Solid in your parenting values, but the holiday season’s making you anxious?

By Sarah Palmer

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.” It can be a delightful time, especially when you have children bringing back the magic, but the holiday season can also be incredibly overwhelming and can come with a lot of anxiety for parents.

In your usual day-to-day, you may be feeling solid in your values and choices. You feel confident in what works for your unique family and the rhythm of your days. Feeding, sleeping and the activities you do are all aligned with your parenting values and how you’re choosing to raise your little one.

Heading into the “silly season” though, can bring with it a lot of worry about possible unsolicited advice and judgements passed on you. There may be some family members who you just know are going to question the way you are doing things and tell you how you “should” be doing it.

Heading into the “silly season” though, can bring with it a lot of worry about possible unsolicited advice and judgements passed on you.

Perhaps you are travelling and will be staying in someone else’s home, or you may have people coming to stay with you. This will bring its own challenges when you’re living out of each other’s pockets for a short time and may not have the space to easily get away and feel safe and free from judgement.

There are likely to be gatherings where your choices may be questioned, especially when navigating naps and breastfeeding, which can feel like they’re particularly “on show”, but also things like forced affection and your child’s bodily autonomy.

Here are some tips to head into the holiday season feeling more relaxed and confident

Pick your battles

I know we all feel strongly about how we choose to parent, but we also have to know when is the best time to educate someone and share our perspective and when it might be better to simply smile and nod. Some people are just not willing to be open minded and our energy is better spent in moving on the conversation as quickly as possible.

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