‘Tis the season,’ as the saying goes. But the season for what?

For some, the holidays are a time of love, joy, and laughter. Those of us fortunate to celebrate in comfort with loving friends and family may look forward to this time of year with happy anticipation.

But not everyone is so fortunate. Many of us have suffered financial hardship, piling on stress as we try to give our children those magical holiday memories we feel obligated to deliver.

Others are struggling with health issues, or trying to negotiate custody complications with a less-than-easygoing parenting partner.

So here are my wishes for you:

     • I wish for you moments of quiet appreciation. Or maybe just moments of quiet to catch your breath and find something—however small— that elicits a feeling of gratitude. It could be a kind look from the checker in the grocery line, or a shared smile with one of your kids. Allow yourself to register microscopic moments of grace. Each one has the potential to fill your cup.

     • I wish for you love. Whether it comes from a tender partner, a loving family member, a caring friend, or from yourself, I hope you can rest in a place of knowing how worthy of love you are. (Even if your kids say that you’re the ‘meanest mom in the world!’ when things aren’t going their way!)

     • I wish for you peace. Above all else, this is what the holidays are about for me. A time to unplug (for two weeks!), visit with friends and family, and spend time on my own—reading, taking walks, doing crafts, and just being still.

There’s so much in our lives that we can’t control. The holidays often magnify feelings of overwhelm–whether it’s because we feel pressured to fulfill competing family expectations, or we’re scrambling to “make memories” for our kids, or we simply feel worn out by too having to be around too many people.

So I hope you’ll focus on whatever ways you can slow down. A simple game of Go Fish, or pushing a child on a swing…spending a day or two without looking at your computer…laying on a blanket to watch the clouds go by. These things can refill your bucket while also nurturing your children. Because remember, what they need more than anything else is you feeling rested, replenished, and sturdy.

I hope you can take time to renew and recharge this holiday season, even when the needs and demands of your family descend full force. I know it’s not easy, but I encourage you to look for ways to find those sacred pauses.

Thank you so much for being part of our parent community, for reading these emails, and helping us make inroads into raising children with more joy and fewer power struggles. I am so grateful to you, and for you.

May this holiday season bring you appreciation, love, and peace. And may you allow yourself to receive and enjoy.

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