Holiday Whirlwinds

The holidays can often be a stressful time for parents. It's basically because you're in charge; therefore, you have all of the responsibility of getting everything done in order for everyone to have a good time. In this way, holidays and special occasions become whirlwinds for parents. Never fear, there are ways to organize holidays so that you get to enjoy them as much as everyone else.

When you became a family, you gained the right to pick and choose your own family traditions. There is no reason you have to follow along with what your family did or what your partner's family did. You do not have to choose one way or the other. You can make your own way.

Both sets of extended family will want some of your time, which is okay. But when to see them and how much time you spend with them needs to be set by you. For example, some families spend Christmas morning opening presents at home and split Christmas Eve and Christmas afternoon between their families. Or, if your family doesn't live locally, you can switch from year to year. You could also offer to host the occasion in your home. Whatever option you choose, try to remain fair to everyone while putting your family's needs first.

This may at some point cause frustration for you or your partner's families. They may in turn do or say something that will cause you to feel some guilt. Do not change your mind because of this guilt. Take a second look at what you are doing. If you have remained as fair as possible while keeping your family's needs first, drop the guilt. A simple “I'm sorry you feel that way, but this is what we feel is best for our family” will have to do.

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