With something like Christmas looming, there is a set date to have everything ready by. I have a list of wants, and needs, and things that I feel are crucial to get sorted before Christmas, and then there are the things that I feel should have been done 6 months ago, and it feels like I’ve failed a bit that it’s almost Christmas and they are still not done.
So every-time I turn around it seems like I’m putting more and more things on the list.
Things like washing the windows, or weeding that back garden that I never touch.
Things like cleaning out the kids rooms of the old toys, and rubbish, so that when the new stuff arrives at Christmas, there isn’t a mess on top of a mess, that nobody can be bothered with.
I want fences fixed, water for the animals sorted and the house tidy and clean, as we have friends coming to stay as well.
Every Christmas that rolls around I feel like I have to be a bit more organised, or a bit more efficient, or a bit more clever about how I spend the time in the lead up to the big day.
Yep – it’s crazy, nobody cares, it’s summer and everyone is outside anyway.
But I care.
And if I manage to tick a few extra things off the list this year, then I’ll really feel like I’m able to relax over the break, and let myself re-charge, and enjoy myself, and let myself enjoy my kids too.
Lists and never-ending might not be that important to you, but I do find that we all tend to have something that stresses us in the lead up to Christmas.
It doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing necessarily, but it can turn into a bad thing if we don’t put a cap on it.
My never-ending list for example, is going to have things added to it over the weekend, but then on Sunday night I’m going to let it lie, and just feel good about starting to tick the things off the list, WITHOUT adding anymore to it.
Giving myself that deadline, means that I can start to enjoy the achievements of getting stuff done, rather than constantly looking for more things to be discontent about.
It’s important to put some boundaries and some perimeters around your ‘stress’ for Christmas too, so spend some time this weekend thinking about what that thing is for you, and come up with ways to have it not affect you and your family in a negative way.
Your thing might be the never-ending cleaning….
Or the gardening and weeding that is your focus for the entirety of the summer.
Maybe it’s cooking and baking, and feeding everyone in your family and the community …
Maybe your thing is catching up on all the Netflix series that you haven’t seen yet because of work and life.
Maybe it’s knitting, sewing, crochet, or quilting…
Whatever your thing is that becomes your sole focus and important thing with a little bit of stress added to it, is probably where you need to put some boundaries around the time, and around how that affects others around you.
Just because something feels like it’s do -or- die for you, doesn’t mean that your kids feel that way. And that goes both ways, sometimes your kids think that something is extra, extra important to them, but you don’t feel that way. If you are demonstrating this action to your kids, then you are also demonstrating to them, that it’s okay for them not to be fully into your thing either.
A lot of stress in the lead up to Christmas happens because of miscommunication, and also a misunderstanding of what’s important to family members. And I don’t mean that it’s our kids always doing the misunderstanding – we make that mistake too, of thinking that our kids NEED to be on board with everything we feel is important, and we misunderstand that when they’re not involved it doesn’t mean that they are being naughty – it just means that it’s not their THING.
So, I’m going to concentrate on my list because that will make ME feel better.
And I’ll try my hardest to listen to what is important to my kids, and where they want to spend their energy.
And the goal is to marry everything together for a happier, merrier, holiday.
You can ABSOLUTELY be the parent that you want to be, but that doesn’t always mean that you will have everything run smoothly and perfectly the way that you want it to.
Stephanie Davis is the leading expert in ‘Parenting by Personality’ and coaches mums and dads, on how to raise KICKARSE and SUCCESSFUL children by using their personalities to find solutions to parenting problems.