In my family, we celebrate Christmas and the birth of Jesus; while the significance and focus of Advent have remained the same for us, the way we’ve used Advent calendars and celebrated this season has varied. Some years we had time for daily holiday crafts and baking, while other seasons of life we kept it simple with a five-minute Bible reading and hanging up a premade ornament each night. If you are celebrating Advent this year, I want to encourage you that Advent traditions with kids doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming to be fun and meaningful. Here are 13 Advent calendar ideas that you can enjoy with your kids this Christmas season.
I’m a mom with massive health anxiety that’s affected my ability to function. I’ve convinced myself I had various diseases, I’ve had panic attacks to the point I couldn’t breathe, I’ve imagined my future locked away in a nursing home so vividly I sobbed, and even as I write this, I’m not fully convinced I don’t actually have Parkinson’s disease. I am not okay at the moment. But I am learning every day, to truly take life day-by-day, and in not being okay, I hope I can let other moms who are going through similar struggles know that they are not alone. We might not be okay, but we can be okay with not being okay—because we’re truly in this together.
Taking your child to the emergency room is one of those unforgettable rites of passage as a parent. A fun morning at the playground can take a turn when a kid falls from the monkey bars. An endless evening with a feverish baby can turn into a middle-of-the-night drive to the hospital. No trip to the emergency room is stress-free. However, there are ways to make it stress-manageable. Here are a few things I’ve learned by navigating ER visits with kids.
A relatable mom podcast will always keep my interest, but as much as I love my kids, I of course have interests outside of motherhood. And I know I’m not alone! Check out these podcast recommendations from The Mom Hour team – they’re all shows that we love, and they’re NOT about motherhood.
My time in therapy has given me the eyes to see that my mental health is – and always has been – worth the time, effort, and money. It has given me space to speak freely about hard stuff from my past, the safety to know that it’s ok to talk about it all. I have been led to diagnoses and treatments that I had always wondered about but wasn’t sure my issues justified such formality.
To hopefully smooth that path just a little bit for other moms, I chatted recently with Tracy Carson, a licensed professional clinical counselor in San Diego, California. I asked Tracy some of the questions that were hard for me to figure out when I first started down this path, and she’s here to give a peek inside the world of mental healthcare – especially as it relates to supporting moms.
Witnessing so many movements of cultural recognition and self acceptance over the past few years has truly inspired me to own my heritage with curiosity and love.