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The Nursing Mama’s Holiday Survival Guide

Because breastfeeding and gatherings are not always friends.

Baby's first Christmas: lovely chaos. 

It’s that time of year again; lights are shining bright, people are just a little bit nicer (ok, not always) and we’re all busy busy planning the end of the year. Holiday parties, family gatherings, social commitments galore. Maybe this is your first Holiday season as a nursing Mama, maybe you’re a seasoned pro, in any case, some friendly tips can always come in handy. So, Little Drummer Boy roll please, here are our nuggets of wisdom for making the most (and stressing the less) this Holiday season.

1. It’s ok to excuse yourself.
Sometimes you want to breastfeed in front of your Grandpa, sometimes you don’t. It’s totally up to you. Wearing discreet easy-access nursing clothes (like this sweater from Allette), will help if you are in a situation where baby MUST eat immediately. Like in line waiting for your toddler to meet Santa and consequently throwing you a Christmas curveball with an unexpected present wish (a talking blue fish, wtf?). But more often than not, you’ll be in someone’s home. Its is NOT rude to want to a little “you and baby” time whether it’s for nursing or just catch your breath. If there is ever a time when you will be excused for being a little absent, this is it. I repeat this is the Holiday year when you are ALLOWED to hide whenever you want. Please don’t waste this. Next year you’ll be back to having to listen to your great aunt’s new vegan discoveries and your parents argue over who attended more of your soccer games. Go on and hide to watch Love Actually on your phone alone again. Bliss.

2. You like the schedule, stick to it.
This one is oddly controversial. People without infants and babies berate those with little ones who are sticklers for their kids’ schedules like naps, feeds or bedtime. It took you some time to get into a groove that works for your family, you did that. So keep doing it, Mama! Of course there may be times when you’ll want to bend your rules a little, and that’s totally fine too. But you’ll enjoy this time a lot more if you aren’t constantly worrying about disrupting baby’s schedule and the consequences of that. You do you. And don’t worry about what others say. These are special times and you are allowed to make your own decisions. You are an adult now. Yeah, that’s right. You are responsible for another little human. You can turn down that fifth night of Hanukkah candle lighting if it coincides with bath time.

3. Say yes to help!
Perhaps you’ll have an influx of people around this time of year. And perhaps some of those people will offer to hold the baby, prepare a little puree, vacuum, whatever. Don’t say no. They probably genuinely want to help and are not sure how to. After all, you you are the one keeping baby alive by feeding him/her with your body! But there are so many other ways others can help. If they ask, say yes! Even though you’re got things down pact and you don’t approve of their way of making rice, TAKE THE HELP! You’ll both feel better. This is probably most true of your partner. Use the extra time to spend a little on this site. Haha, those vindictive cats crack me up.

4. Messy looks cozy this time of year.
If you have people over, don’t stress. Toys on the floor, crumbs on the counter, couch pillows converted to accommodate a child’s fort; it’s adorable. It feels welcoming. You are a mom living your life. That dust on the shelves is proof of how you spend your time doing more of what matters. But per point above, if someone offers to help tidy, the answer is a quick yes!

5. Remember how blessed you are.
It may get crazy, it may get uncomfortable and it will definitely get loud. But it’s your life, your family, your friends, your home. You are one lucky Mama to be surrounded by the chaos. Whether this is baby’s first Holiday or not, these are the days you’ll look back on when they are out living their lives and too busy to call you. On that, call your mom.

Happy Holidays, Mamas!

Love,

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Originally published at alletteboutique.com

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