Congratulations on your new winter arrival! The streets are glowing with festive lights, big baggy jumpers are in fashion for the next few months (phew!), and the radio keeps telling you ‘it’s the most wonderful time of the year!’ Looking down at that squidgy newborn face, you find it hard not to agree. It truly is wonderful.
But, if you’ve just had a new baby, you might also feel like it’s going to be the most stressful time of the year. Yeah sure, your house is loaded with adorable ‘Baby’s First Christmas’ paraphernalia, but it’s also running on very little sleep….and if it’s anything like ours was in the early weeks, it’s also quite likely a train wreck.
And maybe any other time of the year you might be ok with that….but this is Christmas y’all. The time of year where family descends from all directions. Or perhaps worse when you have a newborn, the time of year where you are expected to travel to family!
Yes, you absolutely are bursting with pride and want to show off your baby, but perhaps not just yet. I mean, how are you supposed to host or uphold family traditions if you can barely hold yourself up? There’s a good chance you might fall asleep in your dinner listening to another one of Aunt Cheryl’s stories. Or you might even miss dinner altogether if your new tiny boss is demanding a feed of his / her own.
The truth is, with Christmas comes a whole bunch of expectations……most of which are self-inflicted. It’s easy to feel like a hot mess when you scroll through social media this time of year – it’s just perfect shot after perfect shot of family holiday pictures. Many women might feel the pressure to ‘get it all together’ and be the yummy mommy type that earns praise daily in the media, but in our experience, this whole ‘let’s go on with the show’ mentality earns no medals in the long run!
If you can get it all together for Christmas, feel good, and want to host, then by all means go for it! You’re awesome. But please don’t feel forced in to faking it if you don’t feel ready. The holidays are just as much about taking time off to recharge your batteries – and you certainly won’t do this by being a crowd pleaser with a newborn. Do what works for you!
You might feel like a Grinch saying no to family events at this time of year, but you know what, people might surprise you. ‘No’ might not be half as scary or as guilt-inducing as you thought. Remember, many of these people will be parents too. They know.
You might feel terrible for not decorating the house the way you wanted to for ‘Baby’s First Christmas’, but hey, guess what, baby’s not judging, baby’s snoring!
And you might feel terrible for not putting on a traditional dinner spread, but that’s not what you will remember in years to come. You’ll remember how perfectly tiny they were, not how perfectly tired you were.
Our advice, for what it’s worth: Stop worrying about getting Christmas perfect this year….you’ve already done perfect. You’re cuddling perfect right now!