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Avoid Holiday Chaos

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-Having a little one around during the holidays can bring a lot of joy, but it can also increase the stress that comes with this time of the year. Jessica Hartshorn from American Baby magazine is here to help us get through the holidays and actually enjoy them, -Yeah. -and that's the key, we want to enjoy them. -I know. It's the holidays. It only comes around once a year. But when you have a new baby all of a sudden, it's a lot harder to do all the things that you're used to doing, right. -Exactly. There's so much going on between parties and gift exchanges. But if you have a baby, it's hard to get everything especially like putting up the tree. -Alright. -So you say prioritize and you need to pick the top 3 things. Tells us about that and how it works. -Yeah. The woman who read our story is actually a mom of twins, so she really went through this. -Oh my goodness. -She gave birth to them in October. Then December rolls around, you'll be like, aah. You know, you have 1 or 2 babies at all times. -No hand to put the tree up. -Right. -So you really do have to try and break Christmas down into parts and what parts are suit. Like, is it not Christmas for you if you don't put up the tree? Then, make sure that tree gets out one way or another. Whether you get a helper, you know do it at night while the kids are sleeping, whatever. Get the tree up if that's gonna make Christmas for you. But if you're the kind of person who the tree is not as big of a deal, I just really want to be able to make cookies this year, I really want to be able to make sure I get all the gifts nicely wrapped, you'll not gonna be able to do it all. -I know, I understand, but it's true. -Especially not that first year because babies need a lot of attention all the time and you only have 3 weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Let some things go. You'll get to them later when the kids are older and can help you. -Exactly. So, back to decorating for a second. Besides the tree, some people want to decorate the whole house. -Uh huh. -It may not get done and moms will feel a lot of guilt about that-- -Yeah. -but they need to let it go, right? -Definitely. You can't beat yourself up all the time about all the things that you could be doing over the holidays. Because we've started so many traditions in this country like you're saying, the lights outside and the tree up and the baking and the present exchanges and the Christmas card with everyone all dressed up and looking so cute, then, you're mailing letter about what you've done that year. Like you can't do all that-- -I've done a lot. -of all the time. -I'm really tired. -So back to the gifts and the gift exchange, that list can get really long with the aunts, the uncles, and the cousins and your immediate family too. -Yes. -How do you tackle that? -Well, you know the author said that she thinks it's totally okay if you're a brand new mom to sort of have like gimme whatever you like, I will get you something but I don't know. -I promise. Yeah. -It's an I owe you. -Yeah. -Or you know you order a lot online. That's what I do? -That's gonna do. -You have to start paring down the list once everyone, once all your siblings start having kids too, right? You can't keep giving each other gifts and all the kids. -Believe it or not, you say you can still throw a party even when you have a newborn around. -Oh, you can, yeah, if it's really important to you to host. You know you can do it. It's gonna require some help and asking people to maybe make a potluck, you know asking people to bring dishes, and keeping it casual I think. I think the idea of entertaining is a lot less formal these days and it can just be really everybody, you know come over and hang out and bring some thing, and again the whole key is to not stress yourself out. You know where we really burn ourselves is if we have a vision of what it should be like. -Yeah, let it go. -[unk]. Like, well, let see what happens. -Right. You need to make it easier on yourself is the bottom line. -And you really want a couple of moments to just look at your baby and remember this first Christmas and some little snapshot in your head even if [unk] dressed in their Santa pajamas and-- -Oh, so cute. -lying on their crib, you'll be like, alright first Christmas. -First Christmas. Finally. -[unk] image. -Back to the [unk] image. Back to the cards for a second because there is so much pressure to take the adorable picture, and send it out to everybody with a note. What should you do if it's just not possible this year? -You can just e-mail and there are certainly a lot of e-cards and a lot of, you know, e-commerce site that make it easy to just send everybody a Happy Holidays. I also know a family who does send out Valentines card instead of Christmas cards-- -Why not? -or New Year card. -Yeah. -There are a lot of New Year cards out there now. You know, just do it if you can. It gets expensive though. But I'll admit it, sort of my personal thing, I do the card every year and I do have to cut out other things because getting that picture taken and then paying for the cards and mailing them and putting on the stamps, takes up a lot of time and so then I have to cut down on other stuff. -So bottom line, just don't put so much pressure on yourself. Pick the things that are important. -So that you'll enjoy it. -Alright. -And you really feel like you have your holiday and-- -Jessica Hartshorn. It is always good to have you here. Thanks so much for coming in. -Thank you too. -And for more great advice, pick up a copy of American Baby magazine. -Thank you so much for watching Parents TV. Happy Holidays! We'll see you soon.