Holiday time is upon us. The schedule that we, as moms, have gotten used to (school fundraisers, homework, school projects, PTA meetings, sporting events, birthday parties, tutoring schedules, art, and cultural activities) will have to be adjusted. They will need to include impromptu family celebrations, lunch outings with friends, dinner parties, potluck gatherings, themed holiday parties, holiday brunches, office parties, mom parties, friends who visit from out-of-town get-togethers, and any other type of party or shin-dig in between.
The holidays can have some moms super prepared or scrambling to get everything organized. I fall into the latter category. I’m a Scrambler! So, what can I do to effectively attend all necessary functions and get all of the usual activities done and completed without skipping a beat? Two ideas come to mind: assessment and scheduling.
Let’s start with “Assessment.” Sometimes we, as mothers, feel the need to attend holiday events because we want to feel important, valued, and appreciated. Now, for every mother who may feel this, another mother is perfectly okay with declining invitations to events. I want to suggest that there can be a limitation as to how many events the family will need to attend. This will help alleviate some stress on what functions to attend and the preparation that is involved with getting the family ready to attend the event. Once we assess whether or not to attend, we can adjust our evolving schedule accordingly and thus provide some relief to the situation.
The second item I suggested is “Scheduling.” Once you have determined which events the family will be attending, the event should be placed on a calendar. It could be electronic or paper, but notification will need to be visible so that the family is aware of an upcoming function. Planning is paramount in these situations because then we will be able to plan outfits, travel time if gifts are something that needs to be brought to the event, if a meal needs to be provided, if electronic devices will come along for the ride, chargers for those electronics, the list can go on for miles. Making a schedule ahead of time will help you organize the items you will need to tote along with you, and it can help ease the anxiety of attending these events as a family.
I have actively entered any holiday events into my electronic calendar on my phone and physically written the event on the calendar that is hung up in the kitchen.
This way, the holiday event(s) are visible to everyone every day, and I will also receive a reminder for the event on my phone. My reminders are set up for a day in advance, so I have ample time to get my life together. Sometimes, you still forget about the holiday event (because life happens), so a gentle reminder is essential for my everyday life a day in advance. I also do this for regular daily/weekly/monthly activities.
I feel that since I have had children, I have become very forgetful. Some electronic calendar apps include Fantastical 2, Calendars 5, Google Calendar, Accompany, and Timepage. Many different apps can help you organize your life; I use the basic calendar with electronic alerts on my phone. This suits me very well.
These two suggestions are the tip of the iceberg of ideas that one can use to attend all holiday events in the most stress-free way possible. Now, I cannot guarantee that there will not be stressors once you arrive at the holiday gathering; but you can always control how you respond to those stressors.