Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hip + Urban Mom: Surviving Christmas

I survived my son’s first Christmas last year and am currently trying to plan out his second. 

This can be a daunting task for first-time parents like me because of my large family and the numerous holiday traditions that come with. But there is a way to survive it all.

One thing we learned, is that it is completely OK to be the people who arrive a bit late and leave a bit early at events. It’s important to try and maintain some of our baby's schedule over the holidays. A baby out of schedule can become a very grumpy baby and will be difficult to get back on schedule. 

Another way to help maintain your baby’s schedule is to host the event. It’s much easier to make sure that your baby keeps his or her nap and feeding schedule in your own home. I know that hosting seems like a lot of work with a new baby, but you can make it as low stress as possible. 

Having every guest bring something will help keep you out of the kitchen and in the holiday spirit. Asking for help is also very OK and so is ordering a cleaning service when it’s all over. It’s tough enough learning how to be a new parent, there is no need to make it any more difficult. We also make sure that we have a playpen or crib at each of our family’s homes. It’s easier to make sure that your baby can have naps as needed. 

Events like work parties are a chance for you to get a babysitter and try and enjoy some fun adult time. Events pop-up all over the calendar for us and we let our family help out a lot. A new baby is so much excitement that there is never a shortage of people wanting to play with him or her.

Now that our son is onto his second Christmas, and is walking, we learned that this is not the year to use all the "good" decorations. When your baby is old enough to walk, he or she is old enough to pull your family heirloom ornament off the tree. We opted for a small tree this year that sits on the table just to avoid any accidents. 

If a full size tree is still what you use, then try and find the shatter proof bulbs and avoid some of the more delicate ornaments. I have also heard from parents that have gated off the tree when their children were young, and another who put their tree in a playpen to avoid little hands getting to the tree. It’s also a great way to make sure that any gifts won’t get opened before Christmas. 

--- Lisa Wlodarski is a new Mom and runs Starrified Cards

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