Parent Holiday Realities

Dec 22, 2023
Written by: Erin Beene
Photo submitted by Jen Turner

Most parents won’t admit it, but being a parent is both the absolute best thing in the world and, simultaneously, the worst. Some painfully honest parents will admit that the tiny joyful moments and everlasting love feelings we have for our kids don’t always squash the overwhelming stress, confusion, discipline and tiredness that also comes with holiday parenting. It can be difficult to discern the “true joy” of the Christmas season with the “true stress” that is constantly building at the same time. Instagram-worthy pictures with smiling, dressed up kids don’t usually happen by accident.

For every beautiful smiling face, there is often an invisible, stressed-out parent in the background. But it’s all worth it for the memories made, right?


So, if Christmas parenting isn’t stressful enough, let’s add the pressure of finding the best, most thought-out and sometimes painfully expensive gift for your child to make it magical! If you haven’t yet managed to figure out what that will be yet, keep reading; we have some ideas.


What can you give your kids as a last minute, hail-mary gift that will save the holiday spirit we all so long for?
The secret gift: I don’t know.


Parents give and give, especially during the holidays. So, here’s what Moms and Dads can give THEMSELVES at the last minute to try to save the joy of the holiday spirit.


Yes, a present for you, not the kids. Take note: this holiday is about you too! Parents sometimes forget that the joy starts with you. If you’re too busy worrying about making a perfectly decorated house or forcing Christmas merriment, the kids notice the facade, trust me.


I’m not suggesting that you not get your kids any gifts. They are a great way to spread joy. But, there are millions of articles out there about what to get your kids (try a consumer magazine or mom blog) but this article is about YOU. What to get you, the parent, that will make the holiday better for you and, in turn, better for those kiddos that you love more than anything in the world. And it’s FREE!


Give yourself the chance to enjoy Christmas Day.
Give yourself a deep breath,
Give yourself a chance to stay in pajamas all day.
Give yourself some alone time with your partner (When the kids are sleeping or sneak off for a scandalous break)
Give yourself an extra cup of coffee to remember the reason we have this time
Give yourself an excuse to take a nap after lunch and let the kids play with toys or watch a Christmas movie
Give yourself a time to really not worry about what anyone else thinks and don’t compare your holiday to anyone else’s.
Give yourself a chance to really and truly enjoy the day. You only get it once a year!
YOU got this! Happy Holidays, (it’s a time for the parents too!)


*Huge thanks to all the parents who submitted the “Holiday Fail Photos” on our Facebook page. We were not able to include them all in the paper, but we LOVED seeing them! Please continue to send us photos of yourself and families for chances to be featured in the newspaper. The Northern Sentry is a community newspaper, built specifically for
“Sharing your Minot AFB Adventure”

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