How to have a stress-free Christmas

I know right, we have children. Christmas is never going to be stress-free, but we can at least do a few small things to alleviate some of the stress and anxiety that comes with the holiday season.

This year I’ve taken 3 weeks off work. I know right. I don’t even know myself. This is the first time in YEARS that I have taken extended leave and god do I need it.

It’s not what’s under the tree, its who’s around. I love Christmas because it is such a family orientated day. Over the last few years, we’ve lost family members and I really take for granted all those Christmases that I may not have been 100% present in the moment. Go see that family member you may not have seen for a while, drop a bottle of wine on a friend’s doorstep and just take a bit of time to appreciate the people you’re surrounded by. There are some people who are alone on Christmas and this hurts my heart.

Declutter before Christmas. I am only just jumping on this bandwagon this year but omg, what a genius idea. I’ve been talking for ages about doing a ruthless clean-up of the house due to the amount of constant anxiety it all gives me. Honestly, some would say our house isn’t even bad, but I know where it is, where it sits completely unused – it bugs me. I need to simplify and what better time to do it than before you get a bunch of new stuff.

Be realistic. If your kids are anything like mine, the life span of a toy is about 3 weeks if its lucky before one of them breaks it (generally Baxter). This year I am following the whole want, need, read, wear. They’re kids, c’mon. Every occasion where presents have been involved the kids get so overwhelmed and end up losing it too early in the day.

Budget. Have a think about how much you want to spend this year in total. How much per person? Having a budget can help keep you on track so you can hopefully spend less and save more over the holiday period.

Make a list and check it twice. Compile a list of everybody you want to buy a gift for or acknowledge (think Neighbors, Teachers, Sports Coaches). Nothing is worse than waiting until the last minute to buy something for somebody. Trust me, I know. I am running around at the moment trying to sort a couple of presents that slipped my mind.

Embrace the chaos. I got totally wrapped up in Pinterest and had the most unrealistic expectations on what I want my house and holidays to look like. You know what I mean, the gorgeous tree, the presents that have actually sat out and haven’t been torn open from what looks like a wild animal. Christmas is about the kids and they’re going to have a blast no matter what you do.

Kindness

Kindness is one of the things I want to see more of. It’s one of those feelings or moments that tend to stick with me the most. At that moment, a person is presented with various options – and they chose to be kind. That is pretty cool, we need more kindness in the world.

I was at Kmart today (again.. I know, I’m on a cleaning/organizing buzz). Baxter wouldn’t listen and Lily well, don’t even get me started. Some amazing woman helped me out, wrangling a trolley and fighting lily into said trolley. The gesture and kindness went such a long way. I was visibly stressed and losing patience at a rapid rate.

Kmart was their last chance before we went home.. I was taking Baxter into Toyworld in town to pick a toy after he went poos on the toilet (long story) and Lily completely lost the plot, wouldn’t listen, was having the mad tantrums and kept running off. I have never been so embarrassed and had to walk out only 5 minutes after getting them out of the car and into the store. I had to leave, I was losing my control.

I didn’t know the woman who chose to stop and help me and that is the beauty of it. Some beautiful stranger seen me struggling, she had a child with her so can probably relate. I felt embarrassed that I had indeed needed the help and that I wasn’t able to control both of the kids at that time but I was so grateful. It made me smile and brought me back down to reality (I was pretty wound up after the Toyworld incident). Her actions completely changed my day.

Isn’t it incredible that one moment can change your entire day or mindset? When was the last time you showed kindness? Maybe a random act to a stranger and paid it forward.

A positive mind and a full heart can have a huge impact on your wellbeing.

