Mom Life Tips for Avoiding Holiday Stress & Drama

The best part about the holidays is all the time spent with family and friends. This can also be one of the more stressful parts of the holidays too. There is a lot of schedule coordinating, cooking, gifting and traveling — it’s no wonder family drama often ensues. Once you have a baby all of this craziness seems to double. Here are some tips for avoiding holiday stress and drama from moms who have been through it!

The holidays can be stressful especially with kids. Here are some mom life tips for avoiding holiday stress and drama from moms who have been through it!

Here are my tips for surviving the holiday craziness:

      1. Manage expectations –Use open communication and be honest about your holiday plans. If you family and friends know what to expect they won’t have mismatched expectations that you will do more or less. This will help you feel more confident about your holiday plans.
      2. Be consistent — Decide on a schedule and do it every year. It’s all about precedent setting. For example, if your family lives in different states like ours does maybe you do Thanksgiving in one place and Christmas in the other. Maybe you alternate every other year. By managing expectations and being consistent others won’t be surprised or upset when you make plans or can’t attend an event.
      3. Don’t take on too much — I am so guilty of this. I try to go above and beyond for everything I do. However, when I am up until 2am cooking and wrapping gifts then have to be up at 6am with a baby it’s not a very good day for anyone. Your family and friends will understand if can’t get to something or everything isn’t perfect.
      4. Don’t be afraid to say no — You do not have to attend every single party or family function to which you are invited. You also don’t have to provide every side dish. This goes back to managing expectations.
      5. Make time for yourself — Whether it’s a yoga class, a run around the block, a movie or even just an hour doing whatever you love by yourself — do it! If you are constantly focusing on everyone and everything but yourself you will run yourself down and end up stressed, on edge, or even sick. That will make everything you have to do seem so much worse.
      6. Forget the drama — All families have their drama. It can be amplified during the holidays when stress is running high and you might be around your family a lot more than usual. The best way to avoid it is to stay away from hot button topics and stay out of the drama if it doesn’t involve you.




Since this is my first full holiday season with a baby, and because Aiden was only three weeks old at Christmas last year (AKA Christmas was a total chaotic blur), I reached out to some of my blogger friends to see if they had any advice. Of course, they had great advice! I am so excited they agreed to share it with you:

My number oMandy_Momma-Societyne tip: shopping online! From Christmas pajamas to stocking stuffers to gifts for family, I make all of my purchases online. It helps me shop around for the best price, stick to my shopping list, and most importantly–spend more time celebrating the season.

— Mandy, Momma Society | Follow Mandy on Instagram and join the private Momma Society Facebook Group

 

My number one tip to avoid holiday stress is PLAN AHEAD! I’ve already started my holiday shopping lists so that I can work ahead of time this year and not feel the pressure to splurge on last minute gifts. Also having your significant other involved is a huge help — I task my husband with helping to purchase certain gifts and it takes all of the stress off of me.

— Caitlin, The Mama Notes | Follow Caitlin on Instagram

 

hld-blog-AshleighIt’s okay to “forget” something at the grocery store for an extra 45 minutes to yourself. Escaping is okay. Don’t let your emotions get to the point where you are about to boil over; leave! Just head for the door and go get that “stuffing”!

Also, alcohol is a good thing 😉 . Not in excess; but it is great to help you laugh at the situation you are in. I have a system for this.

          • Before 11am: it’s champagne or spiked coffee!!
          • Between 11am-5pm: try a blended delicious beverage- the coldness will give you a little boost!
          • With & after dinner:  Whiskey and coke! Goes great with protein and the Coke will help that turkey Tryptophan from sleepy time!
          • When everyone goes home: Deep red wine.  It will relax you and make you a little frisky. Every  mama and dada need some frisky after a holiday dinner!

Enjoy these tips! Use them wisely and don’t forget, it’s over before you know it. Soak it up and breathe!

— Ashleigh, Hudson Lillian Designs | Follow Ashleigh on Instagram

 

sara-robinson-Get-Mom-BalancedThe holidays can be stressful for so many reasons, so this is a great time to limit other stress as much as you can, such as having an over-packed schedule. Maybe you don’t host the December book club, or you put off your urge to clean the closet until January. These tasks and events may be important, but decide if they’re important right now. It’s okay to say no to some things, because this allows you to say yes to what you’re really excited about. And then, you’re more likely to enjoy these events and gatherings, feeling less stress because you’re not overwhelmed with a packed calendar, and you don’t find yourself in situations you wish you declined in the first place!

