Working Mom’s Holiday Survival Guide

The holidays are filled with advice and tips on how to get through the merry chaos easily.  Have you ever wondered  why such a proliferation of advice is out there at this time of year?  It’s because this time of year is tough! 

Not only do you have to work and carry on your normal routine, but you have to be extra jolly or you are a Scrooge.  You have to be extra giving or you are a Scrooge, damn the budget!  You have to be extra helpful and happy, damn the work and family sickness or you’ll be labeled a Scrooge!  No one wants to be a Scrooge, right?  He wasn’t the richest person in town for nothing you know!  He worked!  He made people pay their bills!  And man oh man, do I hate to pay my bills!

I’ve come up with my own Top Ten version of surviving the holidays.  I hope this is helpful and inspiring!

10.  The month before Christmas spend all the extra money you have on eliminating wire-eating squirrel habitats.  This will help your stress load when it comes to spending money on gifts.

9.  After Thanksgiving, have your child get very sick.  There’s always the extra money for the medicine and the retired mother-in-law will be perfectly willing to come to town to stay with him.  This will build good relations with family and give your child time with his grandmother when he is feeling his worst.

8.  After the retired mother-in-law contracts an unknown illness from your child and is miserable,  rely on her for future help.  This will also build good family relations.

7.  After your child is well and back in daycare, have your husband come down with a horrible illness that the doctor says is highly infectious.  The doctor won’t know what it is, just that it’s horribly infectious.  This will help you after your long days at work with the nightly childcare duties as you have to keep father and son apart.  This will help you sleep at night too.

6.  While your husband is home in bed horribly ill, have your child have a recurrence of his previous sickness, only worse.  Since your mother-in-law is now ill and work is not happy that you’ve been taking time off to take care of your husband, you sick son will have to stay with your sick husband who can barely stand.  Have your sick husband take your sick child to the pediatrician as well.  This will leave you guiltily at work and your sick husband will take on all the responsiblity.  It’ll build his holiday character.

5.  Have your pediatrician forbid your child to go to daycare.  You will now have no option to stay home because your office is tired of you taking off, your husband will have to go back to work because it is a new job and he has a ton of work waiting from being out sick.  Your retired mother-in-law has still not recovered from the bug she caught the last time she was here so that will leave you to think of the only person left, your mother.  Perfect!

4.  Have your mother beg favors from her co-workers and take time off from her work so that the guilt mounting is much greater than normal for using/abusing her free babysitting.  This will build that good morale fiber so necessary to becoming something other than Scrooge!

3.  Sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas and the family getting sick be sure to do all your holiday shopping.  Take lots of time in the two hours you have free each weekend to think what gift would be especially relevant and wonderful for the person you are getting it for.  This will make everyone around you realize that you aren’t Scrooge but a wonderful, creative and talented gift-giver that everyone looks forward to seeing at the holidays.

2.  Exactly one week before Christmas realize that you have had this weird sinus infection for over a month and it isn’t going away.  Contemplate getting sick on your holiday vacation as your body will wind down and everyone else will feel better and want to play. 

1.  One week before Christmas realize that you haven’t properly prepared for the Christmas meal yet.  That will mean more shopping and of course money that wasn’t exactly budgeted for.

*Extra tip:  In the month of December, be sure to read and watch all the daily news as it will inspire and help you to have that wonderful Christmas spirit.  The Scrooge in you will surely be put to rest then.

~Life as Mom

I’d love to hear your holiday Scrooge-fighting tips as well! 

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