I don’t know about you but I go into a complete and total tailspin at this time of year. There is so much shopping to do, preparations to be made, baking and cooking to organise, not to mention cleaning the house for company. The children need costumes, gifts and who knows what else for school, and ferrying about to all their activities, plus they are starting to get more than a little excited, tired and ratty.

I find myself needing to keep my temper a bit more at this time of year, and maybe I’m not quite as nice a mummy as I’d like to be.

It’s at times like this that I sometimes need to remind myself of the absolute basics of parenting. If you are feeling the same right now, then take a deep breath and a step back and try to remember these tips as a good starting point.

Make time for play

Play is very important to children from the earliest age. It helps them learn and grow. Whatever else you are doing, try and give your children an hour of your time a day. Try to see the festivities from their eyes and remember the wonder and excitement.

When you do play with them, give them as much attention as you can. If you are really busy, maybe they can help you in a small way with some of the things you are doing too, like baking or cleaning.

Get Outside

Even when the weather is dreadful, it is still a good idea to get outside whenever you can, as long as your child is not sick. Just make sure your children are wrapped up warm in the cold. It is a good idea to buy baby girls’ cardigans and other clothes to match the weather.

Set Limits

Limits are important to children. They must learn there are boundaries that have to be respected and adhered to. Throughout their upbringing, there will be times when they deliberately push the limits you have set. This time of year, when you are so busy, excitement is mounting and they are cooped inside more than normal is likely to be one of those times.

Accept that this is likely to happen and be prepared for things kicking off. Have some activities ready to distract them if things start to get messy, and also make sure that all children are getting sufficient relaxation time in between all of the fun stuff

Read to your Child

Reading is very important to a child’s education and to how they grow. We are programmed as a species to listen to stories and it is in a sense how we make sense of the world.

Whatever else happens in the day, if you have a regular bedtime reading routine, you can always finish the day on a positive note. Some of my favourite memories of when my children were small, was them snuggling up to dad each evening as he read to them – and I sat down and listened in rapt attention too. It’s the perfect way to keep a routine going when everything else in the day has gone a bit sideways.

Make time for you

The simple truth is that you cannot be a good parent unless you look after yourself too. To this end, ensure you set aside time where you have a break from being a parent and do something for you each day.

This will allow you to do the things that need to be done such as online Christmas shopping. A bit of retail therapy from sites such as  Condor Socks UK can be very relaxing, but could also help you find something for those hard-to-buy-for relatives.

Don’t forget that no matter what you may see on Facebook, you’re not alone – we are all in the same boat. We post up pictures of perfect homes, perfect children, when in reality we are all running on wine, gin and coffee right now and trying not to kill anyone.

Just smile, take a bit of time out and take some cute photos of your own!

I hope you have a Happy Christmas!

Mums the Boss

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