Redeeming the Rest part of Christmas Vacation{Day17}

Do you travel at Christmas? Far?with kids?

Been there.

Our first Christmas with a new baby was hectic.
I had had a c-section and lost nearly 60 lbs in the first 6 weeks post-partum. I was tired. A new mom. We were on a very fixed income and we had an 8 hour drive to get to one set of family before moving on to the next.

We wanted to show off our bundle. We wanted to see all our friends, relatives, neighbours….and they wanted to see us… their homes….because it was -30 and winter and why not just come on over here?

Why not? I’ll tell you why not….because not less than a week after getting home from our 5 day whirlwind of family, feasting and pass-the-baby-to-me-with-my-germy-hands people my dear little boy and I were both so sick with strep throat we were both on medication, full bed rest, fevered up and almost unconscious for two weeks. Yep. Happy New Year to us. Miserable.

We learned a hard lesson that year: some families are greedy with their time with you. And some families don’t understand the value of consistent routine for little ones especially at Christmas.

Travelling is hard on kids and babiesand moms. If you’re going to visit family there’s a few things to keep in mind:
– you can’t visit everyone so make a priority list before you arrive
-get one friend or family member to agree to host a gathering so you can see many people in one place, on one night only. That way, you tried and those who missed out are not going to be ticked with you for lack of effort
-whenever possible leave little ones with Grandma and Grandpa or aunties and uncles while you and your spouse do the visiting. Trust me- your kids will thank you and you will thank me! 😉
-try not to change sleeping locations more than once over your entire vacation: kids don’t do we’ll in strange beds and by the time they’re just getting used to it you up and change it on them!
-don’t force your kids to radically change their routines: don’t overdress them, take away nap times or play times…
-make sure everyone gets the opportunity to sleep in when necessary-don’t over schedule
-take cues from your family: cranky, whiny and angry usually means your baby, toddler, child (or husband) is overstimulated and in desperate need of a break- it’s okay to change plans or scrap them all together
And finally…… You’re never going to please everyone: mothers, inlaws, brothers, sisters…don’t sweat it. Remember this is YOUR vacation. Rest. Enjoy.

No stress. No sickness. Say no when necessary.
Your baby, your kids, your family, your life….you go with your gut and you’ll always be right.


2 thoughts on “Redeeming the Rest part of Christmas Vacation{Day17}

  1. Thanks Anne! We’ve had breakdowns and letdowns too. It’s harder when others put high expectations on us too. I’m praying and hoping that we can ALL agree that it’s okay to just let go and do only what we can and nothing more. The stress makes Christmas miserable.

  2. I’ve been enjoying your series. Sorry I haven’t commented sooner! What a rough Christmas vacation that was…whew! I think your advice is spot on though. One year, we were out the door somewhere, and my DH actually broke down the next town over. He had to just stop and go home. People were upset with us, especially his mom. 😦 We had to do it though. The pressure was crushing. We needed some decompression time. Maybe if we had been smarter and simplified Christmas more, we wouldn’t have felt the need to decompress (read: staying up too late wrapping gifts Christmas Eve!!). Thanks for the series. God bless!

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