I feel like it’s the calm before the storm. The holidays are stressful for pretty much everyone. I understand that. But for me, the stress level and complexity of navigating the holidays has grown exponentially since having kids.
First there’s family. We live far from pretty much all the grandparents. Thus every year it’s a logistical—and financial—challenge to try and see everyone. And we’re not getting pressure from them—even though, come on, who wouldn’t want to see our beautiful, sweet, smart, and energetic children?—but it’s our desire for our children to have relationships with their family, even if we don’t see them that often.
Then there’s negotiating the energy level of the kids. A 4- and 6-year old are active enough, but you add 4 holidays in back-to-back succession, 2 birthdays, candy, presents, travel and more? The holidays aren’t so much about relaxation as they are about survival.
On top of that, there’s the additional work associated with the holidays that goes above and beyond normal, daily housework. We put up holidays decorations, buy presents, bake treats, create our holiday video, send holidays cards…it’s an annual project list avalanche.
Don’t get me wrong—I love this time of year! And there is something pretty special about re-living the excitement of the holidays through the eyes of the child and having the opportunity to create memories with family.
But it’s still a stressful, stormy season. I know the storm is coming. In many ways it’s already here (as we’ve already has 1 holiday and 2 birthdays). So I am trying to embrace this calm before the storm.
I’ll see you on the other side…