DeStressing the Holidays: Pre Post

I had hoped this post was the first post in my blog series, the one where I begin talking about setting priorities, what to say yes and no to this holiday season. The post that ends with a pretty printable you can download to start making your lists. Everything was ready to go. I had started writing the post early. I have preplanned the entire series. I have a lot of fun free extra gifts planned for you this series. I pushed through getting everything ready amidst obstacles like my youngest son getting hand, foot and mouth disease last week and him constantly clinging to me and screaming at night in pain. I found pockets and corners of time to still work hard and get the first post ready including the extra printable. This morning I was so excited and ready to announce it. My husband and I tested the link to the printable so when you said YES I would love a free printable - it would actually be delivered to your inbox.

And it didn't work.

The link did not work.

We worked and worked and worked for 2 hours and it still isn't working.

Don't worry, it will be fixed and I will get to hit publish on that blogpost.

And I will be so grateful I did all the work ahead of time to be ready.

I have spent all morning with a mixture of frustration, annoyance, aggravation, sadness and disappointment.

I was prepared and things did not go as planned.

I really wanted to share the first blogpost with you today. I was so excited for us to start talking about how to destress this holiday. And I have spent most of the morning stressed. I came into my room to figure out how to move on with my day. I now have two kids downstairs with hand, foot and mouth disease who need their mom (my oldest woke up this morning with the rash and now has it a second time). I am having a hard time letting go that I can't hit publish today.

As I sat down to regroup and remind myself it will be ok, I will get to hit publish this week - I remembered the one lesson I hadn't preplanned in this series. The one lesson I have learned many times over, most vividly around the holidays while I have had kids. The one lesson I didn't include to share with you, and the one I am so grateful I can share with you first

Not everything this holiday season will go according to plan.

You will set your priorities, you will get them on the calendar, you will work hard to reduce the stress this holiday (and I really and truly believe you can have less stress).

And there will be things that happen that you just have no control over. There will be interruptions that you didn't see coming or had no way of planning for. There will be sickness. And more sickness. And the whole family gets sick sickness. In fact that seems to be the one thing I can count on during the holidays - someone will get sick and plans will be interrupted!!

I am so excited to share this blog series with you. Primarily because I love telling moms we can thrive in motherhood. And I can't wait to talk with you about practical ways to do so during one of the most stressful times of year.

But today I was reminded I needed to tell you something first, something you will probably forget but something that needs to be said at the beginning.

Not everything will go according to plan.

You will most definitely have interruptions.

A wrench will be thrown in, out of your control.

You will be frustrated at times.

It is ok. It is ok to be disappointed. It is ok to be frustrated. It is ok to not know how to readjust immediately. You may need to cry. You may need to take a break. You will be ok. Your family will be ok.

The other beautiful thing I was reminded of today was

in the midst of the unexpected there will be a gift.

It won't always be obvious and it won't always be immediate, but there will be a gift in the interruptions, in the unplanned, in the unexpected. Don't run away from those. I had to set my plan down in order to see it. I had to take a break. I had to name and sit with all the emotions that were going on. And then the gift came.

I really and truly am so excited to share with you my practical tips and tools, but I am grateful that today I get to first remind you that even if you do all the practical ideas I share you will most definitely have something this holiday that doesn't go according to plan.

And it will be a gift.

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