Saying No for a Stress-Free Holiday

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

I've always been a people pleaser, I hate when anyone is upset and I'm the first to try to find a way to fix whatever the problem may be. However, after having a baby this year, I've had to adjust the amount of time I'm willing to spend pleasing others, and the time I need to spend taking care of myself and my family. 

I've been reminded of this a lot already as the holiday season is upon us. Our family is relatively spread out through different parts of southern California, the furthest person being two-ish hours away depending on the traffic. In the past we've always made it a point to go see everyone. We've spent a majority of our Christmas weekend driving around SoCal to visit loved ones for a few hours at a time, and in the until now it's worked for us. 

But this year is different. This year we have a seven-month-old who needs to nap every three hours and who hates being in the car longer than 15 minutes because she loves to play. 

This year I've already had to say no to multiple Christmas parties and family events, and I found myself feeling guilty over it. I've had family members say things like, "I won't make you feel guilty, but I'm sick to my stomach that you won't be able to join us" aka making me feel more guilty than EVER and I've been stressing myself out trying to make adjustments in my schedule to see if it is at all possible for us to fit everyone in. And guess what, it's not possible. And I don't think I want it to be. 

This is Kenzie's first Christmas. Her first most magical time of the year and I want us to enjoy it. I want time with just the three of us in our little apartment on Christmas morning and I don't want to be stuck in the car with a possibly grumpy babe just so we can get to a holiday party that I'll miss a quarter of because I'll be trying to put her down for a nap. 

I want to stay in my Christmas PJ's and drink Christmas coffee and watch Christmas movies while I open her presents for her and watch her stare at, and try to pull down, all the ornaments off the Christmas tree. I want us to enjoy ourselves and in this situation that's going to require some guilt-free no's on my part. And that's alright, in fact, it's good. When I look back on our Christmas down the road I won't feel guilty for the time we spent enjoying ourselves. I won't be upset by the fact that we weren't stressed and although I may feel pangs of guilt at having to choose one family member over another I won't feel guilty that we chose to make ourselves a priority over anyone else. 

So if you're already feeling a little bit of that holiday guilt, take a step back and remind yourself that you have as much right to enjoy the time as everyone else in whatever capacity that may mean for you. Don't be afraid to say no if it means that you'll be able to look back on the time knowing that you fully enjoyed yourself because the holidays are supposed to be fun, so let's keep them that way! 


  1. I can relate to this so much! It's hard to not feel that guilt especially when family expects you to be in a certain place.

  2. I loved reading this! We don't have kids now, but I expect this will be us in a few years! You are totally right though, in the future you won't feel guilty for the time you've spent with your family. Thanks for sharing!!


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