Ok ladies, are we ready? We are approaching the most hectic time of the year and it’s time to put your game faces on. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint and if we are going to make it to the end in one piece we really need to start talking strategy.
Let’s do this! Well, the first thing that I am going to tell you is that I’m KIDDING! It’s supposed to be fun. Champagne, mangos, beach trips, afternoon BBQ’s. You know? Take a breath, get excited – that’s what I’m going to do, and here are a few to-do list items I think we could all benefit from.
1. First thing, adopt this mantra. You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.
It’s really quite gross that we even have to remind ourselves of this. But it’s so true. If something makes you want to cry just thinking about it, just say no. Sure we have to take some stuff on the chin (like a dance school who has TWO performances the weekend BEFORE Christmas – who does that?) but for the most part, saying no is much easier than you may think. You are entitled to enjoy your life. You are entitled to be happy and no one is going to give you a medal (or even notice) if you behave like a selfless saint who is dying inside. They will, however, look at you like you have two heads when you finally explode and be all like, where the hell did that come from?
2. Pack away some stuff. Christmas self-care
I know, it’s simplistic and random, but the storage boxes under my bed that are full of Christmas decorations will come out soon which is super exciting if you’re like me. But what’s also exciting is that I plan to fill them with all the decorative stuff in the house that I love and don’t want to get rid of, but could just do with a break from, you know? And if two little people who shall remain nameless don’t lift their game, I will pack away the LEGO and bloody LOL dolls too. It’s like a month of minimalism without the commitment.
3. Set your goalposts and keep them where they are.
I am THE worst for this. I get all the gifts bought and wrapped two weeks in advance then decide that I need to make handmade cards and all of a sudden I’m rushing again. Or I put my hand up to do dessert and as I finish up my chocolate mousse I realise that the kids would probably really love to do biscuit decorating and start baking gingerbread Christmas trees at 9 pm the Christmas Eve. My hubby is the same, he goes out to mow the lawn and ends up building a new chicken coop. Enough. Finish your job and go to the beach!
4. Find something to delegate/outsource.
How old are your kids? Can they make cards or wrap presents? If you’re hosting can you afford to get a cleaner for an hour the day before? Is everyone bringing a plate? Either throw some money at the problem, call in a favour or set the kids to work. Christmas does not need to be done all on your back. I am a big fan of spreading myself thick, and to do that you have to drop some balls.
5. Organise a fun shopping session.
Obviously, you’re going to have to buy some stuff but do it in a way that brings you joy. I like going to markets and pottering around my local small businesses, it gives me all the good feels and I know it makes the small business owner’s do a happy dance too! I also intend to make the hubby sit down with me (and a good bottle of red) and do some online shopping for the kids. Second thoughts, I’m going to make a girl’s night out of it. That way we can drink cocktails while we save on postage costs. I will also be listing a bunch of my favourite products in my shop if you need some ideas.
6. Schedule some JOMO Christmas self-care
Don’t get me wrong, Christmas is for family and friends and celebrations but it’s also for reading books, heading to the beach and eating Mangos. Finding the joy in missing out is not something that comes easily to me but I will try. A lovely lady was just telling me how her hubby and kids are getting off work and school a week earlier than her so while she is at home working, they are heading off on a camping trip. They get a holiday, she gets a week off mumming to get everything organised and everyone wins. Sure, the holiday might be more fun but JOMO can be good too.
7. Clearly communicate your needs with the people around you.
Look, I know it is hugely frustrating when your family doesn’t just read your mind and get on board with your plans. But before you completely lose it – maybe just make sure that the plan that’s in your head has actually been clearly communicated with the involved parties.
8. Treat yourself so you don’t hate your partner.
The best way to not detest your partner at this time of year is to just go ahead and do the things you want to do. Organise the coffee date, get your hair done, buy your own presents and hand them to him to wrap. Yes, it’s nice to be spoiled but at the end of the day, we all need to share the responsibility for our own happiness. And if he’s not likely to shower you with gifts then don’t set yourself up for disappointment. Christmas self-care
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