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Holiday Stress + Postpartum

When we were kids, the holidays conjured thoughts of lazy days relaxing on couches, playing in the snow, and leisurely opening piles of presents. 

Now that we’re older, the holidays are full of sorting out schedules; overbearing relatives telling you how to raise your child; checking your lists twice (or many times); and trying to remember what you said you were going to bring to which party (and who’s allergic to what).

You can become responsible for so much, including your partner, your children, and your extended families’ plans. The holidays can be stressful financially, especially if you have a lot of loved ones in your life. And you may be dealing with postpartum depression or anxiety, which can cloud your experience of everything.

It’s ok to not feel jolly. The holidays can actually be very stressful, and you might need to cry (or scream)! Don’t feel ashamed of any emotions that you’re feeling. Feel them fully. Experience them. Process them. And don’t feel like you need to feel a certain way.

While you’re supporting everyone else in your life during this season, are you supporting you? It’s easy to spend the holidays running around trying to do everything for everyone else, but that might leave you feeling burned out and resentful. Say no. It’s so hard, but we all need to learn to say no to some things. No one is superwoman, and you aren’t less of a woman for not being able to do everything. You’re just human.

Make sure you’re communicating with your loved ones. A thoughtless comment from them could hurt you deeply, and if it does, it’s important to communicate how you’re feeling to them. While it might be painful to you both initially, lovingly explaining how their comment hurt your feelings will go miles toward your relationship’s health.

It’s ok to take alone time. Spending tons of time with family can be overwhelming. And you can only be the best mother if you’re taking care of yourself.