Here is a Calm Mom tip for surviving (and maybe even enjoying!) the holiday season with your little ones: have reasonable expectations. Because the holidays are supposed to be a magical time of year, most of us fall into the trap of having unreasonable expectations. Yet, when have unreasonable expectations, it is most often the case that we end up disappointed. Is your baby a champion spitter-upper? Well, you can’t expect to get by on one special outfit for the entire Christmas day. Does your baby go to bed at 7 every night? Well, you can’t expect her to be in good spirits at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Does your toddler get obnoxious after sitting at the dinner table for more than 20 minutes? Don’t expect him to sit still for a three hour holiday dinner.
When making your holiday plans, remind yourself of how your baby typically behaves. And, assume he or she will behave exactly the same way on Christmas, Hanukah, and New Years! Then, make your plans accordingly. For the champion spitter-uppers, spend less on holiday outfits, but buy two (or three) instead of one (and bring extra clothes for yourself too!). For the baby who goes to bed at 7, give her a New Year’s kiss at 7 and put her to bed. For the squirmy toddler, prepare a bunch of toys and activities that he can play with by the table while everyone is still lingering over their eggnog. Being realistic will ensure a much better time for all.