How to Make Your Family’s Holiday Mornings Less of a Hassle
Are you looking forward to the holidays with your family? If you’re like most moms, you may have some mixed feelings about having your kids home for the holidays. Spending more time with family is always a plus, but keeping mornings stress-free can be extra work during winter break, unless you follow these tips.
Take a Few Daily “To-Dos” Off Your Plate
With the kids at home and guests arriving for the holidays, daily tasks like cooking, cleaning and caring for pets can be more of a burden. Give yourself a break from the pressure by hiring professionals to help out around your home. If you have some space in your budget, consider using a cleaning service to keep your home sparkling and fresh for all your holiday festivities. Most Americans pay anywhere from $116-$235 for a cleaning service, but you can check out HomeAdvisor to get an idea about prices in your area. Having your home tidy also means you’ll spend less time searching for keys and other important items during your morning rush.
To make mealtimes less stressful, you can pay for a home meal delivery service to get your family by during the holidays. Most kits can be changed to fit various dietary restrictions, and many companies run specials during the holidays. Some meals are even already made for you! Finally, if you find it difficult to fit those daily walks in for your dog, you can use a dog walker to help your pup burn some of that energy off.
Set a Clear Routine and Clear Expectations for Your Children
As a busy parent, you already know the value of keeping your kids on a consistent schedule. Having a routine as a family helps encourage better behavior, and makes your children feel safe and secure. School breaks and back-to-back holidays can throw your carefully-constructed routines off track, but only if you let them.
There’s no reason why your kids should have a drastically different routine during the holiday season than they do any other time of year. If your children are used to getting up early and being ready by 8 a.m., stick to that schedule. Plan some activities that will keep kids busy at home during their normal school hours. You can bake some yummy holiday cookies together or bring your kids along to shop for gifts for other family members.
Of course, not all moms and dads have time to spend at home during the holidays. If work or other responsibilities will have you out of the house, look into winter break programs that will keep your kids learning and having fun during the holidays. The same museums, gyms and businesses that offer summer learning experiences have started offering winter opportunities as well. Following the same routine for your family will make mornings during breaks, holidays and any time off so much easier for all!
Make Sure Everyone is Getting Enough Rest at Night
Keeping kids on a normal schedule during the holidays is tough enough. Getting them to bed on time can be even more of a challenge, but kids need just as much sleep during the holidays as they do during the school year. Not getting enough can make mornings miserable and even impact their health. When kids don’t get the required amount of sleep, they may be more vulnerable to viruses and infections. The last thing you need during the holidays is to have a cold or stomach flu passed around your household, so take steps to ensure you and your children are getting the rest you need to get through the holidays. This may mean limiting screen time and watching those holiday favorites only during daylight hours. Setting boundaries around screens by taking them out of the bedroom and setting “off-limit” hours can also improve your child’s focus and behavior, making for better mornings and days overall.
Breaking into a new routine for the holidays can be tough for you and your children, but with a few tweaks, your normal routine will be holiday-ready. Happy holidays, and best wishes for a stress-free and fun winter break!
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Daniel Sherwin created DadSolo to provide other dads with resources that will help them better equip themselves on single parenthood. He is currently living with his two kids: a 9 y/o daughter and 6 y/o son.