‘Moms don’t enjoy, they give joy’?
We, mothers, seem to expect ourselves always to give a lot of joy during holiday seasons.
The usual famous holiday formula we give ourselves is ‘Moms don’t enjoy, they give joy’.
Juli Fraga, in her article in The Washington Post, observed that “many of today’s parents view successful child-rearing as a task, which implies we can always do more for our kids and families”
“And if there’s one time of year when we feel responsible to provide happiness for everyone, it’s the holiday season”
Probably like me, every Christmas, you feel the pressure to make the holiday memorable for our children. Decoration, cooking, booking for ice skating, buying gifts… All of these can become real hustles.
Does it sound familiar to you, the additional tasks for Christmas preparation, but also sometimes emotional dynamics in the family prior to the year-end, or the difficulty to relax our minds during busily-scheduled holiday events?
According to the American Psychological Association, “holiday stress can be more intense for women because they do a majority of the shopping, baking and decorating”.
Also, “relaxation is difficult when there’s so much on our minds”, as stated the Psychoanalyst Josh Cohen in his article in the Financial Times
So how can us mothers avoid burnout during this year’s holiday?
I always struggled with myself. But this year I have a resolution: be mindful!
Be mindful that the most important gift we can give our children is our true (and joyful) presence. So remember to rely on friends and family for support when things become “intense”.
Practice mindful eating and drinking. A holiday is not an excuse not to practice. On the contrary, it is a helpful practice to stay grounded during this period sometimes chaotic.
Remember the importance of self-care: prioritizing rest, ensuring good sleep, and drinking water and eating balanced meals.
Give realistic expectations about our tasks. Before launching ourselves to a “baking”, ” decorating” or “shopping” adventure, we can take time to review what is realistic. How can we cut down one thing and make others more enjoyable?
So there are many reasons why we mothers need to relax mindfully to avoid burnout this holiday season. Remind ourselves of 4 practical things: Rely on others for support, Practise mindful eating and drinking, Self-care, and Set realistic expectations for our tasks.
Easy, isn’t it? Give yourself a try and we can catch up!