It’s no secret the holiday season is stressful, especially for parents of small children! The expectation to make every moment special is exhausting, especially because it seems like each year there are even higher expectations (Elf on a Shelf, anyone?).
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to infuse every moment of the holiday season with memory-making magic for your preschool aged child. However, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the to-do lists, the rushing, and trying to be Pinterest-perfect. That stress can quickly take all the fun and magic out of the holiday season, for both you and your family.
Instead, use these tips to create a stress-free holiday with your preschooler so you can enjoy the moments and create lasting joy-filled memories.
Don’t Ignore Self Care
When you add holiday tasks like baking cookies and wrapping gifts to an already lengthy to-do list of errands, child care, and household chores, it’s easy to ignore your own needs. Staying up too late to finish up chores or skipping nourishing meals and grazing on cookies will leave you exhausted, burned out, and at a higher risk of getting sick, which is the LAST thing you need!
Set boundaries with yourself and others to make sure you’re getting enough sleep, take time to eat decent meals, and give yourself a time-out when you need it. You’ll be more focused and happier, which leads to a happier holiday for everyone!
Trim Back on Tasks
In order to make room for all the holiday festivities you want to do, it’s okay to trim back on other tasks.
- Order groceries online (while you’re sitting in a waiting room or the pickup line at your Raleigh preschool!) and schedule delivery or pickup
- Hire a cleaning service to help around the house – consider it an early Christmas gift to yourself!
- Batch cook meals by doubling or tripling a recipe, then putting them in aluminum pans and freezing them. Then on a night you know you’ll be busy, just take a meal out and pop it in the oven. Or just order a pizza!
There is so much pressure to create a perfect holiday – whether it’s lovely pictures with Santa, beautifully decorated cookies, or making sure your tree looks “just so.” Sometimes our need for perfect stands in the way of what’s good. We stress so much that it takes the joy out of the moment. Instead of worrying about beautifully posed pictures, snap some candid shots while your kids decorate the tree. Swap out made-from-scratch gingerbread for slice-and-bake, and let the kids have fun icing and decorating – They may not be pretty, but the memories will be beautiful!
There are so many amazing activities during the holiday, both at home and around Raleigh that it’s hard to not want to do all of them. However, activities that sound fun in theory may be more be overwhelming or frustrating to a tired, cold, crabby child while other activities are more stressful than fun.
If the activity doesn’t feel meaningful to your family, don’t feel obligated to do it. Feel free to say no to invitations to events if you don’t think it will work for your family or will add to your stress. The holidays are about spending quality time with your loved ones, and that may mean relaxing at home watching a movie instead of keeping the kids out late in the cold for a tree-lighting event.
Make Your Own Traditions
Having a preschool aged child gives you an amazing opportunity to choose what traditions you want to carry on with your family. You can also use this as an opportunity to make new ones! Hold on to what you love and let go of what you don’t and replace it with traditions that really matter.
When you let go of the stress surrounding the holidays, you are able to truly enjoy the moment. Instead of thinking about what you have to do next or how you’re going to make time for a task, you can be fully present with your family, and that’s the key to a happy holiday season!
Happy Holidays from Primary Beginnings
Our five-star preschools on North Hills Drive and Spring Forest Road, are focused on helping children grow and learn in a safe, joy-filled environment. Learn more about our Raleigh preschool and schedule a tour today!