It's the most wonderful time of the year!
But.....how does that work when you might not exactly feel wonderful? How you feel from day to day of your pregnancy isn't exactly predictable. Throw in the exciting chaos of the holiday season, and it's easy to feel overwhelmed. To get you through the end of the year with as much peace as possible, Your Utah Doulas has a handy little acronym to share: CHEER.
1. Cool Your Expectations
If you begin to notice that you're struggling to keep up, stay rested, or enjoy the holidays, then it's time to slow down. Your body is doing the hard work of growing your sweet baby. Cut yourself some slack. You can always reassess and adjust later.
2. Help Avoid Problems With Clarity
It's easy for moms to put their personal needs aside and focus on the people around them. But doing so, especially in moments of high activity, can cause more trouble than it solves. Be honest with yourself about what you're needs are. And then communicate those clearly to the people around you. "That won't work for me" is a great line to keep in your back pocket.
3. Embrace a Handful of Activities
Now just because you're lowering the bar, doesn't mean that you need to give up the activities that you love. It just means that you have the opportunity to be choosy. If you're on bedrest of any sort, take some time to plan out small and meaningful activities to brighten your Christmas. You may not be able to go running through the snow, but you can definitely cut out and string paper snowflakes!
4. Enjoy the Moment
It can be hard to keep your mind focused on what you're doing in any given. Mindfulness is key. Take the time to stop and tap into the moment. Feel the soft blanket on your lap. Hear the music playing in the background. Taste the tea in your mug. Savor the moment. Doing so will not only help rejuvenate you, but will let you commit these moments to memory.
5. Reach Out to Family and Friends
Sometimes being pregnant is hard. We understand. That's why it's so important to have a network of people you can reach out to. Ask for a friend to take your older children to the neighborhood Christmas party. Let your significant other know you need them to stop and pick up premade frosting and sugar cookies. Call your sister and have her add the last few gifts into her shopping cart at Target, and then have her sit on the couch with you and eat the badly decorated cookies from the night before. You don't have to figure it all out alone.
Pregnancy can be a magical and thrilling time. It can also be hard and lonely. Please take care of yourself this holiday season. You're doing better than you know!
From our hearts here at Your Utah Doulas to you, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Maura + Kasaundra