Category Archives: Parenting During Holidays

How To Manage Your Expectations

June is almost here and with all that the end of the school year typically brings and the summer holidays on the horizon, I feel that it is a good time to discuss subject of EXPECTATIONS. Being able to manage your expectations, particularly during the summer months is vital to being able to minimize some of the typical challenges we face at this time. I’ll take a bet that there is not a parent reading this who expects the month of June to be relaxing because, knowing what we do at this time of year, it would be unrealistic! I’ll take another bet that almost every parent reading this has somewhat mixed emotions about the fast approaching holidays. Yes? Excited but at the same time a tad apprehensive about having the kids around all day every day for two whole months? I hear you.  How to manage your expectations for the holidays and why it is vital you do, is super important: I believe that with a bit of planning and organization, and learning to better manage our expectations, the overwhelming, busy, crazy-ness typical of June can be made a little easier. This can then be taken into the holidays …Read more →

Chasing The Extraordinary

With the holiday season fast approaching, I think that it is important to continue to find ways to slow life down to a pace that satisfies ours and our children’s deepest needs and, to take the pressure off ourselves in as many ways as possible. With that in mind, the theme for December is going to be: Accepting The Ordinary. There is so much pressure on us to be extraordinary today, especially so at this time of year. Pressure to succeed. Pressure to fit it all in. Pressure to be happy. Pressure to make sure that our children don’t miss out. Pressure to get ahead. Pressure to get an extraordinary gift. Pressure to put a HUGE feast on the table. Pressure to escape the concept of ordinary. What is so wrong with ordinary? Why do we need the “extra”? When we strive to make every experience in life extraordinary; do extraordinary things, wear extraordinary clothes, do extraordinarily well, be extraordinary, we put incredible pressure on ourselves to be something that at the end of the day, we might not be capable of and the situation cannot bring us. And, in doing so, we can put extraordinary pressure on our children. …Read more →

How To Break Those Bad Holiday Parenting Habits

Habit #1: Not taking care of yourself The summer holidays are in full swing: five weeks in with three to go. We are all very much in holiday mode and I’m lovin’ it… kind of… I love having my kids home with me. I love the no schedules, no rush, the freedom. But it comes at a price. I am only getting the bare minimum of work done which is not quite enough! My exercise routine has slipped a bit. I am eating way too well (and by well I do not mean healthy!). And, that 6pm Margarita is taking its toll. The end of the day comes round and the feeling of not having got more work done is often frustrating. Not only that, it can make me feel de-energized, demotivated and tired. This happens to me when I do not take care of my own basic needs and give myself what I know I need to refuel, renew, restore and charge my battery. Have you asked yourself what it is that stops you from taking care of yourself? Is it the Mommy guilt and is it worse during the holidays? You are not alone. It gets to almost …Read more →

How To Juggle Work And Play While The Kids Are On Holiday

The summer holidays can be tough for Moms because quite literally over-night we go from having six hours of so called ‘free’ time to having none! I remember before I had kids of my own I wondered what on earth stay at home moms did all day while their kids were at school – how dare I have had those thoughts! It’s only when you have kids of your own do you really fully understand the commitment, dedication and time required of Moms. And with the turn of that switch and the summer holidays suddenly upon us, thinking about how we are going to get it all done can be a daunting thought. I am by nature a fairly organized person and am structured with my approach to getting things done around the house. Knowing this has definitely helped me get through those days where the kids are at home wanting to be with me whilst at the same time I have work to do. Through trial and error, and a serious refining and tuning of my parenting skills, I have found a way to make this work for me AND for my kids. I want to help you do …Read more →

Re-Energize your Parenting with “The Summer Parenting Cleanse”

Whilst I can’t wait for those long, lazy, hazy days of summer, the lingering smell of sunscreen in the air, a never ending pile of flip flops (how can we have so many?), trips to the beach, back yard slip and slides and lazing around relishing the fact that there is little to rush to, I have to be honest and admit to being just a little bit worried about it. As much as I love the spontaneity; the wing it, whatever, sure, what will be will be days, I am a working Mom, I work from home and with the holidays on the horizon, I do get a bit stressed thinking about how I am going to juggle it all!  If this resonates with you and you are wondering how you are going to get it all done, I am here to help you. Despite my worries (I can’t help it, I’m a Mom) I do know how I am going to do it, I know what has to be done and I also know what works. I am equipped with the parenting tools I need that allow me to balance work and play and over the course of …Read more →

BACK TO SCHOOL – OR NOT?

