With the holidays upon us, it’s time for the entire family to bond, spend time together, and catch up on much-needed rest and relaxation.
But the unfortunate fact is that despite the many strides that have been made towards equality between men and women, moms overwhelmingly still carry the heaviest load when it comes to looking after the family. During the holidays, little ones need to be entertained, family and social engagements fill up the diary, and there may be a trip to plan, thus leaving moms in need of a holiday after the holiday.
With that in mind, here are a few tips on how moms can actually enjoy some rest these holidays and finally break that one evergreen festive season tradition: holiday stress.
1. It’s a family affair
One of the most important realisations that mom must make to allow herself to also enjoy her holiday is that it’s not all her job. Thanks to expectations that society places on mothers, and in turn mothers place on themselves, far too many mothers take on just about all holiday responsibilities. Far more than anything else, this is what leads to holiday stress.
In realising that holidays are a “family affair”, what we mean is that responsibilities should be shared. Dad can certainly pitch in, but so can the kids. If extended family or friends are coming to visit, whether for a period of time or even just for a braai or Christmas lunch, allow them to help. It doesn’t all have to fall on mom.
2. Make use of Santa’s helpers
There are so many options and services out there to help us to make our holidays easier, so be sure to make use of “Santa’s helpers”. For instance, for those of us who are lucky enough to have a regular domestic cleaner, it can be difficult if they are away over the festive season. This is where Santa’s helper, like SweepSouth, can help. Through its app and website, SweepSouth allows you to hire ad hoc cleaners for the day or even longer with as little as 24 hours’ notice. You just choose your tasks and your SweepStar will arrive on the day to take care of everything for you for the required hours.
3. Stick to a budget
Like any time of the year, but particularly the heavily commercialised festive season, one of the biggest stress-inducers when it comes to the holidays is money. To ensure that this stress is minimised as far possible, prepare a budget of what you are willing to spend over the holidays. Note, unlike other budgets, this budget isn’t prioritising what is needed but rather what you are willing or want to do.
“One of the most important realisations that mom must make to allow herself to also enjoy her holiday is that it’s not all her job.”
This also lines up with the “family affair” advice. As this is advice to ensure that expectations are kept in reality, be sure to include the rest of the family in this process. Not only will this keep expectations in check, but it will also allow for a little bit of wish fulfilment.
Allow some me-time for yourself. Going back to societal expectations, a mother prioritising herself is quickly branded as selfish. However, a mom who’s exhausted from the year’s stresses and hasn’t even taken a moment for herself over a time when rest and relaxation is meant to be what’s most important, is headed for burnout.
Whether it’s just an afternoon spent alone at a spa or treating yourself to a lazy Saturday brunch with friends at a location with an amazing view like Cape Town’s Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, taking even just a few hours for yourself can do wonders.
So, this festive season, make your resolution before the new year: don’t try to do it all, lean on others, and take a break where you can.