If you’re a new parent navigating the festive season, here are five things you can do to stress less.
By Mama Disrupt®
Whether it’s managing a baby’s routine, prepping for Christmas dinner, decking out the house, or wrapping all those gifts. It’s enough to turn even the calmest soul into a bundle of nerves. And you know what? When you’ve got a tiny, adorable new member of the family, it’s totally okay if your focus shifts away from being the host with the most, throwing parties, or even stepping out the door.
But here’s a comforting thought: you’re definitely not alone in feeling this way.
The Gidget Foundation Australia shared some interesting stats with us: a whopping 51% of Aussie parents find parenting way more challenging than they anticipated. And, get this, two in five parents tend to put their own needs on the back burner.
It’s a tough gig, but hey, we’re all in this together! Here’s how to get through the silly season as a new parent.
“ESPECIALLY AT THIS TIME OF YEAR, KINDNESS MATTERS.”
1. Practical support
A sense of being organised can really help to avoid overwhelm at this time of year. There are most likely a lot of things that you need to take care of including gift shopping, events and catch ups, end of the school year, planning holidays and then of course Christmas Day itself.
It is common to feel a little overwhelmed and concerned about how you are going to manage it all. Keeping lists is a useful way to manage all the things you need to take care of. Choose your preferred method of making lists, whether that be in a nice new notebook, your diary or your phone and sit down with a cuppa and dedicate 30 minutes to creating the lists that you need. It will be time well spent!
2. Keep it simple
It’s really easy to get caught up in the frenzy of options at this time of year. The messages that we receive from TV, social media, advertising and everywhere we turn seems to be telling us that we need to have the biggest and brightest tree, a table styled for Instagram, the perfect family photo and more.
It can help to take a step back and remind yourself that sometimes simple is best. The time spent with family making lovely memories is not dependant on how your table looks, or how well you have photographed it all. Christmas can be simply about quiet moments shared with loved ones, a break from routine, the simplicity and beauty of balmy Summer nights, sharing food and laughter.
3. Schedule time for yourself
It’s amazing how easy it is to forget your self-care practice at this time of year. It’s so important to set some time aside regularly to do the things that nurture your own emotional wellbeing. In amongst all of the festivities, be sure to schedule in some time for your self-care practices too. Pop it on your list so that you don’t forget!
Gidget Foundation Australia’s new book, Bunny’s Little Big Christmas is a great resource for expectant and new parents to slow down amongst the busy festivities.
4. Learn to say no
Saying ‘no’ politely and setting boundaries are important skills for taking care of your emotional wellbeing during the festive season. It’s not necessary to attend every event that you are invited to, and it’s not rude to set boundaries and limits around what you can and can’t fit into your schedule.
Take a few minutes each time you receive an invitation to think about how it makes you feel, and whether you really want to attend. Learn to let others know that you are grateful for being included however, you are taking good care of yours and your family’s wellbeing this Christmas by spending lots of quality time together.
5. Embrace kindness
Especially at this time of year, kindness matters. The sense of overwhelm and the stress of the holidays can very quickly manifest as irritation towards others and ourselves. Small acts of kindness can lift your mood and also the mood of others. Smile at the busy shop assistants, take the time to send a kind text to someone you know is struggling, check in on your neighbours or workmates as the holidays approach. Kindness feels good.
Sign up to our newsletter for weekly mama goodness delivered straight to your inbox, like the VIP that you are.