I know, I know. Thinking about the holidays when you've got toddlers and nursing babies may instantly induce stress. It's possible you're sweating just thinking about it. Close quarters. Distant relatives wanting to hold the baby, police your parenting, not to mention being responsible for bringing appetizer or dessert.
But stop! You're thinking about the holidays through the wrong lens. The holidays can be enjoyable. The food. The chatting. The travel.
But how? Is there a secret. The number one secret is this: stop caring about other people's opinion. You are in a different season. You may not be as active in the kitchen or during prep/tear down - remove the guilt. Don't worry, there will be plenty of future holidays for you to be back in the thick of it.
Now, here are some practical tips:
Pay attention to babies hunger cues. Baby can become overstimulated and nursing is a way for them to feel safe. It's not surprising your baby may want to eat more frequently. Find a quiet place and nurse. Make sure you regulate yourself in the quiet too.
Statements can be triggering. Things like: "You're feeding him again?", "Didn't you just feed him?" You do not have to educate you family members. An easy, close-ended answer would be something like this: "I know what's best for him. I got this."
BABY WEAR! If you don't love the idea of passing baby around, wear baby!
Come up with a game plan! Talk to your partner about your expectations. How long do you want to stay and what needs to happen if you need to leave early?
Talk to your partner about expectations at the party. It's easy for momma to fall into being the sole caretaker, especially if she's used to being the 9-5 parent at home. Neither of you are working so you'll be sharing the mental load with each other equally. If that's something you've struggled with in the past, discuss this with your partner. You can confidently attend any party knowing you've got each other's back.
The holidays should be and can be fun! You're celebrating family with your best friend and your beautiful children. You can ensure this by being intentional with boundaries and plans.
Have any great tips to share? Comment and let me know!