Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: Reducing Holiday Stress

It’s a season for joy, so why am I a grumpy-puss?

Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article


It’s a season of joy, and believe you me, (and I hope you do), I am full of joy.

I am thankful for my husband.

I am incredibly grateful for my three kids whom I feel deserve way better than me.

And I am eerily content with tending to my home, my kids, our dog, and my house.

BUT for some reason, I’m a grumpy-puss.

Not every day lately,

and surely not every minute of any single one,

but for a little bit each day,

I’m kind of the furthest thing from a peach.

And it hit me last night,

when it took two hours for my youngest to go bed and then another two hours after that for the older two to go down

— because they all were all sugared and festivity-ed up —

that it’s okay if I’m not happy-go-lucky every second of winter break or this holiday season.

Ya know, it’s a lot for parents to be “on” 24/7 and to

bring and be “the magic”

and to

remember to and successfully execute every single thing on their ever growing gosh darn to do list…

on just normal day, and on these extra-merry whether-you-like-it-or-not holidays.

But do you know what parents do do lot? Especially mothers?

And yes, I did just say do do which is how being *eternally on* makes a lot of us mothers feel sometimes because

we do DO A LOT,

and to no fault of them,

our kids don’t see always see that.

They don’t realize it.

They don’t appreciate the magnitude of our work that goes into their happiness.

Or packing for a winter vacation.

Or planning the same or another.

In to schedule-making,

In to comfort-securing.

In to making sure everyone is clothed, fed, tending to and loved and encouraged at a satisfactory pace and then once once any family fun has ensued, making sure, in fact, that every member of the family is actually having fun.

It’s a lot.

A lot that,

often when reviewed by under-credit giving eyes,



and seems like not a lot.

Not a lot that is laudable.

Not a lot that is noteworthy.

Not a lot that “matters.”

But, parents,

it does matter and you matter,

and because of your selfless willingness to wake up and do it day after day after regular day after holiday,

your children get the gift of growing up in home where their happiness matters.

Above all else?

Not at the expense of their health or safety, no, but at the expense of your sanity for a for years, yeah, kind of.

You know, once kids are no longer little, it’s harder to “be the magic,” because at that time, life seems a little less magical, and people, well, a little more cynical.

So I’m gonna work on relishing this time with my beautiful, little, semi-exhausting family as opposed to being overwhelmed by them.

You know what I wanna be overwhelmed by?

Love, gratitude and serenity.

And it takes practice and I’m on board for some today — are you?

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.