Countless articles come out each year at this time. They all say the same thing: You are overwhelmed. You are overworked. You are tired. You need to SIMPLIFY. Slow down. Do less. Don’t stress.
Actually, I’m not overwhelmed.
I am annoyed that tired, overwhelmed, overworked, and stressed-out are the adjectives most commonly associated with motherhood. Pah-leeze. Moms I know are kicking ass and taking names, and I don’t see them slowing down anytime soon.
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You will not find advice to slow down and relax here. I’m not the peaceful, calm, sit-around-the-house type and neither is my family. We want to get out there and enjoy every part of the holidays. From belting out “I Want a Hippopatomas for Christmas” from the car windows to seeing all the lights to burning cookies every year.
When my kids are grown they will have fond memories of
dumping entire batches of Christmas cookies into the trash.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Get ready for Pinterest fails, off-key carols, hot chocolate, and fuzzy footie pajamas.
There is so much MORE during the holidays. Shopping, baking, crafts, decorating, and trips to the mall to meet a stranger who gives your children candy. It’s a special time of year when everyone is a little bit busier and life gets a little bit crazier.
I’ll let you in on a secret. I love it.
There is a lot of pressure involved with being The Mom. It is difficult to have fun when we are busy creating the fun. Trust me, it’s possible. The trick is to get some of the extra, not-enjoyable stuff out of the way. Because what we really need is more time. A little breathing room around and between the festivities.
Don’t miss out on what you enjoy.
Focus on the positive. This time of year is wonderful. It is special – especially when you’re sharing it with young children. What do you want this holiday season to look like? What do you remember from past holidays that you want to continue? What are your favorite traditions that you’d like to pass down? Don’t get too swept away; it’s not going to be perfect. But keep that picture in your mind. Focus on the people you love and the things you want to do.
It’s not going to be stress-free
There are some holiday stresses you can’t do much about: the stuff that creeps up your spine and raises your shoulders to your ears. However, you can give yourself some breathing room. Some space. I’ll share a few ways that I make time for holiday fun without losing my mind in the process.
Online Learning Games
Whether you’re a homeschooler or a school-schooler, we all have something in common this time of year: Kids asking for snacks 24/7. So between breakfast and elevensies, lunch and second lunch use a few online learning games to take one thing off your own plate.
Who has time to plan and teach when there’s shopping and decorating and cookie destroying to do? Keep your kids learning and reading independently with a few of our favorite programs:
Reading and Math
Promo: Install now and read FREE for 30 days!
Promo: 14 Day Free Trial
Smartick Method (Math)
Promo: Try Free for 15 Days
Promo: Try Muzzy for 7 Days
Free Trials: Don’t want to commit (or pay)? These programs all have free trials. If you want to fill a more than a week or two, stack your trials back-to-back.
Time Saved: 1 or more hours per day.
Stress Saved: Worrying that your children’s eyeballs will fall out from too much Sponge Bob Square Pants.
This is the best thing. Ever. Why aren’t you doing this yet? One fine day in September 2016, I got a card in the mail about grocery pick-up at Walmart. Thinking this was too good to be true, I looked to the most reliable resource available: Facebook.
Wine (and grocery) pick-up at Walmart
It’s just that simple. Load up your cart online, schedule a pick-up time for the next day, head on over to the Walmart parking lot and have that wine loaded right into your trunk for free. The prices are the same as walking in the store. Have your I.D. ready.
$10 Off your first bottle.
Er. Um. Your first order.
Time Saved: 2-3 hours per week
Stress Saved: Ramming an old person with your shopping cart
There’s always something else to buy. Someone else to buy for. My list starts out small and triples in size over the course of a month. Add to that the frenzied pace inside the stores. It’s not like shopping with kids is ever easy, but longer lines and nasty, high-strung shoppers makes it especially rough.
On top of that, there’s no way to save money. You might be saving on the one item you went out to buy, but when you see SALE! adrenaline takes over and you become a shopping machine. Just look at Black Friday. Or is it Black Thursday afternoon? It’s madness.
Stop shopping. Take a break this year and shop online. I promise, you will never look back.
It’s no secret that I’m a huge Amazon fan. I can get anything in less time than it takes to get myself and three kids to the store, and HELLO I don’t have to use the cart that looks like a tractor-trailer.
Some moms love Target. I love shopping from the couch while binge watching Scandal and drinking Walmart wine.
Christmas is the PERFECT time to sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime. I happily replaced my warehouse membership with Prime and I haven’t looked back. I could go on forever about Subscribe and Save, and how I never have to think about buying toilet paper, paper towels, hair dye, or toothpaste. This will save you time in ways you never thought possible.
Here’s the strategy: Make your list, check it twice, load up your shopping cart, and watch the prices drop. If you have a Prime account, order at-will. There is no minimum for free shipping, so just throw it in the cart and check out when it goes on sale. It will go on sale.
Best days for price drops:
Black Friday: November 24
Cyber Monday: November 27
Super Saturday: December 23
12 Days of Deals: TBA
Keep an eye on Today’s Deals for Deal of the Day and Lightning Deals
You can even subscribe for a daily email to get daily deals in your inbox
Time Saved: Countless hours
Stress Saved: Getting pushed into a rack of clothes; when the person in front of you at the register does not have a single item with a price tag
I hope this helps you make some extra time and space in your holiday schedule, and that you can enjoy the great parts of these holidays a little more. Don’t let anyone tell you that you should feel overwhelmed, overworked, tired, and stressed-out. You can handle it. Keep kicking ass.