When it comes to holiday shopping as a parent, these are things I wished someone had told me during this parenting thing.
1. Don’t allow anyone to make you feel bad about not getting gifts.
2. Don’t allow yourself to question your motherhood/Fatherhood if you can't afford everything on your kids' “list.”
3: And please understand paying your bills is more important than gifts under a tree.
I speak from experience. I remember a few holiday seasons and birthdays, stressing, crying, and skipping bills to give my kids and others everything. I'm not saying people shouldn’t celebrate during the holiday season, but I acknowledge that most PARENTS provide throughout the year. Talk to your babies. They are more understanding than you think. Don’t cause stress and trauma for yourself. If your cup is empty, you are no good to them, babies. Trust me; most would much rather have an active, healthy parent than an inactive, stressed-out one.
Ask your child to list every item they received for Christmas last year. Do they remember? Are they still utilizing it? Ask them if they would instead like to receive gifts all year or just once a year. Now, ask them what is their favorite memory with you this year. I bet they can recall that over a present, and if not, begin creating memories because those outlast gifts.
Moral of the Story: Sometimes, we cause our own stress by having imaginary obligations and engaging in traditions that we may not still believe in at the core. Not having a gift for your child does not make you a "bad" parent. Are you making sure your child is cared for? Fed? Clothed? etc.? Then pick your head up and remember you are a dope mother and a fantastic father. Don't allow society to guilt trip you into thinking you are a terrible parent. It's one day out of 365. You show up and do a dang good job all 365!!! One day does not define you!
If you need assistance with processing any guilt that lingers, book your free mental health check-in today! Blessings to all, and Happy Holidays.
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