The cookies have been eaten, the wrapping paper tossed. And Santa left plenty of fun gifts under the tree. As for you? You maybe got yourself a few minutes to relax before New Year’s.
But you did it! You survived the whirlwind of events that take over every November and December. Depending on how you celebrate, you may be feeling relieved that you get a few weeks to chill out before the next few toddler friendly holidays (oh, hey Cupid and the St Patty’s Leprechaun!).
Holidays with toddlers, on the other hand, might have you stressed about trying to bounce back. This adjustment can be way harder than it sounds. Meaning, you have to spend time getting back to normal too.
Sure, in the name of Christmas magic we let them stay up a little later. Eat one more sweet cookie or turn a blind eye to your munchkin sneaking a lick of some icing. Christmas morning starts at a ridiculously early hour, that as a society has seemed to be not only allowed… but necessary. What?!
Raise your hand if there were one too many tantrums in your home. Ok, put that hand down, and thank you for your honesty. No judgment here, pinky promise!
A simple request to have those toddler shoes picked up can snowball into a much bigger situation.
Despite it all, the price paid is relatively small in comparison to memories made. That doesn’t mean you don’t want peace and for life to get back on track, of course.
So how do we survive the post-holiday high? Easy.
These next few tips will get everyone back in line before you can say, “My New Year’s diet starts tomorrow!”
Get Back on Schedule - ASAP
You might think it's more manageable to ease your way back to normal life. And yes, that may be true. The burnout is real, no protesting that point.
But mama, if you pull that band-aid off swiftly, it will cost you less time, energy & emotional labor to haul things where they need to be.
The new shiny toys and lingering excitement from Santa’s visit will give your kiddos more than enough ammo when it comes to bedtime negotiations.
Keep an upbeat approach as you move everyone through the original routine.
Whether it's December 26th or January 2nd, go ahead and start bath time regardless of the cries and start those evening prayers even when your toddler insists they have an edge-of-your-seat story to share.
Spoiler: That story is likely there to buy time.
Lather your little one in hugs, kisses and sweet goodnight wishes (laced in appropriate threats if you must) but keep on that schedule.
Your child’s best defense during this time will circle around the fact that they just didn’t hear you.
Not that it’s the best excuse, but it’s understandable, right? To them, they have just lived the coolest few days or weeks they can remember. To them, you’re the super chill mom who allows hot chocolate for breakfast and gives an extra hour of cartoons.
The best way to bring everyone back is to plan ahead. Work in time checks every five minutes when rounding the corner to mealtime, bathtime or the ever looming bedtime.
Look, there’s really no great way to do this except to just imagine yourself like the people who remind subway riders what to do when at a stop.
“Stand clear of the closing doors!”
They send those reminders out every few minutes, but do folks hear them every time? No way. Passengers are zoned out and thinking of other things.
So do your little one the favor of cheerfully and clearly announcing what is about to happen. It will make the transition a pinch easier.
Clear Out Old Toys
Sometimes all you need is a good purge to help start a new year. And since Santa so graciously brought a new batch of exciting new toys, why not set some time aside to bag up the old ones?
Some gently loved toys could go to a new home and some others can go... in the trash. Either way, make an event of it by getting the family together to create room for the North Pole’s new arrivals.
Having a newborn around Christmas makes this part a lot easier, since you’re probably already tossing the baby sock shoes that are missing their other half.
Still, this is a great post-holiday tradition to keep in rotation.
Maybe you had a lot of must have items for traveling with baby that you no longer need. Those best baby travel products that just don’t work can absolutely go to another home easily. Set aside to donate!
Got some baby moccasins and cute clothes too tiny to enjoy? Donate!
As your child gets older, this will become a heartfelt tradition, symbolizing the end of one year and the fresh beginning of another.
RedecorateSwitch off those elf ears and put on your always ready HGTV hat. A super fun way to get even the strongest willed child on board with their normal schedule is to give them a new look.
Before you get out a hammer or start ripping up that carpet, hold on. This is a way easier design project that includes everything you already have. So, you know, free.
With your toddler channeling the inner Joanna Gaines they didn’t even know they had, help them move around furniture in their room. You’d be surprised how a new look can inspire your busy toddler.
The bedtime routine will click right back into place when the focus is less about the rules and more about taking advantage of a new layout.
Be sure to hold onto and properly adjust essential items, like bedrails. A new room is disorienting at first and you don’t want to wake up to the sounds of a sleeping munchkin tumbling onto the floor.
If you want to bump it up a notch, Christmas gifts can include one or two items to help facilitate the redecorating. A family photo or new poster are simple and thoughtful additions to revamp the new room for the new year.