Saturday, December 12, 2009

Finding Balance During the Holidays

It seems life is even more hectic around the holidays. Whether it’s preparing food for Thanksgiving, shopping for Christmas or travelling to visit family and friends, the holidays are a whirl of activity.

The holidays are especially challenging for my husband and I because we have three different sets of family to divide our time between and we like our couple time. This year is even more challenging because everyone wants to see the baby. To top it all off, I have a release and a book signing scheduled.

So, how do I find balance? I prioritize. Do I prioritize my family? Believe it or not, yes, I do.

My son comes first. He’s not even three months old and while he likes to go and see people, there also comes a time when he needs quiet. So, sometimes I say no we can’t meet today, but how about … and name a more convenient time. I find saying ‘no’ to our extended family to be one of the hardest things about finding balance, but in the end, my son’s peace of mind and my mental health are more important.

What about my husband and my writing? Well, my husband understands how important writing is to me so he helps out when he gets home. He cooks dinner and takes care of the baby while I get my blog posts done and make goodie bags and cds for my book signing. He gets his time after the baby is asleep and on the weekends, which I try to reserve for family activities. After all, they are the most important part of my life.

There’s no magic formula for finding balance. I can’t say I’m going to write two hours, play with baby for an hour, talk to husband for an hour, etc. Things come up and have to be addressed. Some days are harder than others. So, I just do what I need to do to stay sane.

My tips: Don't be afraid to say no, and don't be afraid to ask for help.

While this holiday is a bigger challenge than normal, it’s also an exciting time for me. My husband and I are establishing traditions for our baby. Neither of us really had any sort of traditions growing up, but we get to start some and pass them on now.

So, what are our plans? We’ll hang our stockings, of course. I’ll bake my usual banana nut bread and pecan pies. Maybe I’ll make a coconut snowflake cake. But, we’re starting the new tradition of reading Twas the Night Before Christmas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and A Christmas Carol out loud. We’ll also watch White Christmas. If I can manage it, I'm going to make my husband sing with me.


  1. Sanity is the only brass ring to reach for in the early stages of motherhood. Hang in there and shake the ring to keep your wean interested! ;) We're escaping next Saturday for adult writing time!!! HANG IN THERE.

  2. That's all we can do-- try to keep sane. :)

    Happy Holidays to you.

  3. Thanks for stopping by, Skhye and Karen!

  4. And it is never to early to start watching a Charlie Brown Christmas.. that way when he gets older he can complain about his "crazy sentamentalist mom" who demands that all the children line up on the couch to watch it.

    Wishing you a holiday filled with nothing but light, love and laughter... and hugs to the baby.

  5. Ooh! I love that show. Thanks for the reminder, Lill! Happy Holidays! :)

  6. My hat is off to you. So busy and with a small baby. How fun, I miss mine being so little. You are very lucky to have a supportive husband. It's so much easier to reach for our dreams when those we love give us a lift.
    Merry Christmas!

  7. Hi, Emma. Sounds like you have a good sense of taking it as it comes and yes, sometimes saying 'no' is the hardest thing to do but... a necessity in life.

    We all have lifes little happenings popping up all around us but also it gives us that much more to write about:)

    Happy Holidays!
    Enjoy baby's first Christmas:)