, eyes glazed over, deep in the new baby haze, staring Thanksgiving right in the face.
We had a tradition of spending Thanksgiving with my family, a few hours drive away, which to my newly postpartum body might as well been on the other side of the planet.
There was no way we were getting in the car for that drive. So we decided to stay home. I may have managed a shower, but I doubt it. Luckily my husband was on the same page, as he was almost as tired as I was, and was entirely as spread thin. Things were already hard enough as we all made the transition to being a family of four. We didn’t invite anyone over or offer to host our families. I didn’t attempt a turkey or any of the traditional sides. We just let it all go, and we were fine with that. My family was disappointed but they were able to understand and supported the decision.