Woohoo, it’s that time of year again when we have the kids 24/7, that’s EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. for like a month! Don’t all jump up and down with excitement now (I know you want too! ha!)
A part of me LOVES spending the holidays with my family – we can sleep in late, go to bed late, have lazy PJ days in a messy house, and do whatever we want – when we want….
BUT then again, in-between all that holiday-ing, there’s the….. darker side…..the side of holiday parenting that makes us want to run for the hills….
The demands, the meltdowns, the constant mess, the debates and negotiations, the event slash entertainment planning for your kids 24/7….
Need I say more?
It’s FUN, and then sometimes it’s NOT SO FUN….Let’s be honest!
But then again that’s parenting, you can’t have the good – without the weird….
I HAVE A DREAM
One part of me feels READY for it, then another part of me feels slightly anxious for the “crazy”, but then there’s ANOTHER AWESOME PART OF ME THAT IS PREPARING by having a “festive holiday parenting survival and thriving game plane of action” in place. Woohoo! Yay me! #doingthings
“A dream without a plan is just a wish….a dying wish”…Or something like that.. HA!
SO, I have a dream : to have a memorable Christmas holiday with my family – which means this mama needs to have a plan of action to hopefully keep us all:
“Joyous, rested (yes I’m hopeful) yet entertained, and most of all to try and stay semi-sane!”
AND I’m all about making my dreams come true this year!
I also want you the parents to have amazing holidays with your crazy offspring – so I thought I’d share some of my ‘holiday survival secrets’ – feel free to steal some, or add to the list by commenting below! #sharingiscaring #youarewelcome
HOLIDAYING WITH KIDS SURVIVAL GUIDE
Here’s a little survival, I mean my thriving holiday plan…
Is one truly alive if one has not dipped it’s tongue and sanity into a dark caffeinated cup of goodness???
- Yes, since becoming a mom – I became a ‘coffee mom’…. NO, I’m not addicted, and I see it as a compliment when various baristas know how I like my coffee and prep my order when they see me coming…HA!
Listen, God hasn’t convicted me in this area…..YET… He’s gracious like that and knows I’m up most of the night with Brooklyn….
2. BOARD GAME DAYS
- Malakai is at an age where he is getting into (and understanding) how board games work – which keeps him focused (and quiet) and entertained for the most part. He’s also really into Jenga (block tower building) !!! Riveting stuff you guys!
- If your kids are old enough invest in some board games that capture their attention and are fun for the whole family to play!
3. PJ & MOVIE DAYS
- These are my favourite kind of days! Lazying around in pj’s with loads of snacks in the lounge with various movies for us to enjoy!
- I have loads of Chrismassy movies saved on Netflix for our lazy movie days! YAY!
4. ART DAYS
- Art & craft days are fun! Messy, but so fun! Pinterest has so many awesome kid craft ideas that are easy to do. Why not do some Christmas themed craft pieces to make it more festive in your home! Even if it ends up looking weird & abstract, give it a go – it keeps them busy (for the most part, and in a weird way – it’s therapeutic)
5. BAKING DAYS
- We have a cute Gingerbread house kit that we’re going to bake and decorate these holidays. Please pray that I don’t burn the biscuit bits in the oven – we don’t have a back up plan! HA! NO, but really please pray for us and those biscuits.
6. BUILDING TENTS & FORTS
- Malakai is 5 years old, and he still loves building forts and even obstacle courses!
- It keeps him busy for a long time (yay, haha) and he loves hiding out in his ‘not so secret’ fort – then obviously he loves bashing it all down when he is bored! #boys #hulksmash
7. BEACH DAYS
- Beach days are so much fun! Endless hours of amusement and fun can be had at the beach for little people – plus, it’s for free!
- Hubby only makes a “guest appearance” at the beach with us once year…As he puts it “I don’t like the sun or sand”, haha – so when he comes with – he parks on his beach chair – under an umbrella literally in a wetsuit…It’s so funny!
