The holidays are over, and the thrill of the new year has worn off. It’s the third week of January, and let’s face it, we’re just plain cold. Every winter I hit a slump. The Christmas lights come down, carols are replaced with whatever popular music my seventeen-year-old is blaring. My grand commitments on New Year’s Eve have already been broken. The snow feels more wet than magical, and I feel like spring may never come again. How can I take good care of my family when I just feel down in the dumps? Over the years I have discovered a few things that help me get through the post-holiday blahs.
Get your calendar out and schedule the next month. Set up times to see friends. Plan a trip to an indoor playground or swimming pool. Host a get-together at your house. (Nothing gets my rear in gear like knowing that ten people are about to show up!) Schedule a date with your spouse and confirm the babysitter.
This season is what it is. If you live in a cold climate like we do, you aren’t going to get the roof fixed, start training for a marathon, or hang that tire swing your kids have been begging for. That’s ok. If you watch a few extra movies while snuggled up with your kids, that’s great. If you run a warm bath for your kids, fix them hot cocoa, and breathe in deeply, that’s wonderful. You will be back into the rush of things before you know it.
You remembered to send your kids with gloves every day this week? Good for you! You took your children to the dentist? You are amazing! You made fish sticks for dinner? You are awesome! You are a stellar mom. I’m proud of you, and you should be proud too. Give yourself permission to pat yourself on the back every now and then. You will go through times in your life when you feel like you are at a standstill. You’re not. You’re still moving, you’re still caring for your children, and you are still killing it at being a mom. Yay!
Even during the down times, there is still so much to be grateful for. Say these things out loud. Teach your children gratitude through your language and actions. Being grateful will change your attitude. When you thank the Lord for a warm car, suddenly the icy windshield doesn’t seem so bad. When you thank God for the warm glow of your favorite lamp, the twentieth dreary day in a row doesn’t seem so glum.
Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.