— Sara,  Get Mom Balanced | Like Sara on Facebook

 

Rosie-Blue-Dinosaur-ClothingMake a list of “must-dos” and “would love to dos”, then you can work on checking those things off one at a time. Set a budget. Money can be stressful this time of year so set a budget that won’t put you in a lurch, then work with what you have. Research Pinterest and blogs to find a variety of ways to make Christmas special without spending a ton of money. Remember that the holidays are about family, so make sure you carve out some time to sit by the fire, drink some cocoa, play some games and talk about what is going on in each others lives.

—Rosie, Blue Dinosaur Clothing | Follow Rosie on Instagram

 

Alexandra-Urban-Family-BlogIf you can, try to start each morning with something that is calming and makes you happy. This is especially important during the holidays when there is more to do and life seems to get just a bit more stressful. But knowing when you hop out of bed, you have those 15 minutes or so each and every day will make it easier. Maybe it’s a hot cup of coffee, or a quick yoga DVD. No matter what, it starts the day off on a happier, calmer note even if it means a few less minutes of sleep before the family’s days start.

Alexandra, My Urban Family | Follow Alexandra on Instagram

 

How do you avoid holiday stress and drama? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Want to follow our adventures with Aiden? Follow us on Instagram and Facebook.


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About Melissa

Hi, I’m Melissa! I am a mama to my baby Aiden Milo (born November 2015), and a police wife to my husband Dan. I started this blog because, after having Aiden, I quickly learned that exhaustion and baby brain causes you to forget some of the er-lovely (sometimes horrible and sometimes wonderful) details related to the first several months of raising a baby. Considering we may have more kids in the future, I want to document everything we do, so we remember what worked the first time around, and hopefully help other first time mamas along the way!
  • Ashley Freligh

    I avoid the holiday stress by taking breaks! Take a breath of fresh air and walk back inside!

    • Melissa

      Great idea! Thank you for sharing.

  • My Silly Monkey

    Love this. I am still getting the hang of managing the holidays and my baby is 21/2! Plan ahead, shop online, and take a break for yourself!
    http://www.mysillymonkey.com

    • Melissa

      Thanks for sharing! From what I have heard it doesn’t get much easier so hopefully these tips will help!

  • Great tips! I am guilty of always taking on too much! But, not this year!

    • Melissa

      Me too! Hopefully I will follow my own advice this year!

  • Great ways to keep the stress and drama at arm’s length this holiday season.

    • Melissa

      Thank you!

  • Tabitha Shakespeare

    These are all great tips! Especially staying consistent! You don’t want to mess up everyone’s schedules just for the holidays!

  • This Is such a good article. I find that if I either take on too much or don’t say no enough it can totally ruin the holidays but I’m definitely getting better at this!

  • Alexie Flook

    I so needed this today! What a fabulous read. Thank you!

  • Shelly

    All great tips! I thankfully don’t have a lot of external drama around the holidays. All of my stress is self-inflicted!

  • Don’t take on to much… sigh. I need to like repeat that to myself over and over haha.

  • Great tips– I need this quick in the rear! LOL

  • Such great tips – I’m so glad we set expectations when my first was a baby so we aren’t running all over town on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!

  • Tahnee

    this is exactly what I needed haha! Planning everything is ridiculous and way stressful! But need to take a breath and relax more haha

  • Laura

    Holiday stress is the worst! I find that my expectations are always too high and I don’t accomplish half of what I wanted to do which makes me feel guilty and disappointed. So this year I’m trying to keep it simple and only do those few special things and let everything else go. These are great tips and it was so encouraging!

  • Paige Strand

    I always appreciate posts like these, I can get behind anything that prioritized stress relief! 🙂

  • Justine Y

    These are so great. I know that numbers 1 and 3 are huge for me. I also need to plan things out, I did a timeline for Thanksgiving dinner this year (like when everything needed to be put in the oven) and that made SUCH a difference in my day!