Winter Break Tips for Moms

Winter Break Tips for Moms

Dec 13, 2023

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In today’s episode, I’ll give you 4 winter break tips for you and 4 tips for your kids. You’ll learn strategies to take better care of yourself, feel less overwhelmed, be compassionate with your kids and reduce meltdowns. 

Winter break can be hard for us and our kids. What often happens is we sort of just start going into the holiday season and winter break without a plan or being prepared. 

Today, I hope you’ll feel empowered to put the brakes on if you need to so that you can actually enjoy this time with your kids and have fun doing the things you want to do this holiday season.


Make Your Life Work For You This Winter Break

When you are overwhelmed and you have no time or energy to take care of yourself, it's gonna take away from enjoying the season with your kids. These four strategies will help you to be more calm and present this winter break.


Tip #1: Be realistic about your schedule and to-do list.

Before you jump into a bunch of activities, take a moment to ask yourself, “What can I actually handle right now? What’s been going on for my kids, and how are they doing?” Think about how much time, energy and mental capacity you have. 

If you’re really depleted (or if you just know it’s always a disaster when you go out to eat in a restaurant) I want you to opt out and say no. Change your plans rather than push yourself. 


Tip #2: Stop people-pleasing.

Similar to the first tip, this is about not doing things that are outside of what you want to do or what you can handle. 

When you try to please others by going outside of what you have capacity for, you end up feeling like crap. You don’t enjoy the thing or you feel resentful or you get home and dump all your overwhelm and feelings on your kids. 

It is okay for you to disappoint people, change your plans or decline invitations. Friends or family might feel a little sting when you say no, but that negative feeling will likely pass quickly.


Tip #3: Ask for help.

This is a hard one for moms. We feel like it’s our job to do all the holiday stuff, but sometimes there are people in our lives who actually want to help and be involved in the holiday preparations. 

When we do it all ourselves, we usually end up really tired and sometimes resentful (again). It’s okay to invite your partner into it if you have one. It’s okay to ask guests to bring something to the dinner or take your neighbor up on their offer to watch your kids. 

Your people want to help you. So let them. 


Tip #4: Decrease the noise.

This is something I’ve really been trying to practice in my own life. It might look like keeping clutter down around the house, turning off some notifications on your phone, reading less news or taking a break from social media.

Hearing our phones ding all the time actually upsets the nervous system and activates cortisol.

When we spend less time listening to and responding to these other things, it opens up time and space to connect with yourself, your kids or in nature. Maybe you’re laughing, playing games or going for a walk as a family.

The goal with all of these tips is that you feel better and more calm this holiday season. Not frantic, rushed, too busy or overwhelmed. I want you to enjoy it and remember the feelings. 


How To Support Your Kids This Winter Break

These strategies will help you be more attuned to where your kids are (mentally and emotionally) this winter break, how to support them and how to create better scenarios that decrease misbehavior and meltdowns. 


Tip #1: Know that kids are feeling stressed, too.

Believe it or not, winter break can be pretty stressful for our kids. Their routines are disrupted and they’re more easily dysregulated. They get bored and are spending more time than usual with siblings, if they have them. Adults are often distracted or busy doing other things, so kids might feel left out. There’s also a little bit of a letdown when Christmas and all of the anticipation is over. 

You might see your kid’s complaining and dysregulation as them being selfish or spoiled. I want to offer the idea that your kid is not an entitled, indulgent brat. They’re having an emotion.

What they really need is compassion. You can think things like, “They had something in mind that didn’t work out,” or “Wow, they’re not used to staying up this late,” or “This is a really different kind of day.”


Tip #2: Let your kids know what’s going on.

When routines are disrupted, kids don’t know what to expect. One fun way to include them is to create a calendar where you/they can write down or draw pictures of activities that are coming up. Knowing what’s happening helps us feel more safe. 

Sometimes, people don’t like to tell their kids what’s going on because they’re afraid they’ll be disappointed if plans change. I disagree. Yes, there might be a meltdown and you need to be able to handle that. But in general, it's better to prepare your children and teach them how to handle disappointment than to protect them from ever feeling disappointed. 


Tip #3: Preview challenging situations.

We often tell kids where we’re going, what we’ll be doing there, that we’re leaving in five minutes, etc. But we don’t often talk about what situations might be challenging for our kids. 

There’s an opportunity here to pre-problem-solve. What might come up? Maybe you’re getting ready to open some gifts, and they might get something they don’t like or a duplicate. Talk to them in advance about how they could handle that situation. 

You can even give them specific language to use. How should they respond when someone gives them a gift? What should they do when they want to leave the table? What if they don't want to hug a family member? 


Tip #4: Keep it simple.

During winter break, some days will be exhale days (when you have a lot of activity and it takes a lot of energy) and inhale days (when you rest and recharge). The goal is to balance play and rest. 

Many families have a lot of breathe-out days in a row. There are lots of activities and events, and you might start to see more misbehavior. 

This is a good clue that you need a rest day. It’s almost like a sick day, but without being sick. Your breathing day might look like staying in pajamas, eating soup and snuggling up to watch movies. 

It is also helpful to stick to your routines as much as possible (eating the foods they normally eat, sleeping when they normally sleep). Of course, you’ll be less strict during the holidays. Kids will stay up late, eat more sweets, etc., but too many days in a row of this can throw off your kid’s nervous system and lead to more meltdowns. 


When kids know what to expect with schedules, activities and challenges that may arise, they’ll feel safer and more prepared…especially when they know that you’re on their side.

Mama, you don't have to do it all. You don't have to be perfect. You don't have to say yes to everything. You can say no to extra noise, extra activities, stress and overwhelm. You can take really good care of yourself. And when you do, you’ll be more present for your kids and it will be easier for them to manage their emotions during the break. 

I promise, slowing down to take care of yourself and connect with your kids will be worth it. 

I am wishing you just the absolute best winter break, and if you need help implementing these tips or you just want to meet me to talk about your family, learn more and book a call at 


You’ll Learn:

  • How to get through winter break without feeling exhausted and sick by the end
  • Ways to support your kids and decrease meltdowns
  • What to do when your kid is disappointed by a change in plans or something not going the way they hoped
  • How to find more “sparkle” and delight this winter break

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