As if the classroom parties, school breaks (made especially challenging if your kids attend different schools which means different breaks at different times), and holiday gift exchanges weren’t enough, business travel during the holidays makes this month ripe with opportunities for extra stress, and guilt.
Since we’re Working Moms Against Guilt here, I’ve got some holiday hacks—I mean, tips—to help reduce stress and manage the holidays even while you’re traveling for work.
Let the kids help
It’s my experience that even when older kids don’t want to do chores, they’re happy to help decorate for the holidays. If you haven’t yet, let them manage this project and see how they do. If dads or significant others can help too, even better.
Does it matter if the stockings aren’t hung with care? If they’re a little crooked or too close together, I mean as long as they’re hung, we can check that box right? If you only have wee little ones at home, they don’t care whether you get the decorations up on day one of the holiday season, or day 30, and if they’re really small, they won’t care if you get them up at all.
So take your time here, make like Disney’s Frozen and “Let it Go.”
Quick and dirty recipes
If you’re busy like me, you won’t have time to read through the piles of school papers sent home each week to identify when those holiday parties are but you know they’re coming. Email the teachers, let them know when you’re traveling this holiday season for work (which means volunteering may be tough), and find out when the class parties are.
It’s possible they’ll hit while you’re away on business, which means in addition to not attending said parties, you won’t have contributed either. Gasp! Worse, they’ll hit right when you return or as you’re on your way out to catch a flight.
You can handle this. Check out these three quick holiday desserts: the first you can make in 10 minutes and head out to a party, the second you can make and freeze ahead of time. The third one is the easiest. Ready. Set. Go.
- Chocolate Bruschetta
- Hello Dolly Bars
- Buy something already made from that bakery section of the grocery store. No link required.
I’ve also been forcing myself to snap a photograph of a holiday moment each day and post it to my various social media accounts. It can be a picture your kids made of a snowman, some mistletoe you wanted to be underneath, pretty lights, the crooked stockings, or the chocolate bruschetta.
I’m sure I’ll see someone with elf socks on or a Santa hat at the airport next week when I travel for business. I’ll snap it reminding myself that I love to work and be a mom—especially during the holidays —no guilt here.
This article is part of our Holiday Hacks for Working Moms series. See the full #holidayhacks list for more ways to hack your holidays, so you can enjoy the season instead of letting it drag you down.
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