From feeling like time (or money) is running out to second-guessing gift choices and blaming ourselves for our kids’ behavior, there’s no shortage of ways for moms to feel crummy during the holidays. Even when everything miraculously gets done, you might wonder where the heck’s the magic or feel guilty wondering if you slowed down enough to actually enjoy it (and honestly, would it even be the holidays without a good, old-fashioned mom tantrum?). In this last episode before Christmas, Meagan and Sarah talk through the various ways moms tend to be hard on themselves this time of year, and some ways we’ve learned to reframe our messy feelings. We also chat about how we’re feeling this particular Christmas and how it compares to holidays of the past. Depending on when you listen to this episode, consider it your pre- or post-holiday pep talk–complete with a tasty detour into charcuterie board land. We promise it’s NOT too late to give yourself a little grace. We’re here for you, friends!
There’s no shortage of IDEAS for making meaningful holidays with kids, but the reality is that time, money, and mama-energy are limited resources. If you’ve ever been curious about how REAL families do Christmas, join Meagan and Sarah as we sit down with two moms from our Contributor team for behind-the-scenes peeks at their holiday magic making, Advent traditions, and gift giving plans. Sarah chats with Jennifer, a mom of 4-year-old twins, who’s smack-dab in the middle of preschool holiday fun and finally experiencing the light at the end of the tunnel of parenting little twins. Then Meagan and Lisa connect over being divorced moms of many children–Lisa has four kids at home. They talk about coparenting, deciding who gives which presents, and how special it is to share the holiday magic with big kids. Listen and discover how other moms are making this season meaningful for their families.
From the etiquette to expectations, gatherings are a two-way relationship between the hosts and the guests. In this flip side of last week’s episode on hosting, Meagan and Sarah are talking about our favorite types of get-togethers, the ways we try to be “good guests,” and our strategies for surviving social events (including the ones that feel high-stakes) with little ones. We point out how thoughtful preparation and honest communication–with our hosts, kids, and even ourselves–tempers the stress for everyone involved. To wrap it up, Meagan shares an important reminder AND a mantra moms can repeat when everyone’s on edge. Whether you’re getting ready for holiday parties or looking for tips that apply to any event, you’ll find lots of reassurance here.
When you feel the pressure to do, make, or be something this holiday season, pause and ask yourself three questions. Does this TRULY matter to me? Is the PROCESS joyful or meaningful (or is it that others make the product look so easy)? And–a big one–what if I DON’T? In Episode 290 Meagan and Sarah offer gut-checks on some of the biggest pressures moms feel during the holiday season–from magazine-worthy living rooms to the mental load of shopping for (and giving gift ideas to) a large extended family–and offer concrete tips for releasing yourself from expectations of perfection in pursuit of a peaceful season.
Meagan’s last three Christmases have played out like a sad country song (divorce! family emergency! breakup!), and this year she’s going ALL IN on festiveness in an effort to reset the tone for the season and find new ways to enjoy and embrace the holidays as a mom of older kids. There will be Nutcrackers, Messiahs, baking, multiple advent calendars, and even (teen-willing) some ambitious exterior illumination. Sarah’s asking the questions today and Meagan is here for all of us who want to kick off the season with maximum enthusiasm.
Once the gifts have been purchased, what do we actually DO with them? Hide and hope? Box up and ship? Wrap and display? Stack in cardboard boxes until the eleventh hour? Turns out, it’s a little of all of the above in our houses. In the final installment in our Holiday Shopping series, Meagan and Sarah discuss the tricky time between when gifts are procured and when they are opened.