It is the holiday season. If there is one thing that makes this clear, it must be the sheer number of kids in the hoods, the many family functions, and the number of friends who are on leave. Admittedly, this is the second of all school holidays I am actually enjoying, living in the moment. My son started school in January this year. His first school holiday was in April. I became totally disoriented. While he had adapted to his school routine, the holidays disrupted this routine – the result? A confused and flustered kid, and that meant one thing – Tantrums.
The first days were crazy! Yet amid all this, I still had to work. I have mentioned here before that I am a WAHM – a Work At Home Mom. And nothing comes close to making you pull your hair, or socks, than when you are trying to submit a job and the little mammal thinks it’s the perfect time to practice typing letters on your yet-to-be-submitted job. This was such a frustrating period. I remember once I called my friend L (she of the best baby shower I ever attended), and broke down in tears telling her I hated the holiday season for many reasons.
One of the things that she said, and which has stuck with me to-date is that as much as I was in the initial stages of healing from Postpartum Depression, I was still too negative. True to her word, my mind was fixated on the tantrums, the ugly sobs and the heavy hearts. Many days he spent in tears, and I weighed down by guilt. That he’d cry all day made me unsettled, I couldn’t concentrate at work either. The month ended and it was bitter sweet. Bitter because time had elapsed and I still had not found a practical solution or way to go around the whole ‘holiday menace’; sweet because I’d have some more time to weigh the options before me.
August would begin in earnest, and I thought to myself I was now ready for the holiday season. The month flew by with its highs and lows. While it was still better than the April holidays, I had days when all I wanted to do was retreat to a corner and shut the world out. Still, I remembered L’s words: Stop anticipating the bad stuff, and work each day as it comes. There were days when he’d cry for no apparent reason, or I’d lash out at him in a fit of anger, then get burdened by the guilt. But there were also amazing days when the light in his eyes shone all day. Even then, I somewhat dreaded the December school holidays. Not only are they longer, they are also characterized by so many functions and events.
This December, I am glad to say things are oh-so much better. Not perfect – better. Between August and December, I learned what works best for my son and I – routines. J loves routines, solid structures that somewhat prepare him for what to expect. This way, his internal balance remains intact, and my sanity does not fly through the roof. The different routines I have put in place have, so far, worked out pretty well. I am glad I discovered this. I look forward to sharing more about routines that have worked for us in subsequent posts.
Until then, enjoy your December holidays!