Give Santa a Break!

The holidays are such a fun time of year and should be filled with so much joy! I think there is something so magical about everyone everywhere celebrating something! It’s a beautiful thing.

Growing up, Christmas was a fun time of year and something you look forward to all year long. Once you become an adult it’s like the fun changes to stress, and the countdown of excitement, turns into the dreaded “How much longer do we have to pay for everything or get all the things done”. I’ve seen the effect the holidays can have on some people, and unfortunately it’s not all merry and bright, if you know what I mean!

I know for my family personally I want my girls to have the most incredible Christmas, filled with all the festivities and events, with the perfect photo with Santa, and the most sparkly festive Christmas morning! I see so many people including myself get caught up in the stress of the holidays and totally miss out on all the good.

No matter what you celebrate this rings true! This time of year is about spending time with your family, making those lasting memories together. Engaging in traditions that have been in your family forever, things your great great grandma started. It’s about inviting people into your home and loving on them. Serving and giving to others.

Don’t get me wrong! Every mama loves to see the look on their babies face when Santa came to visit and left them some goodies under the tree. I thought I loved getting gifts but after having kids, nothing beats the feeling of lighting up their little world! In my opinion the gifts do have their place in the holidays. I mean it’s a celebration, a party, a big ol’ birthday bash! But the holidays don’t revolve around the gifts. That is what I am trying to get across to all the moms out there stressing over Wwhat are we going to get the kids?”, or “How are we going to afford to buy everyone gifts this year?” Santa has a lot of kids to visit so don’t stress yourself out too much thinking about what he will leave your kiddos.

If you are anything like me then you love a good practical list! I put together a little list of things you can do with your family this season to keep your hearts joyful amidst the crazy.

1. Serve others! Do some sort of random act of kindness as a family. There are so many options when it comes to this, whether it’s serving in a soup kitchen, baking holiday treats and delivering them to your neighbors, or taking gifts to your local fire station/police station. The options are endless! Think “How can I make someone else’s holiday magical?” Ask your kids that question and let them be creative and brainstorm some ideas!

2. Teach your babies to give! I know for sure my girls have way too many toys for them to love. Have your kids go through their toys, books, clothes, really everything and donate it! Give it to a family that you know may not be able to give gifts this season. Involve your little ones and explain to them that it’s time to pass some of their toys onto another little boy or girl to love. My daughter gets so excited when she thinks about gifting it to another little girl. If you don’t know where to take your items, Goodwill is always a great place to donate! 

3. Give your kids the opportunity to gift someone else. There are so many opportunities to buy gifts for other little ones this season. Give your children some money or if they are a little older have them raise money and take them to a store and let them pick out something to gift to someone else. We have let Charlie do this a couple times but this year will be the first year she can really grasp what she is doing. She’s only three years old but their hearts definitely understand giving…ya know after mom and dad tell them about 10 times “we’re not here to buy a toy for you!” 

4. Ask your kids what they want to do! I am so guilty of planning all the activities that I think would be so fun and they would all love! But kids are simple. Sometimes your babies just want to snuggle up with you and watch Charlie Brown. Some of my greatest memories with my girls and husband have been on our lazy weekends just spending quality time together!

5. Lastly, give Santa a break! I mean Santa’s not supposed to have a sleigh full of toys just for your kids! Plan your gifts. Your kids don’t need the whole Disney aisle at target. Trust me I want to buy my girls all the princesses too because I know they would love it. But how many dolls can two little girls play with? Kids actually play better with less! This year our family will be buying each other four gifts! Something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read! Four gifts from mommy and daddy, and of course the few gifts Santa decides to drop off!

Speaking of the big SC! Kids talk and share all the things Santa left for them on Christmas morning. Be mindful of other families and the money that is being spent. A seven year old doesn’t understand why he got a basketball and little Johnny over there got an xbox one. Be mindful, mommas and daddies. Don’t crush the magic for other kids or make those parents have to have that uncomfortable conversation. Keep the expensive gifts from you and leave the simple stuff to Santa!

Now enjoy the most wonderful time of year with your family!

I hope this encouraged you this holiday season to soak it all in and not stress about the little things. Let’s go out this Christmas season and spread all the holiday cheer! Make some new family traditions with your kids and show them the real reason for the season!

Cherishing every season you are in!

Momming is not always easy; pretty sure that’s an obvious statement right!? I always knew being a mom wasn’t all cupcakes and rainbows, but there are some things that people can’t prepare you for. For instance the newborn stage that pretty much turns you into a zombie, or the constant fussiness because your baby has a sensitive tummy and nothing sits well. What about the sleep regressions?! Right when you think you’ve figured it out something changes and you are back to square one! Raising kids is hard! But there’s something that I constantly…try..to remind myself of, and that’s to enjoy the season you are in. 

One thing I wasn’t prepared for when becoming a parent was all the negativity that people will speak over you, your children, and honestly your life. People don’t say these things to be cruel, or because they wish bad things upon you. They say them because it’s what was always said to them and it’s just become a reality. Has anyone ever told you “Say goodbye to your freedom because once that baby comes your life revolves around them”? Or what about “Oh just wait until they hit the terrible twos”? I can’t tell you the amount of things people have told me regarding the season me or my girls are in. When I hear the sayings above, I can’t help but think, “Why can’t they be the Terrific Twos?!” I choose to empower my little ones, and speak life into them. Not putting them in a box. So chances are, mamas, you have heard all of these things and maybe even told another mom some of these, and that’s okay but I want to speak on this for a minute. 

Every age, season, and phase has its own set of difficulties and rewards. There’s nothing that says because your child hits the two year marker, it means they will automatically turn into a terror. As a mom you are always finding new ways to parent the stage your little one is in! But that season only comes once. My husbands grandma told me something when I had my first baby and it has stuck with me ever since. I was making a comment about how I can’t wait until Charlie can start sitting up. She told me don’t say you can’t wait because one day you’ll be wishing for these times back. It’s SO true! Yes you can look forward to things in the future but cherish the moments you have right now. Soak all of it in. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Soak up every tear, laugh, cuddle, or if you have little girls like mine- every sassy remark. 

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Let me clarify really quick! I am a mom of two little ones and I know parenting is HARD! It’s exhausting, emotionally and mentally draining, and some days I feel like a total failure but I don’t want any mama to fall into the trap of the hard times. I think because we have been told so many times the newborn stage is exhausting, the twos are terrible, pre teens are disrespectful, and those teenage years will make you cry we just go into those seasons believing all of that! Your kids are your kids and however you parent them will determine how they turn out. Don’t let someone else’s words distract you from the beauty in every stage. 

I know it can sound so cliche to say soak it all in and embrace every season but it’s so true. Here are some things I have found helpful for me personally and things I remind myself of constantly. 

  • Our kids are little humans. They have emotions, feelings, curiosity, and independence just like us. 
  • We are not here to be their dictators. We are here to be their guide through life! 
  • I will never get this moment back with my girls. 
  • Breathe, mama, breathe! 

That last one, I tell myself often! When my ten month old is teething and screams literally all day, I take lots and lots of deep breathes. When my toddler is fighting me on every little thing I walk in my closet and take lots of deep breaths. But after those breathes I walk back out and serve my babies. 

God did not make a mistake by making you their mama! You are the best mom for them and know exactly how to parent your kids. Don’t let the world blur your lens of the beautiful season you are in. Being a mom is hard, but I promise you there will come a day you will beg for that “testy toddler” phase back or those teething baby cuddles. Cherish the season you are in with your kids, and go in your closet and take a deep breathe!