8. PUPPET SHOWS
- Being a Drama teacher, this is totally up my alley and so much fun – Malakai’s stories are so funny, although mine are funnier (it’s not a competition, or is it?!) hehe
- Let them make puppets and plan and practice stories for you – it might be abstract, but it keeps them busy and entertained – plus, its a free show for you!
9. LEGO STOP FRAME MOVIE MAKING
- I bought Malakai a Lego book that came with some Lego characters / backdrops / story outline ideas that you can film with your phone. Again, this is both up our alley! It’s creative, encourages storytelling and story planning and it actively engages with the child for quite a long period of time!
10. MALL OUTINGS
- When it’s too hot, or too cold, or when you’re just feeling to old (little rhyme for you guys) the mall becomes that unsuspecting playground for kids. They can run up and down with you while you shop, they can drool over the toys in the toy shop and painfully respect the art of “window shopping”, they learn patience, they can eat there, go to the bathroom , maybe find the odd restaurant with an indoor play gym and make a little friend at a ‘Jump place’, or enjoy a live show!
- YES, sometimes the mall can be your friend on those “off days”….Don’t question it, just do it….
11. FUN OUTINGS
- Living in Cape Town means we are so spoilt for choice when it comes to fun family friendly places and outings to explore!
Here are some things we are looking forward to doing in and around Cape Town…
- The Cape Wheel
- Two Oceans Aquarium
- Playdate Superpark (V&A Waterfront)
- Ice Slide (Canal Walk)
- Cableway (Table Mountain)
- Visiting the penguins at Boulders Beach
- Kirstenbosch gardens
- Squirrel feeding at the Gardens
- Museum hangs
- 23 Jump Street
- Bugz playpark
- World of birds
- Ice skating at Grandwest
- Movies at the Cinema (Really want to see the Grinch!)
- Water parks
- Greenpoint park
- Picnics at Warwick Wine Estate
GENERAL PARENTING SURVIVAL TIPS
SIP – Sip on tea, coffee, wine or gin, or your very healthy green smoothie and get on with it mama.
BREATHE – Breathe when you feel overwhelmed, or when you feel like you may explode from all the button pushing – just take deep breaths!
CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES / CHOOSE YOUR SANITY – THIS tip is key, especially when you’re with your kids all day every day. Don’t fight or get into debates with your kids over every little thing. You will literally go nuts…
LAUGH IT OFF – Some days feel perfect, where everyone around you acts so cute and sweet. Then other days it feels all crazy like you’ve been thrown in a blender, instead of working yourself up – choose to laugh it off!
TALK IT OUT – When the kids are losing their minds or misbehaving and taking chances have a firm talk with them and bring them back on the same page.
HAVE A MOMENT OR TWO IN THE BATHROOM TO REGROUP – I do this more often than not. When I feel like Malakai is driving me a little nuts on the odd day, I go to the bathroom and lock the door (always lock the door, or otherwise he just comes in) and I bring myself back towards myself!
REIGN THE CHAOS BACK IN – Holidays are fun, and can either have very busy days or really slow chilled days – either way because routines become more flexible or non existent during this time, kids can start acting out and can quite easily turn your house upside down like Jumanji. Let them have fun, but keep the crazy in-line or otherwise you will die (haha so dramatic!)
REMEMBER THEY’RE STILL LITTLE – Full stop! Let them be little, let them have fun and explore, forgive them when they act up and treasure them! They won’t be little for long, soak it up!
REMEMBER TO CHILL OUT TOO – The festive season is full on, and it feels even more full on when you have kids in the mix. Remember you are human too, and you need to rest when you can, do things that you enjoy too. Your holidays don’t just have to be about entertaining the kids, but also doing things that make you feel happy and rested! Look after yourself, as this is the key to pouring out more love and energy into your family!
PS : This post was by no means sponsored by coffee! HA 🙂