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Countless articles come out each year at this time. They all say the same thing: You are overwhelmed. You are overworked. You are tired. You need to SIMPLIFY. Slow down. Do less. Don’t stress.
Actually, I’m not overwhelmed.
I am annoyed that tired, overwhelmed, overworked, and stressed-out are the adjectives most commonly associated with motherhood. Pah-leeze. Moms I know are kicking ass and taking names, and I don’t see them slowing down anytime soon.
You will not find advice to slow down and relax here. I’m not the peaceful, calm, sit-around-the-house type and neither is my family.
We want to get out there and enjoy every part of the holidays. From belting out “I Want a Hippopatomas for Christmas” from the car windows to seeing all the lights to burning cookies every year.
When my kids are grown, I want them to have fond memories of dumping entire batches of Christmas cookies into the trash.
Get ready for Pinterest fails, off-key carols, hot chocolate, and fuzzy footie pajamas.
There is so much MORE during the holidays. Shopping, baking, crafts, decorating, and trips to the mall to meet a stranger who gives your children candy. It’s a special time of year when everyone is a little bit busier and life gets a little bit crazier.
I’ll let you in on a secret. I love it.
There is a lot of pressure involved with being Mom. It is difficult to have fun when we are busy creating the fun. Trust me, it’s possible.
The trick is to get some of the extra, not-enjoyable stuff out of the way. Because what we really need is more time. A little breathing room around and between the festivities.
Don’t miss out on what you enjoy.
Focus on the positive. This time of year is wonderful. It is special – especially when you’re sharing it with young children. What do you want this holiday season to look like? What do you remember from past holidays that you want to continue? What are your favorite traditions that you’d like to pass down?
Don’t get too swept away; it’s not going to be perfect. But keep that picture in your mind. Focus on the people you love and the things you want to do.
It’s not going to be stress-free
There are some holiday stresses you can’t do much about: the stuff that creeps up your spine and raises your shoulders to your ears. However, you can give yourself some breathing room. Some space. I’ll share a few ways that I make time for holiday fun without losing my mind in the process.
Stack Online Learning Games
Whether you’re a homeschooler or a brick-and-mortar-schooler, we all have something in common this time of year: Kids asking for snacks 24/7.
They eat like hobbit, amirite? Between breakfast and elevensies, lunch and second lunch use a few online learning games to take one thing off your own plate.
Who has time to plan and teach when there’s shopping and decorating and cookie destroying to do? Keep your kids learning and reading independently with a few of our favorite programs:
Reading and Math Games
Time Saved: 1 or more hours per day.
Stress Saved: The kids keep learning and you have time to wrap gifts with no one knocking down your door. Win/win.
Promo: Install now and read FREE for 30 days!
Promo: 14 Day Free Trial
Pro Tip: Don’t want to commit (or pay)? Stack your trials back-to-back.
Time Saved: 2-3 hours per week
Stress Saved: Ramming someone with your shopping cart -or possibly- losing your mind when someone rams your child with a shopping cart.
This is the best thing. Ever. Why aren’t you doing this yet?
Wine (and grocery) pick-up at Walmart
It’s just that simple. Load up your cart online, schedule a pick-up time for the next day, head on over to the Walmart parking lot and have that wine loaded right into your trunk for free. The prices are the same as walking in the store. Have your I.D. ready.
Promo: $10 Off your first bottle
Er. Um. Your first order.
No Walmart near you? Hit up your local grocery store’s website to see if they have free pick up.
Sofa Shopping for the Win
Time Saved: Countless hours
Stress Saved: Waiting while the person in front of you at the register discovers they do not have a single item with a price tag
There’s always something else to buy. Someone else to buy for. My list starts out small and triples in size over the course of a month.
Add to that the frenzied pace inside the stores. It’s not like shopping with kids is ever easy, but longer lines and nasty, high-strung shoppers makes it especially rough.
On top of that, there’s no way to save money. You might be saving on the one item you went out to buy, but when you see SALE! adrenaline takes over and you become a shopping machine. Just look at Black Friday. Or is it Black Thursday afternoon? It’s madness.
Stop going shopping. Take a break this year and shop online. I promise, you will never look back.
It’s no secret that I’m a Amazon Prime mom. I can get anything in less time than it takes to get myself and three kids to the store, and HELLO I don’t have to use the cart that looks like a tractor-trailer.
Some moms love Target. I love shopping from the couch while binging Netflix and drinking Walmart wine. Who’s with me?
Christmas is the PERFECT time to sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime. I happily replaced my warehouse membership with Prime and I haven’t looked back. I could go on forever about Subscribe and Save, and how I never have to think about buying toilet paper, paper towels, hair dye, or toothpaste. This will save you time in ways you never thought possible.
Here’s the strategy: Make your list, check it twice, load up your shopping cart, and watch the prices drop. If you have a Prime account, order at-will. There is no minimum for free shipping, so just throw it in the cart and check out when it goes on sale. It will go on sale.
Best days for price drops:
I hope this helps you make some extra time and space in your holiday schedule, and that you can enjoy the great parts of these holidays a little more.
Don’t let anyone tell you that you should feel overwhelmed, overworked, tired, and stressed-out. You can handle it. Keep kicking ass.
Ashley helps parents who want to homeschool find the resources they need to successfully teach their children. Ashley is a former teacher, current homeschooler, published author, and designer behind Circle Time with Miss Fox printables as well as the creator of this website, The Homeschool Resource Room.