Holiday Stress for Parents, Especially Adoptive Parents

A  study hit my desk this week from American Express about how much cash parents will spend with this ravaged economy on holiday gifts this year… and just how much anxiety it’s causing parents who cannot afford to spend.

Consider this: If most of America feels the stress of not having enough this year, can you imagine what foster parents or, more importantly, how foster kids and children placed up for adoption feel around the holidays? How can these babies understand that Santa Claus cannot find them this year? My family promises each other that there will be one less foster kid searching for Sana Claus next year– she’ll be at my house opening copious gits from the big happy guy in the Santa suit.

We’ve already written to Santa in my house, and asked for a bunch of goodies since Sam has been such a blessed boy this year. According to the study commissioned by the Ford Motor Company, 87% of adults experience significant stress when shopping during the holiday season.

Other findings from the holiday spending study:

•    Consumers will spend the most on their children, an average of $270,  including clothing and accessories, toys and games.
•    More than two thirds of Americans will set a budget for holiday gifts, and nearly half (48%) plan to stick to it.

Stress-relief expert Susie Mantell partnered with Ford to come up with a few tips for  de-stressing this holiday season, whether you are in the middle of an adoption drama or if you’re just contemplating the idea of adoption for the first time.

Mantell, bestselling author of the relaxation CD Your Present: A Half-Hour of Peace  said, “Every time you start stressing out , even waiting for someone to parallel park at the mall, take the opportunity to mentally thank six people daily, maybe the mailman, teachers, or a favorite cashier.”

Mantell’s other stress-busting strategies for parents and adoptive parents like us:

  • Make some quick coffee dates. Just ten minutes with someone you really like is a terrific stress-buster when you’re really busy.
  • Holiday Blues? Put on some feel-good holiday music, gather your kids and dance!
  • Put yourself on top of your holiday gift list, and give yourself something pleasurable, such as a scalp massage, or a new CD or book.

Please tell me a great happy holiday adoption story here! 


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