This is it, people. The season of parenting Olympics is upon us, and as a 20-year survivor of the most exhausting of months, I’d like to offer some hard-earned advice. After all, we don’t want a repeat of 2009, do we?
- Just say no. No to making an extra batch of homemade sprinkle cupcakes for your first-grader’s teacher (she wants cash, anyway!). No to hosting a mother-daughter holiday tea for Scout Troop 176. And a big, fat no to anything that involves glitter and/or licking more than 11 envelopes. Your time is precious and so is your sanity. Prioritize these above all else.
- If you ignored No. 1 and said yes to Elf on the Shelf, there’s not a lot I can do for you now. My best advice is a late arrival (“Pickleknuckle’s flight was delayed. Stupid ATL.”) and a fake broken leg (“Honey, it’s really hard for PK to move around. Santa said he should stay put.”) And next year, be smarter: “PK stops coming around once you turn 5. You’re too old!”
- Clearly articulate plans to all parties in advance, and if possible, in writing. Having definitive dates, times and locations ahead of time allows for the necessary mental and emotional preparation of dealing with in-laws, politically polarizing family and sugar-cookie-crazed rugrats and provides opportunity for the stockpiling of Maker’s and the orchestration of multiple escape routes.
- Amazon Prime.
- Make lists. Check them twice. Gifts, chores, grocery, honey-do, Netflix must-watches, “Reasons I Should Be Mom of the Year,” whatever. Staying organized and self-affirmation are key to surviving December.
Along with numbers 1 through 4.