Holiday Expectations

November 6, 2018, admin

November is here, and I find it hard to believe that only a couple of months remain in 2018. As I look back, I can say that 2018 was a challenging year. I am thankful for growth and resiliency. As I near 30, I am closer to the end of another decade. I did a deep analysis and thought about what I imagined life would be like, the actual reality, and my outlook going forward.

I grew up with high expectations, and over time I put high expectations on myself. As I layer the lens of reality over these expectations, I realize that they are unrealistic. For instance I thought I would be that mom that cooks dinner every night, is the classroom mom, writes a hand written note to everyone on a daily-basis. I laugh because that is so not realistic for a mom that works or any mom really. You can be a good mom without all of that. I am thankful my husband and I trade off cooking; he is a good cook. I contribute to my child’s school in a way that I can and so does my husband. I do write notes when I can and it is not everyday sometimes it is a text to my husband and sometimes my son makes sure I don’t write him a note so he won’t get embarrassed at lunch.

Another part of being unrealistic is the large influence of social media. I used to spend hours on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest looking at pictures of everyone else’s highlight reel or staged pictures. I think this can be unhealthy if you start comparing your life to others, which is impossible because everyone is unique, or if you feel pressured or guilty for not doing something like “everyone” else on social media. Creating boundaries to balance things helps, such as spending less time on social media and maybe thinking about the things that you actually want to do without outside influences.

This is the year that I realize how important it is to have time every day to be able to rest, relax, and restore. Being a wife, being a working mother of two, working on a fixer-upper house, and taking care of two puppies is exhausting. I got to a point where I felt overwhelmed and defeated. I felt sucked into this American societal-culture of having to do it all, when in reality I do not have to nor do I want to do it all. Luckily, I was able to come out of those feelings and really set boundaries, like saying no to weekend activities so I can stay home and relax. I love cleaning my house and making sure everyone’s laundry is done for the start of a new week. Being at home more my kids, I have been able to play outside more and draw together. I am happy to keep things simple and have peace in my day. Peace and simplicity is happiness to me. I do not want to live a busy life.

It is a good reminder going into the holiday season that you don’t have to do it all. I really believe holidays are more about presence over presents. I struggle to teach my children that, I really want them to grow up knowing a quality relationships are far better than materialistic things. Going into this holiday season, I am not having any expectations about what it should be like. Instead, I am going in with an open mind and I plan to be intentional about having more peaceful times versus stressful added activities.

I hope that this holiday season is a good season for you. Keeping things simple, respecting what you can do, and letting go of what you cannot do are a few things that help me out. At the end of the day, we are all trying to do the best that we can with the resources that we have. Positive self-talk goes a long way, so be easy on yourself.

Also, our holiday resource guide is ready, so be sure to check it out!

Self-Reflection Questions

  • What is a free-of-cost fun tradition you do around the holidays?
  • What mental boundaries do you create to not compare yourself to others?
  • How do you relax in your everyday life?