With our world ever-changing from the technological advancements, moving away from family is just a normal part of our culture.
As a mom with little ones, this can be a struggle during the holidays.
What happens if your family lives in another state or another country? How do you stay truly connected in spite of Skype of Face Time?
With the holidays coming, the thought of not sitting next to your father or sharing a hug with your sister may seem sad.
But, there is no need to struggle during the holidays with out family.
Use these tips to encourage your holiday cheer this season.
The Move Away from Family
Moving has become a norm in this day in age.
Frequently, whole families disperse all over the globe once children are grown. Sometimes, life plants you down with children where you least expect it.
There is so much transition as a mother, years actually.
Motherhood expresses itself as a transition from one phase to the next. It is always full of unexpected moments. First, the baby years, then the toddler years, and on into childhood, finishing with adult children!
The holidays often make us sentimental about childhood.
Holidays surround traditions and make the mark of what many consider family time.
I’m sure you can easily recall from your childhood the traditions, the foods, the places, and all the things you did. Hold onto this thought as we continue on.
This recollection can cause many mothers during those first holidays away from family to be a struggle.
I know I’ve been there. My family is in Michigan; however, I am raising my own family on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Needless to say, flights back every holiday season just is not feasible.
Then, add in my husband’s family in Utah. Our family is all over the place. It’s not like we’re going to drive to this Grandma on Christmas Eve, and that Grandma on Christmas Day.
There are many starter families and young moms out there scattered from loved ones.
It’s hard enough being away from family on holidays but then when you have your own little ones, it can become a struggle for some.
There can be thoughts about your kids not being with their grandparents, aunties, and uncles. It can put a damper on your holiday cheer. Then, you realize, you’re the mom.
Mothers are often the keepers of the home. They set the tone. They make the meals(most of the time). So what to do when you’re the mom away from mom? This is where the fun comes in.
Tips for Overcoming Feeling Lonely During the Holidays
Reframe Your Thinking
It’s up to you mom! This can be looked at with a grumbly attitude, or can be seen as a magnificent opportunity.
Maybe when you were young, you always wanted something different on the holidays that your family never did.
Now, you get to do that thing or make that dish. For example, my mom never made green bean casserole on thanksgiving. The french onion commercials would make my mouth water. I would beg and plead, she just didn’t make it.
Well, once I hosted thanksgiving dinner, I made all the things:
- Homemade Sourdough Stuffing
- Green Bean Casserole
- Mashed Potatoes
- Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon and Marshmallows
- Pumpkin Pie AND Carmel Apple Pie
- Sweet Rolls
- Sparkling Pomegranate Juice
And, you know what else? We had dinner at 12. It used to drive me nuts as a kid waiting through the delicious smells for what seemed like hours and hours. This simple tradition of my own helped me to overcome that initial struggle being away from my family.
Maybe cooking just isn’t your thing. Get creative and have fun with Thanksgiving traditions. At the end of the day, as you look back over the years, you’ll see that your kids will forever remember the traditions you set into play.
Make Memories for Your Children to Look Back On
- Have dinner early
- Make seasonal crafts together as a family
- Play a board game (pick the same one you’ll do every year)
- Journal as a family your gratitudes and tell each other about it
- Watch a special movie at night reserved just for that day
- Go out Hiking together as a family
- Invite friends over who may not have family around either
- Ask your kids what would make it special for them
When you set the tone with a Thanksgiving that is full of joy and love, it makes Christmas all the more anticipated to get to instead of the other way around.
Christmas always captivates the heart of children.
It took me a few years to really get into the swing of our Christmas traditions. Christmas is the holiday that despite where someone is, they fly home. There’s even songs about it.
So, if you can’t make it “home” by Christmas, it’s okay. And trust me, you will probably end up enjoying it maybe even more.
I had a hard time with Christmas the first few years I was away from home.
But then, it hit me that I need to enjoy this day for my children to look back on. Now my boys are 6 and 7, and they are like any other kid. They are super excited for Christmas.
Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season. To truly enjoy the day of Christmas, have fun in the festivities leading up to the actual Christmas Day. Make the entire month of December a month full of wonderful memories for your whole family.
My boys love helping me in the kitchen to make lots of tasty treats and goodies. My personal favorite are raw truffles. Just because it’s a goodie, doesn’t mean it can’t be healthy. Try this easy recipe here.
- Special once a year breakfast
- Watch Christmas movies the month of December
- Your own special decorations
- Make lots of cookies and give them to your neighbors
- Send Christmas cards in the mail
- Play a board game on Christmas Day
- Special food dishes, let the whole family plan the feast
- Sing hymns and carols together
- Scope Pinterest for Holiday games and play with each other
- Christmas art time as a family
- Read Aloud a Christmas Book
- Wait until a few days before Christmas to put up tree to build the anticipation
- Go outside for the afternoon and play in nature
- Make handmade packages and send them to family back home
- Have fun being the parent and getting all the morning presents ready
- Have a themed gift exchange
- Go to a Christmas concert
- Volunteer at a soup kitchen
The holiday season can be the happiest time of the year. Enjoy being in the role motherhood offers.
You’re in the driver seat with the entire world of possibility to create memories of joy to cherish a lifetime.
I would love to hear some of your family traditions for the holidays. Let me and other imperfectly perfect mamas hear your holiday traditions. Even if you haven’t created them yet, share the inspiration of your ideas below.