Whether you are a dab hand at this parenting lark by now or a brand new family unit, Christmas can bring its challenges – but it’s possible to keep the joy! Here is Part 1 of a Two part series on managing Christmas with little ones!
How do I make my child’s first Christmas a special one?
No matter what age your child is (a few weeks or a few months) the first Christmas is always going to be a special time – for the parents. But, it’s important that you don’t go overboard! For some families, upholding tradition is very important and for others, finding new ways to celebrate takes precedence. Enjoy the fact that for the next few years, your baby is not going to be demanding the latest expensive toy and in fact, will definitely be more impressed by the leftover wrapping paper and empty boxes! This will change over time and your wallet could be well and truly emptied so, enjoy your reprieve while it lasts.
We have a new baby in the house – How will we cope, especially if there are other children to look after too?
Accept help and keep things simple! Christmas can be very pleasant (I promise!) if you are organised and you resist the temptation to be “superwomen”! Of course, you will be dying to show off the new arrival, but take comfort in the knowledge that your baby will not be able to remember where you went or what you did! Divide tasks between yourself and your partner and life will be much easier. Focus on what’s important and give yourself a break.
Make sure you differentiate between YOUR expectations and your children’s expectations. It’s quite likely that your older children will be just as happy chill out with you and the new baby – and their toys, as long as you are stress-free and happy.
Keeping a handle on “normal routines”
If you have struggled in the past when trying to get your kids into some sort of routine/schedule, do your best to maintain your normal day and night routines. Quite often kids stay up late because you let them stay up late! Late nights don’t necessarily facilitate a lie-in. It just doesn’t work that way!
Your child’s baby’s routine can be turned upside down by Christmas upheaval, although things can return to normal quite quickly provided you are aware and consistent.
Christmas is a magical time – handling older kids being off school
Christmas time is exactly this…magical! As the excitement builds pre-Christmas day, it’s no easy feat to keep your kids entertained. It’s important, however, to try and keep a relatively normal schedule. A special magic part of Christmas is that it offers genuine family time. Mums and Dads may both be off work so, together, you could use the opportunity to go for long fun walks or simply batten down the hatches, snuggle in and enjoy precious time, simply being together. Single parents also can help create magic by involving their children in preparations. A trip to the Panto is always a fun day out (“Oh yes it is”!). Mountain hikes in the fresh crisp air provide quality outdoor time and are great for maintaining quality sleep. They are also an opportunity to run off the sugar from selection boxes!
Part two will