When I was a child, the holidays were always a difficult time. The brokenness and grief that was present year-round seemed to be magnified. And the older I get, the more loss and trial I see around this time when we’re supposed to be celebrating. (This week I remembered the one year deathiversary of a father, and then lost a baby, our first dog and my grandmother.) But whether you find this post around Christmastime or not, I wanted to share some practical helps to get you through from someone who has been there.
1. Most importantly, acknowledge your feelings to your loved ones, especially your children. The people around you know when something is off and children especially can be effected if you try to pretend otherwise. Saying “mommy is having a sad week” does not mean you have to tell them all the details of why. My mother never could have nor should have explained the things going on in our home. But pretending everything is ‘all good’ teaches our families that we’re not allowed to be sad, hurt, frustrated etc.
Also, if you pretend there is no hardship, you can’t give God the glory for seeing you through. If you are a private person, I know this can be challenging. Be brave for everyone’s sake and learn to answer “how’s it going?” with “it’s been a rough one, but God...
2. Ask for help. This is SOOO hard. For me it’s not even so much my pride as I don’t see when/how I need it. If this is you, ask your husband, older children or close friend. I would ask something like, “hey Danielle is coming over this week, is there something I should ask her to help me with?”
3. Try to spend time with your family doing the things that are the least tiring. If playing dolls drives you crazy, choose a game you enjoy. If reading books exhausts you, build blocks. Try not to wait until your kids are dying for mama time and come to them instead. “Mom really wants to hang out with you. Would you play LEGOs with me?”
4. Most importantly remember that when the days seem unbearably long or overwhelming, God has what you need. The will you give you the strength, love and grace to make it through days. And you done just have to survive them.
You really can make it through in peace and victory.
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