You spent 18+ years raising your kids. During that time you developed some holiday traditions that you’ve tried to keep going from year to year. Sometimes it’s easier than others. That extra effort that you put into making this time of year memorable can be difficult to maintain once your kids have moved out of your house. So, is it time that you changed your traditions to match your current stage of life?
It’s so wonderful to have your family together over the holidays. However, as your kids grow and age and move on with their lives, this isn’t always so easy to do. My kids now live in different states and on opposite sides of the country. They have jobs, school commitments and friends. When/if they get married, they’ll have other families as well. All of these other things to consider in their lives mean that I can’t just say be here on this day, at this time so that I can see you and enjoy your company. Our time together has to be convenient and work for both of us.
So, even if I want to continue previous holiday traditions they may not work in our current lives. I find this to be bittersweet. Some of those traditions felt so good. We all enjoyed them. But, they also were hard to maintain since they meant extra effort and planning on my part. I admit to being tired during the holidays because of trying to do things just right. I’m both sad & happy to see some traditions left behind.
For me, several years ago, I started to let go of the desire to make things ‘just right’ during the holidays. I began to shift my goals and efforts as my kids got older. I now miss some of those previous traditions, but I find that in my current stage of life, the ones that mean the most have remained in my life.
Not all moms find it easy to make this shift. Some cling to the past and try to recreate it each and every year, only to find it harder and harder to get everyone together. They find it hard to coordinate or even get participation from their kids.
When this happens, i always suggest that you connect to yourself. What is it that prevents you from accepting that life has shifted? What keeps you from moving forward towards your current life stage?
If you are one who is clinging to the past traditions even though it gets harder and harder to continue them, then ask yourself what is really important to you? Is it that you are together with your loved ones? Is it a day of peace and no stress? Is it being of service to others? Is it something else?
When you take a little time to uncover what is most important to you, then you will be able to adjust your current holiday traditions to match who you are in this stage of life.
Not everything was meant to continue on year after year with no expiration date. I’m very glad that I don’t have to do some of the things that I had to do when my kids were younger. It was exhausting at times and I’m happy to move on to other things. However, I’m also happy to continue those traditions that still work for both myself, my kids and my family. It takes the pressure off. It helps me to enjoy the holidays even more.
In the end, what is most important is creating a holiday season that works for you. If it lifts you up and you are happy, then it’s working. If it’s full of stress and has you dreading it each year, then it’s not.
So, are your holiday traditions still working well for you? Do you need to shift and do something different now that your kids are older and have moved out of your house?
I’d love to hear if you’ve given up something & found that something else is a better fit for you. Leave me a comment & share your thoughts.