The holidays are a lot of things. Festive. Jolly. Merry. Bright. Yada Yada….. They’re also stressful AF, particularly when you involve extended family like obnoxious mother-in-laws, nosy cousins and slightly creepy uncles. And don’t get us started on the endless lunches, brunches and dinners. It’s enough to make anyone go insane. No, we can’t change your family, but we can help you cope just a little bit better this holiday with a few simple hacks and tips that’ll aim to prioritize you this season.
We’ve been going hard on the travel hacks. Whether you’re pregnant and traveling or toting your LO’s around the country, think about what you need in advance of actually needing it. From the snacks to the times of day that best serve your babe’s nap schedule, be prepared for delays, baggage casualties and the impending doom of traveling over the holidays. Even if you’re not an OCD Virgo, channel your bestie who always has the almonds and water and be this person. Your future depends on it.
Prepare for Unwanted Questions and Rehearse Your Responses in Advance
When your in-laws ask you (again) when you’re having a second child, or your cousin wants to know whether you’ll be moving to the suburbs anytime soon, or whether you’re going to “keep working after maternity leave,” (because it’s always a choice, right??) prep for those triggering questions with the response that makes you feel empowered. “None of your effing business” is the message, of course, but rehearse an easy response in the mirror like, “We’re not sure yet, but trust me, you’ll be the first to know.” Cue the discussion-ending smirk.
Know when your presence isn’t necessary
For many family visits, it seems like breakfast leads to lunch which leads to coffee, and before you know it, it’s dinner again! It’s like you’re being held hostage around a dining table for five days straight on one endless loop. Remember, your presence isn’t mandatory at every little coffee clutch. Sit a meal out if you’re able to. Take a nap during family Scrabble. Give yourself a little timeout to read a book because guess what? Cousin’s Jenga is literally in an hour.
It might sound simple, but getting outside even for 15 minutes can help take the edge off that never ending holiday hang. Combat the stale air and your stale thoughts by taking a walk, preferably before sundown so you can get some Vitamin D on your face. That way you can walk back into that kitchen recharged. The same goes for exercise. The holidays are a wonderful time to indulge, but keep up any self-care rituals you value in the non-holiday period, as well.
Stay True To Schedule
Grandma might want to take your little one to see her mah-jong group during naptime, but guess what? Grandma isn’t going to bear the brunt of an overly exhausted infant. It’s so hard, but stick to your guns when it comes to scheduling because guess what else? You and only you know best. Of course, if you want to keep your LO up late to hang with your sis and her kids, we say go for it. But you run their calendar – no one else.
Play The Preggo Card
If you’re expecting, own that sh*t. You need to nap, you need a walk. You need to go sit in the bathroom and scroll social media. You need a long, luxurious bath. Give in to however you’re feeling and use this time to focus on you. Once that baby comes, the holidays are going to take on a whole different meaning (cue waiting for hours on a Santa line at the mall). Let yourself be pregnant and screw everyone else.