The Mental Load of the Holidays

Christmas Baby

I genuinely love the holidays and the quality time with family and friends. It is a magical time of year. I love the decorations, the glitter, the baked goods, and the activities with my littles. BUT the mental load of bringing the mama magic this time of year is palpable. I begin to feel the pressure each Halloween like clockwork. I work on my excel spreadsheet of the budget and gift ideas. Are we doing Christmas pictures this year? Should we do Christmas cards? What weekends are we traveling to see which side of the family? When are the work holiday parties? As the designated family logistics coordinator, my to-do list grows and grows towards the end of the year. On top of it, both of my children are born within days of Christmas. Then, I must fit a joint birthday party in the mix of all of that AND make sure that it feels extra special for my December babies.

As a child, Christmas was full of magic. The thing that I did not realize about those special moments that I loved so much were created by my parents and extended family. I feel the weight to make the holidays special for those I love SO much more as a mom. My first step at the beginning of the season is to breathe. Breathing always helps. I also remember that somehow, I manage each year. I do. I make my list and check it twice. The sooner I can get the presents bought and tucked away, the sooner I can settle into the magic of the season. Once my Christmas tree is up and I’m decorating cookies with my littles, I see that it is worth all the busyness, time, and energy.

2020 was the first year that I did not get to spend Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas with my big extended family or my husband’s big extended family due to Covid. I would make that choice all over again to keep my loved ones safe, but the holidays were not the same! I missed the chaos, the traditions, and spending time surrounded by those I love most. I’m excited that it is finally safe enough to get together again with family and friends. Time with loved ones is a gift that I will not take for granted after going through a pandemic. As an extrovert, I need that time to connect around the holidays. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to do that this year.

If you are feeling overwhelmed at the start of the holidays, I see you, Mama. I wish you all peace and special memories! You got this. You can bring the mama magic.

Emily is a Louisiana native born in Shreveport, Louisiana. She went to UL Lafayette and earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations in 2012. It was here that she fell in love with her husband, Jude, and the city of Lafayette. On the weekends, you will find Emily at a festival, the farmer’s market, enjoying a Mardi Gras parade, or eating at one of the many delicious restaurants in Acadiana. Emily and Jude have two children named Mia (6) and Patrick (2.) She is a Marketing Director by day and mom by night! Emily has a passion for reading, Harry Potter, theatre, coffee, wine, spreading financial literacy, her friends, and family.

1 COMMENT

  1. We are letting someone else cook this for Thanksgiving. CHECK. As far as Christmas goes, a big poinsettia plant may be my tree this year, have done this before and it works out ok when feel decorating might be too much stress for me this year. CHECK. My girlfriend Christmas party, hi school, is early December. We exchange gifts, and I shop early, so I have my Kris Kringle gift and spicy pretzel bags getting ready for a party of 12. CHECK. Nanny Santa ready for the kids even tho I may not see them, so take it easy over there Mrs. Claus. Less is more this time of year, kids get so much, but I GET IT. The magic of the season is upon us, it goes fast, so stop and smell the holly. ☃️🎄Love ya!

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