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.