Do mothers really holiday?
I know mothers who shiver at the mention of their nannies taking a break. Are you one of them? I am one of them. My nanny knows her break is misery to me. She even foregoes her holiday at times for other benefits. But, once in a while, she must get off days.
Isn’t it weird that these kids behave better while with the nanny than while with us? They play, cooperate to eat, sleep… its crazy. It’s like mommy has an anti-dote or something. Anyway, such is mommy life.
I would love to share a few hacks for the holiday. Hope you have the time to read in between your tight schedule. I will make them simple and realistic. Just read through to the end, they might be your savior this holiday.
Park their clothes in sets.
(Disclaimer: this will only work if you have already perfected “mama’s mean look”).
It’s your last wash and you are now packing the clothes, you know which short goes with that t-shirt… don’t separate them. Add a pair of socks and a vest and anything else you need to make it a full outfit and pack them in a pile. Pack several sets fully prepared for a full outfit such that after bath, there’s no looking for clothes. You just pick one set.
Do that for all the clothes you think you will need for the season. On the side, pack a few pieces mixed to take care of spills and falls. Now you are all set.
There’s one little problem though; these kids can throw a myriad of tantrums just for an outfit. Remember the mean look I talked about? Carry it with you. You will need it. Once you give an outfit and someone tries to make a big deal; pull the look. Let them understand they will have to use the pack as it is for the holiday to work.
Did you know they might not even care? They are on holiday… they want to spend all the time they have out, playing and screaming. This is when you put your legs on the table and enjoy that iced tea.
Provide snacks un-apologetically.
What’s the point of being on holiday and you spend the whole day in the kitchen? The holiday is for everyone. You included.
What’s your idea of healthy snack? Most people use fruits, milk products like yogurt, canned food (though not my favorite) and nuts.
Snacks do not necessarily serve for a meal but they can help push the day such that you only need to make one or two main meals. In between the meals, get some rest or go out and play as well.
The good thing with snacks is that they fill the stomach and give energy at the same time such that a meal can wait.
Feeling guilty? Come on! It’s just for the holiday, give yourself a break.
You will most probably have only half the fun everybody else is getting but at least you should fight to have your share. That is why you don’t need to be the one doing everything.
Most kids enjoy doing light duties like making their beds and tidying up the rooms. Delegate all those tasks you can. If they are not cooperative, you can always give an incentive. Children love being wooed into activities. That extra cookie can work magic.
There’s one thing I have learned, you can’t buy back time, those precious moments for games, chit chats and movies but you can outsource.
If you are having friends over, feel free to hire a chef. It goes a long way into making the party enjoyable for you too. You can also consider asking a friend to help at a small fee.
Don’t spend all your holiday in the house or hotel room.
It’s relaxing to stay in the house especially if you travel a lot but it’s a lot more refreshing to go watch the ocean waves, watch children play or just swing at the park. The magic about being out is that the mind gets an open perspective and stops concentrating on the normal issues of life. That breeze through your hair could sweep away life’s anxieties.
When we were kids, we used to have secret places where we could hide and enjoy time alone. I remember my sister would climb a certain tree and would stay up there for hours. We used to call that place Sharma (means refuge, a place of comfort and joy).
Everybody needs ‘Sharma’. That place that you can go and just be ‘that little innocent child’ that savors nature and butterflies … flower petals and bees buzzing.
Find fun in the exquisite nature trails, bush walks, ant hills and holes. Let me stop here. I am sure you get my message.
Allow yourself to lazy around.
I don’t know any other human species that knows how to plan more than mothers do. While seated the ‘to do’ list is just flipping over and over in our minds. It’s like a computer that runs back-up through-out.
What’s wrong with us? Why can’t we sit still for a moment and just do nothing?
I laughed aloud when I heard the ideal person in Buddhism has nowhere to go and nothing to do.
I thought to myself, this is crazy, how can one do completely nothing and feel ok? I will be damned if that happens. Tell you what, I tried it last week. It works. It works…
This motherhood life is so… involving… to say the least. Did you ever think someone will need to teach you how to holiday? I guess not.
I also thought I had everything under control and that I would handle my life cautiously, smoothly and with vigor. Wait until I started suffering burn-outs and I couldn’t just stop…
I’m like an un-stoppable engine, always on vibration. Are you my twin or are you having all smooth? Is motherhood letting you enjoy holiday?