Every year I see so many wonderful blog posts with great tips for getting through the Holidays with a newborn. The Holidays and pregnancy are rarely mentioned and so I’ve decided to take some time to put down some tips for enjoying the holidays with your bump! Maybe you have announced your pregnancy and you are expecting a lot of belly rubs from friends and relatives. Perhaps you have not announced yet and you are keeping this beautiful little treasure to yourself for the time being. Either way you will find some ideas in here to help you enjoy the Holidays with your bump!
When you have a new baby people usually won’t question your need for some private space to feed your baby, change a diaper, or get them off for a nap. However, if you are crashed on the couch an hour into a family get together that will usually have people asking some questions! Fatigue in pregnancy is a very real challenge and the Holidays can be really exhausting. Your body is working hard building your baby and that takes energy! I always tell my babies that I “Built them from scratch.” I recall the exhaustion and the 4 hour naps in the first trimester vividly. Pick the most important events and skip the rest. If you were only going to attend that work party because you felt obligated, skip it. If you are looking forward to seeing all your family members at that big family get together make that a priority. Plan ahead and fit in a nap before you go. Pack some high energy snacks in your purse. If all else fails and you do crash after turkey dinner, and your pregnancy hasn't been announced yet, you can always blame the myriad of viruses going around this time of year!
Christmas shopping can also be hugely overwhelming. Pregnancy and new parenthood are what online shopping was made for! You can do most of your shopping from home while drinking hot chocolate and listening to Christmas music! Even your groceries can now be delivered! Have all those baking ingredients brought right to your door, or order them for pick up and give your feet the rest they deserve. The added benefit of shopping online is that you can save some money by comparing prices quickly before purchasing. That money saved can be invested in the many expenses involved in growing your family!
If you have not announced your pregnancy often the big give away is not having any alcoholic drinks. Social drinking tends to be a big part of the Holidays and it can be tricky to navigate this without eliciting some questions. Additionally, you may just miss having a glass of wine with your Christmas supper. Pinterest is filled with great non-alcoholic drink recipes. You could bring a crock pot of yummy hot chocolate and enjoy that. You could even tell people it IS alcoholic and they will never know the difference. Not only will you have the perfect excuse or replacement for an alcoholic drink, but everyone will be raving about that delicious hot cocoa! Don’t forget the marshmallows!
The Holidays are often synonymous with getting dressed up. The glitz and glitter is everywhere. While you should definitely wear whatever you feel most comfortable in whether that’s a tight glitter dress that puts your bump on show or a cute Christmas sweater, comfort is usually at the top of the list in pregnancy. You can glitz things up with some sparkly jewelry while still being comfortable in your leggings or yoga pants. Tunics are a great option as well. They come in so many beautiful styles and are extremely comfortable. If you do wear something that is more stylish than comfortable you can pack an extra outfit in the car just in case. A comfy outfit in the car is really just a pregnancy must all the time. If you’re not quite feeling that dress or heels by evening you can switch out into something equally pretty but a bit more comfy.
Big events with lots of people who you may not see the rest of the year tend to be a hotbed for unsolicited advice and terrifying birth stories. The intention is always good, but the result can be quite stressful and overwhelming. Prepare some lines ahead of time to help turn conversations in a different direction if you start to feel uncomfortable or upset. If your aunt had a traumatic birth or your cousin has some child rearing tips that are not your style you will be ready ahead of time to kindly change the topic. Things like “I’m so glad that worked for you, by the way what have you and little Jimmy been up to?” or “I’m sorry that happened to you” and then steering the topic to her pretty necklace or your yummy hot chocolate. It’s also Ok to simply be honest. These are just some tips to help keep things light if you wish.
Lastly, and most importantly, enjoy yourself! Be kind to yourself, and enjoy this time with friends and family. Enjoy the yummy food and the extra love and attention, because you deserve it! You are working hard even if/when you are napping on the couch!