It's no surprise that the holiday season is straight craziness, especially when you have children. From family trips cross country to visit other family members, to unbridled excitement to presents to traditions; when you're a parent, the holiday season is exhausting. However, I would also argue that Thanksgiving is much more fun after you have kids (in fact, every holiday is) and the good far outweighs the bad and the ugly. Usually, anyway.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, let’s all take a moment to pause and to appreciate our current stage of life as parents to young children. I mean, think about all the things that are more fun with a kid: playgrounds, parades, trick-or-treating (if you’re doing that without kids, gross), petting zoos, and songs that include intricate hand motions. Oh, and family gatherings. Definitely family gatherings, especially ones that require long periods of time spent in kitchens. I love having a little person in the house for snuggle breaks and spontaneous games of, “I’m going to get you!” (that are extra fun during the holidays since he can’t run as fast in his dressy shoes).
So, yeah, sometimes parenting can feel extra stressful during the holidays, but there are big rewards, too. When you watch your little one meet and connect with distant family members or old friends, you'll get those awesome warm and fuzzy feelings only the holiday season can provide. So, if you’re like me and sometimes you need a reminder of the special things about this time of year, have no fear. I’ve started this very list for you:
You Have A Built-In Excuse To Get Out Of Uncomfortable Or Boring Conversations
It’s not that I don’t want to hear about your surgery, it’s just that I’d rather listen to my kid coo and/or speak toddler gibberish. I think it’s a choice almost anyone would make, given the circumstances.
No One Will Judge You For Taking All The Pictures
I confess, my phone storage is perpetually full because I have over 800 photos and videos of my kid on it. This may sound like a sufficient amount of photos, but that’s just not the case.
See, we dress our son up on the holidays and I may or may not even put stuff in his hair this year. Add the fact that his wears a faux plaid button-up that’s actually a onesie, and we'll be taking all the photos.
You'll Have Someone To Snuggle During Your Post-Meal Coma
What good is eating a huge meal if you don’t cuddle a tiny person afterwards?
Your Kid's Excitement Is Addicting
I don’t make the rules, it’s just way more fun to see someone young and little squeeing over a televised parade, or playing living room football, than it is to see an adult doing the same things. Watching your kid experience the holiday season, is like re-living your childhood all over again. I mean, it's just magic.
You Have The Opportunity To Create New Traditions
The rule in our family is the third year that you do something, it becomes a tradition. So, technically, bringing our child to thanksgiving dinner isn’t a tradition yet, but we can still let that go as long as we keep up the other things like veggie dip appetizers, homemade stuffing, and a fire in the fireplace.
Your Kid Interacting With Your Family Members Will Warm Your Heart
Not sure about you guys, but my extended family is a bit spread out, so there’s a few loved ones that my little doesn’t get to see too often. I’m looking forward to sharing the snuggles, and watching my son create and sustain new bonds with family members he doesn't know yet.
Watching A Kid Try A New Food For The First Time Is Awesome
I’m actually really excited about this one. Last year, our little guy had just barely started cereal, so we weren’t quite ready to offer him any Thanksgiving food. Now, he’s even got a few teeth to work with.
That reminds me, I need to go clear some space on my phone.