Spoiler Alert: It’s Begins with T and ends with E.
No, it’s not a Thingamajigee.
It’s Time. It’s Time and a low stress Mom.
I’m backing into this post but I promise, there’s a point to it. Hopefully, it will make sense at the end.
It wasn’t until one of my kids was in college that I understood this concept. If you’re a parent of young children, I’m going to share a piece of advice with you that you might want to store away until they’re teenagers.
Here it is. If they go out at night, don’t wait up. Seriously. The rule in my house was that they had to wake me up when they came in. Absolutely not negotiable. Little did they know two things: a.) I could see the clock and b.) I was probably pretending to be asleep.
One evening during the Christmas holiday, my son came home and not only woke me up but held my hand and told me how proud of me he was “because you seemed more relaxed during this holiday season”.
I seriously didn’t know until that very moment that I must have worn all that “everything needs to be perfect because I’m creating memories” near panic on my sleeve more than I thought.
What he really wanted – and he was probably also speaking for his 3 siblings – is that I relaxed and had fun, too. That’s also part of their memory.
With that being said, stress is part of the hustle and bustle because in order for a holiday to even happen, things are added to our normal busy schedule of life.
What would I tell my younger self? Plan time off during the holiday season to actually do nothing but be in the spirit. I think that’s good general advice but it depends on taking some of the optional things off our plate.
And if your child is experiencing some rough social seas and doesn’t feel like they fit in, the holidays can heighten those feelings. Being more present may even be more important. They need to trust that you will be the Go-To Adult in their life, even when your plate is too full with all the tasks that come with the season.
Speaker and advocate, Josh Shipp, says that kids spell trust: T.I.M.E. Of course, the holidays are fun but sometimes stressful for kids, too. If your child is going through this, my heart goes out to you, but you will never regret reminding them that they are your most beautiful and precious gift…and so worthy of your time.