We survived our first major holiday month with our first born! Honestly, I could really take a nap right about now. Maybe one that lasts until Thanksgiving.
For weeks, I obsessed over the perfect costume and activities we could do as a family. Mind you that our first born is barely four-months-old and she could not care less about fall festivities, but as a first time mom of a rainbow baby, I wanted to go above and beyond. I wanted to make Pinterest my reality.
Needless to say, nothing went as planned. You would think I would have been saddened by this, but I was not. We didn’t visit any local pumpkin patches, or an apple orchard a few hours upstate. We didn’t go to any fall festival other than our church’s trunk-or-treat. Husband and I didn’t do a date night to the haunted houses like we wanted to either. Yet, I feel so content with what we spontaneously did do, that it’s made me look forward to the other upcoming holidays with a new pep in my step. Why? Because I’ve decided to offer myself a venti-sized cup of grace.
As moms, it often times feels as if we must go above and beyond for our children. We want to have the perfect (and sometimes way too staged) photo ops, or the perfectly crafted hand print of our baby’s foot on the refrigerator. We nearly drive ourselves straight into Target hoping to find the perfect decor before anyone else steals our idea. And, all for what? To miss the opportunity to breathe in the fresh fall air while truly enjoying life with our family.
So, how can we offer ourselves grace? Here are just a few steps in doing just that this upcoming holiday season:
Turn Off The Screen
Once you’re done reading this, shut off your phone or computer for a few minutes and just look around. What do you see? Whether it’s a spotless kitchen, or messy living room, you’re right in the middle of your life and it’s time to just embrace it. Set aside the false reality that social media sometimes paints and embrace your reality. It may not be perfect, but it’s yours and it is beautiful.
Let Go Of Expectations
This is the most difficult step for me, but maybe the most liberating. Once you let go of how a photo of your child next to a pumpkin should look, you can then capture a perfect moment of how adorable your child is at that very moment. This goes for anything else, too. Didn’t finish up your Thanksgiving centerpiece in time? That’s okay – you can just make multiple mini-pieces. Didn’t make it to the bonfire because your child had an epic meltdown? That’s okay – you can head to the grocery store and pick up s’mores supplies and roast them over a tea light candle with your husband after said child falls asleep. It’s okay for life to not go as planned, and it’s okay to be upset about that. But, always remember that even if it’s not perfect, it’ll be a memory you can look back on and maybe even laugh about in the future.
As a new mom, this is hard for me. I often catch myself saying that I need a hair cut or need some jeans that actually fit, but I don’t go through with it. I have about four books started that I eagerly want to finish, but I consistently find ways to stay too busy or exhausted to brew a tea and snuggle in with my books. Seriously, y’all, love yourselves this holiday season. Whether that’s a mani-pedi date with yourself, or a night out with your best friend, do what you need to do to relax. When you’re relaxed, it really will make a difference in your home. Your babes won’t remember if the house was clean, or if that picture was perfect, or if the green bean casserole burned. What they will remember is whether mom was happy and healthy during Thanksgiving or Christmas.
So, with Thanksgiving fast approaching, and the countdown to Christmas officially on, I hope you offer yourself grace this season. I hope you can check on your friends and make sure they’re doing the same, too. And, remember, if the turkey burns and the pumpkin pie cheesecake tastes like rotten pumpkin spice, then that’s okay. It really is.