Here are a few ways you could show kindness this coming week I did a mass google but these stood out to me and I can proudly say I currently do these things:

  • Smile and say “hello” or “good morning” to a stranger walking down the street
  • Pay for the person’s coffee behind you
  • Create a care package for someone feeling under the weather
  • Let another driver merge into your lane – and don’t hate them for it (K, I don’t do this much – but I’ll try)
  • Thank a service person such as a police officer or fireman for their hard work and dedication to serving others – massive YES.
  • Give up your seat on the bus/train. Does it matter if they’re pregnant or elderly? If they look like they could do with a seat – give them one!
  • Always keep your word
  • Stick up for a person who has been treated wrongly – no good talking about it after, take action now
  • Let someone, who only has a few items, go ahead of you in the checkout line of the supermarket.

Next time you see a mum struggling (or anybody for that matter), help them out – we’ve all been there x

Thank you, whoever and wherever you are. You made a shitty day, a little less shitty.

Finding my way

My mental health has not been good as of late. I am just going to come right out and say it right now. To be honest, I feel like I say this a lot but the last few weeks has been a real eye opener for me.

I have realised the importance of self-care and I am now on a journey to make changes in my life that will directly impact my mental health and I would love for you to come on the journey with me.

One of the biggest things I have noticed is how a lot of people relate their anxiety back to clutter, whether it be in their daily lifestyle or in their mind. If you’re a parent then I don’t need to remind you that more toys = more crap to pick up. I am not sure I could live a ‘minimalist’ lifestyle but I definitely need to stop buying shit and am so guilty of keeping things unintentionally like old make up, clothes, shoes etc. So, I am on a mission. To de-clutter my life and my mind. I’ve been doing a tonne of research and can’t wait to start sharing it all.

I have poor routine and poor sleep, all of which directly affects my mental health. I use things like social media which link back to depression – social media, media in general and online bullies. I plan to tie in regular periods of ‘offline’ time to be more present with my family and friends while also striking a balance because my full-time job revolves around social media and of course, its where this amazing community of people are.

I am not putting a time frame on this but I am getting cracking start away. I am already putting small things in place and am noticing a change so it gives me hope that I can do this.

How can minimalism help a mama out? From reading many different articles, it seems many mothers are turning to minimalism to reduce their stress and anxiety.

Minimalism is the processing of simplifying yourself so that you can stop spending your time, energy and emotions on non-essential parts of your life.

Sounds easy right? It’s not. It’s a process, but one I believe will work.

Comment below if you’re keen to come along for the ride to reinventing yourself.

Transitioning out of the cot

Is it THAT time?
Reuben had always sworn Lily would be in her cot until she was 5 because well, she’s trouble. We had an incident the other week where she climbed out of her cot for the first time. Out of pure fear and in hope ditching the cot would prevent a more than likely injury.
We already had Baxter’s adorable old toddler bed so decided to introduce her to the ‘big girl bed’.
I don’t have any advice on the best way to do it, with both kids we decided to just ‘rip the bandaid’ off and get it over with. It totally worked with Baxter, he never once got out of bed and still doesn’t until the morning. Lily on the other hand has been a total nightmare in the sleep department from about 1.5 years.
We don’t have conventional doors, imagine giant glass sliding ones (yeah, so great for kids right?) so they’re quite difficult to work with. Both kids have their doors shut at night. Baxter doesn’t have a night light and we’ve just introduced one to Lily’s and managed to find a way to lock her door to stop her coming out (but easily opened in an emergency).
Tonight we’ve introduced duct tape to her light switch before well, who doesn’t love bright lights been switched on at 3am?
It’s day two and last night she managed to strip naked and piss on the floor in the middle of her bedroom.
So yeah, how do you think it’s going?
If you have any advice or words of wisdom – please.

5 reasons why I’d love to be a toddler

  • you can nap and people would be proud of you
  • somebody will prepare all your food, even cut it into tiny shapes (all for you to not eat it anyway)
  • you can have a full-blown meltdown in public and people shrug it off as ‘normal’
  • you can sleep through social occasions and it’s okay, in fact – people think it’s cute
  • you can make all the mess you want and some (idiot) person will clean up after you.
What would you do if you could get away with it?