While Christmas may be your child’s favourite time of year, it can end up being a tad mad for us adults – what with all the family drama involved. But there are ways to navigate any negativity
Christmas does only come once a year. And it does only last a day or two. But being told to grin and bear all of the craziness that comes with it can be easier said than done.
We’ve compiled a guide of how to cope – from the mid-meal tantrums (from both your mum and your toddler) to the power struggle in the kitchen – so that you can sail through the festivities and enjoy yourself.
The ‘where to spend Christmas’ debate
Once a baby comes into the picture, the whole family suddenly wants to book you in for a visit over the festive period. You only have Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day to make every member of yours and your partner’s families happy, which is virtually impossible.
Take a breath and remember that it is impossible to please everyone
Our advice? Firstly, take a breath and remember that it is impossible to please everyone. Visiting one side of the family on Christmas Day and one side on Boxing Day is the most obvious solution, but it might be easier to have them all to your house rather than ferrying your baby around. Your tot should be your priority and your family will understand this. Just make sure everyone helps out with the cooking and cleaning.
You could throw an open house on Christmas Eve for everyone to drop off their presents and best wishes and keep Christmas Day to just your immediate family.
Never a better time to start your own Christmas tradition, non?
The controlling grandparents saga
‘Darling you forget I’ve raised three children of my own, I know better’ isn’t a phrase you want to hear this holiday. But chances are you will.
Use your parents/in-laws as a chance to take a break and concentrate on enjoying yourself, while they play games with your tot. But try to not let them change your baby’s routine.
The top chef clash
If your sister/mum/partner tries to take over in the kitchen then you have two options.
- You calmly explain that you can cope and have prepared everything as it’s your kitchen. By all means they can chop the carrots, peel the potatoes and deal with all of the other sous-chef tasks. But the turkey is yours.
- You surrender and let them do everything. After all, the Christmas lunch can take hours to get ready, during which time you can spend watching festive films with your tot and eating chocolate.
The nap nightmare
Prepare yourself, that normal baby routine and Christmas Day schedule may not match meaning your toddler’s ready for a nap at the same time that lunch is about to be served. And although he wouldn’t have eaten much anyway, you really wanted your baby to be in the photos.
Fear not. Put him down for his nap on time (you don’t want to mess up his routine and deal with a cranky baby later in the day) and there’ll be plenty of opportunity for photos later on in the day.
The mid-meal meltdown
Dealing with your toddler’s tantrum during lunch can be a bit of a nightmare. Hello, flying sprouts.
Take him out of the room for a few minutes to avoid spoiling everyone’s meal. Soothe him as usual and return to the room once he’s calmed down.
The battle of the TV remote
You’ve finally got your baby down, are settled on the sofa with a belated glass of mulled wine and ready to watch the Christmas Day special of Downton Abbey. Then your partner puts a spanner in the works by demanding that you watch Top Gear instead.
Thank goodness for modern technology. Let whoever did the day’s washing up choose and then watch the other programme straight after on ITV Player/BBC iPlayer.
What are your top tips for a drama-free Christmas? Let us know below.