A How-To Guide for Moms, Holiday Edition

A How-To Guide for Moms, Holiday Edition

I find myself walking the tightrope this holiday season.

On one side of the tightrope is stress: I am stretched thin. My wallet, and calendar, are stretched thin. We are dodging the flu, RSV, and HFM left and right. Sometimes I just want this season to be over so we can all go back to normal life. 

On the other side of the tightrope: things truly are merry and bright.

I get to re-live the magic of Christmas through my children’s eyes. I feel nostalgia at every turn, and I remember how it feels to be five-years-old and searching the night skies for Santa on Christmas Eve. My children’s innocence and unbridled joy feels extra special at this time of year. I watch as gingerbread houses and neighborhood Christmas lights become precious core memories for my kids, and I feel filled up with gratitude. 

And so I walk on this tightrope, balancing between losing my cool over all of the expectations and ways I am needed, and how much I love seeing this time of year through my kids’ eyes. 

I know a lot of moms feel overwhelmed at this time of year. Overwhelmed with stress and overwhelmed with joy and just… overwhelmed. 

And so I talked to a lot of moms, some who have been mom-ing for decades, and others, like myself, who have only been in the motherhood game for 5 years, to see if I could put together a How-To guide for us moms this season. 

A guide of life hacks for how to get through this season–not just surviving it, but truly enjoying it, as a mom. 

And here’s what I found out:

There is no How-To guide of life hacks for this season. 

Because it looks different for every mom. 

Because it’s going to be hard, no matter what. 

So instead of life hacks for how to make this season easy, here is the culmination of all the advice I collected instead:

1-It is okay to feel stressed. You don’t have to be Jolly Holly at all times during one of the most busy, out-of-routine months of the year. The sooner you can acknowledge and accept how you feel, the less time you’ll probably spend actually stressed. “Feel how you feel. And then let it go.”

2-You don’t have to do it all. Prioritize the things that matter the most to you and your family this season. And then say no to the rest. If you are sharing your holidays with a partner, get on the same page about this. Having boundaries can save your mental health. No need to feel guilty for maintaining boundaries that give your family a happier mom. 

3-You will miss this. Which is NOT to say you’ll miss the sleeplessness, or the stress, but simply that someday your kids may not be with you on Christmas morning because they will be off doing x y z in the world. And that is okay, but you will probably look back on these days and miss having your little ones in your lap, a messy living room filled with squealing and hugs (and, yes, probably tears at some point, too). But a gentle reminder from mom friends with grown children that this season of our lives is incredibly hard, but incredibly precious and fleeting, as well. 



  • Beautifully written. I’m a Grandma (“Mimi”) and I cannot agree more. But especially #2. Not only do you not have to do it all, you probably CANNOT do it all. Prioritize. Write it down. Give yourself permission to do ‘less.’ You may accidentally give other Moms permission to do the same. Thank you for sharing.

  • I’m not a mom, but I’m a Grauntie! I am completely taking this to heart, especially #1. I might need to engrave “Feel how you feel. And then let it go.” somewhere to remind me that I don’t have to do everything! Thank you!

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