Yes, that’s easier said than done. And yes, it requires effort to make happen. But investing this extra effort is worth it. The reality of it is that this season doesn’t last forever in your life. Before you know it, your kids will be off to college and you won’t have this season at all.
Here are some tips on things you can do to help empower yourself to be fully present for these special “end-of-year wrap-up season activities:”
- Pause for mini “gratitude moments.” Force yourself to stop for even just a few seconds to reflect on the specialness of the moment. It’s the simplest step, but so easy to forget. For any given event, you spend time planning the timeline, shopping, helping your children get ready, taking pictures, and then rushing them to where they’re supposed to be. In this rush, stop for a few seconds, and remind yourself that this moment is special, and you’ll only have so many of them. Remind yourself of the beauty of the moment, and be grateful that you’re there to experience it.
- Don’t strive for perfection. It’s easy to dream of the perfect party or experience—especially now that Pintrest has so many amazing ideas. I see ideas there, pin them, and tell myself that the next party I have for my girls is going to be perfect and special. And then I laugh at myself. My girls care more about having fun with their friends than they do about how nice a party looks. So if I’m stressed for time, I drop the need to plan the “perfect” party. While the perfect party may impress the other parents, my kids could probably care less.
- Delegate and outsource what you can. Working parent guilt makes you do crazy things. Such as trying to do everything yourself to prove to your kids how much you love them. Do yourself a favor. Override that thought. When you delegate some of your tasks and outsource what you can, you free up time so you can spend more time bonding with your kids. Or sleeping. Either way, you’ll have more energy. As a special bonus, if you delegate some of the tasks to your kids themselves, they will not only have more ownership of the celebration you’re planning, but they might just have a greater sense of appreciation for the effort that goes into the planning.
- Take notes of what works and what doesn’t. Many of these celebrations repeat themselves yearly. So start making a list of what works and what needs to change. Make electronic checklists that you can re-use. I started to do this for camping trips (another end-of-year season activity) and it’s not only saved me time, but reduced the number of times that I have forgotten an important supply.
- Know what’s important to your child, and be able to separate that from what’s important to you. At the end of the day, while these experiences are special to you, they are your children’s experiences. So don’t stress yourself out trying to create the experience that you would want. Instead, ask your children how the experience could be special for them, and focus on that. You may not be able to deliver on all their asks, but you may be surprised what is on (and not on) their list.
Hopefully these tips help you find some energy and remind you of the joy of this time of year—even though you may flop down in your bed exhausted at the end of they day.
Got tips of your own to share? Share them by commenting on this post.
Enjoy the season!