I remember when my kids were growing up I couldn’t wait to have them home all to myself during the Christmas break. I envisioned evenings of tree decorating, singing songs, snuggling on the couch with a mug of hot chocolate reading Christmas stories, basically a composite of a Norman Rockwell post-war painting of family bliss.
Reality was quite different. They were soon in each other’s hair, fighting over trivial matters, bored out of their minds, and constantly reminding me of it. I was stressed out, running around like a headless chicken trying to get everything done while feeding my supermom ego that I could -and would- always "be there for my kids”.
It’s just not possible. There are so many hours in a day. While it’s wonderful to spend time with your kids, there are other things that need tending to as well. Like work, dinner, laundry, grocery shopping (and I could go on.)
Tip 1: Don't overschedule
At first I tried to keep the kids super busy. We went to book readings, to plays, to the park, to a friend’s house. We had friends over, we made cookies, we painted rocks, collected twigs. Sounds great, right? Too bad it was all in one day. After three days of whirlwind activities, I realized that overscheduling was not going to cut it.
Tip 2: Don't underschedule
I then decided to just go with the flow. Let them sleep in and let them just do what they wanted. Hey, they were on vacation, right? Wrong. Underscheduling was just as bad. Those kids went WILD.
Tip 3: Silence Time
It seemed that the only thing I got right from day one was Silence Time. That’s what we called those two hours after lunch. Most people in Italy live in apartment buildings and most buildings have regulations with regard noise in the afternoon. (I guess that’s because Italy has a high percentage of elderly citizens that need to nap after their three course lunch!) At first Silence Time meant nap time but as the kids got older, it became down-time for the whole family and what a relief that was!
Tip 4: Get them outside
One of the best things about Silence Time was that the minute that clock struck 3.30 pm, they were out the door and climbing trees and I finally had a chance to do what I needed to do to keep the ship afloat.
Tip 5: Keep an intentions box
A few hours later, they were red-faced, freezing, and most of their energy was spent. It was time for a hot bath, a hot chocolate and our evening “intention”.
To find out about intentions and how they will literally CHANGE YOUR LIFE during the crazy holiday season, make sure to watch the video.
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