With the summer holidays done and the first day back to school fast approaching, there is always so much to get done and so little time to do it especially when we are still in holiday mode. For many of us in BC, Canada, the uncertainty around schools being open is mounting and the possibility of school not actually starting is a very real and disturbing one. In the event that school doesn’t start, and you are a stay at home Mum, I thought it might be helpful to put together a list of tips and ideas to help you get back on track, kick-start some sort of routine and get the most out of the days for you and your children particularly if in the K to Grade 5 range. 1. Reinstate a routine as if your children were actually going to school: This will not only prepare your children for when school does start but it will also allow you to get more things done. To avoid the holiday habits going on endlessly, I encourage you to get your children up, dressed and fed at the same time you would as if it were a school day. 2. …Read more →

SUMMER HOLIDAYS

For many of us here in BC, Canada, the holidays came a bit sooner than expected and caught many parents off-guard. One day the kids were at school with two weeks to go and the next minute they were home with all their school “stuff”! It was officially the end of the year. I am sure that many parents, like me, were scrambling, and didn’t have time to really thank their teachers and administrative staff for another fantastic school year: I would like to say a collective THANK YOU from all of us. So with that, the summer holidays are upon us. What do the holidays mean for you? What do you do during the holidays? What do your kids do? For our family, we see the holidays as a time to be largely free from routine, schedules, sports programs and the general hubbub and busyness of life. Kids nowadays have so many more scheduled activities than kids used to that it can leave them precious little time to just be kids and play. The importance and value of self-directed and un-scheduled play for children is vital to their development and cannot be understated and the holidays are the ideal …Read more →

MOTHERS DAY – “THANK YOU MOM”

Thank you Mom for being the best Mom ever. You could turn your hand to almost anything; chef, event planner, chauffeur, algebra tutor, cleaner, diplomat, bike mechanic, peacekeeper, vet, handyman, artist, nurse, personal assistant, time keeper, game maker upper, tennis umpire…… have I missed anything and did you honestly think you would never see another fraction after graduating from high school? For me, it was really when I became a mother myself that I gained a new-found appreciation for everything my Mom has done for me. The unconditional love, the unwavering support, the eternal shoulder, the person who is always there for me, 24 / 7 and last but by no means least, the values she instilled in me. Mom, you allowed me to be me, to be proud of who I am today. You taught me right from wrong. You set fair limits and boundaries in which I could learn and feel safe. You encouraged me to play and be creative. You made sure that I got enough sleep even when I objected to “being the only one that had to go to bed THAT early”. You cooked me lovely meals. You wiped my brow when I was sick. …Read more →

REFLECTIONS OF SPRING BREAK

I don’t know about you, but for us, the holidays came upon our family with a huge collective sigh of relief. As a family we are not over-scheduled with lots of activities and after school stuff but in spite of this, we were all still in much need of a break; a break from routine and the opportunity to just chill out. Monday 17th March found us all in our pajamas at 10am where the only decision required was whether to have pancakes or waffles and the day to come was ours for the picking. Whoo hoo, the holidays were here! This holiday was a time for family, a time to relax and be free from routine. A time to connect, for puzzles, card games, board games and a time to have dinner together every night of the week. What a treat! With three kids and only one activity each during the week, it still means that most weeks, we only manage about five meals together where all five of us are present at the table. According to Eisenberg, M., et al. (2004) in their paper on “Correlations between family meals and psychosocial well-being among adolescents”, they found that: “Families …Read more →

Christmas is a time for giving

It is our job as parents to teach our children to learn and appreciate the value of giving: that it is ultimately more rewarding than receiving. First and foremost, over the holidays, try and create lots of opportunity for family time to fill up your child’s connection and belonging cup. The more of you they get, the less they will need to turn to materialistic things to satisfy themselves. This in itself will encourage them to look outward rather than seeing it as being all about them and what they stand to gain. Some ideas as to how to do this: Plenty of family time Volunteer some time to a good cause. As a family you could offer to help in a soup kitchen or organize a gift drive or winter coat drive Decide as a family which charity you might like to donate to this year and make a family donation You might donate some Christmas gifts to an organization that specializes in this You could have a family bake day and give some to your neighbors, your Doctor, your Dentist or other people who help you throughout the year You could make some cards and presents. Homemade gifts …Read more →