A Working Mom’s Guide To Navigate The Festive Season With Kids

A routine brings comfort and consistency to a child’s life, but festivities can prove to be an obstacle to these routines. As a working parent, here’s how to find the right groove for you and your child.

By D Tejaswi
23 Oct 2022

Kids thrive on stable, consistent routines. I experienced this personally when I slowly transitioned to full-time work after my maternity leave. Sure, we had an initial adjustment period, which was as bumpy as any parent could expect, but my one-year-old and I stuck to a routine consistently, and it helped us immensely. That definitely doesn’t mean that there weren’t any bad days involved!

Around this time last year, my team was busy preparing pitches to lock in a big client. Simultaneously, my child was struggling with separation anxiety as I had just begun working again. The stress of work and ensuring my child’s well-being had me at my wit’s end. Things really got out of hand when I had to leave a party and head home because my daughter was too overwhelmed with all the commotion.

I learnt my lesson the hard way. Now I parent mindfully, balancing my child’s needs and mine. This festive season, I have a game plan and a few rules to make sure that my daughter is comfortable amid the festive frenzy. Here are the seven things that I plan to do differently this year:


Related story: 6 Things Never To Say To Children About Food


1. I’ll change the sleep time but not the sleep duration: Last year, my child physically displayed what sleep deprivation can do to young children, from uncontrollable screaming to hurling toys out of annoyance. Even being woken up 40 minutes too early led to my child being irritable the entire day, which ultimately delayed my festive plans and definitely didn’t help my mood. So, this year, I resolved to slightly tweak my child's bedtime while being careful not to change their overall sleep duration. According to studies, a child's sleep duration has a direct impact on their cognitive and physical development.


2. I’ll offer a balanced breakfast to my daughter to set the tone for the day: First things first: a balanced breakfast for my daughter will help her stay active. It’ll kick start her metabolism, and help her stay physically active throughout the day. I’ve made a point to prepare a weekly list of balanced breakfasts well in advance so that my daughter won’t miss out on the essential nutrition, helping avoid mood swings and crankiness. Studies find that roaring stomachs cause children to be cranky, hyperactive and aggressive.


Related story: 6 Ways To Help Your Child Develop Healthy Eating Habits


Here’s what my breakfast menu for my kid looks like:

  • Monday - Oats + Fruit
  • Tuesday - French toast + Milk
  • Wednesday - Egg muffins + Granola
  • Thursday - Strawberry smoothie + Roasted chickpeas
  • Friday - Vegetable tofu scramble
  • Saturday - Hummus with carrot/cucumber
  • Sunday - Whole grain toast with mashed avocado


3. I’ll avoid back-to-back late nights: Last year, I noticed that when I spent the night before a festival organising, making decorations, or making festive snacks, some of my stress was unconsciously felt by my child. I've made a point in my calendar for this year to avoid having back-to-back late-nights, and I plan to readily decline invitations to allow myself (and my child) some downtime. I have included some options such as creating concrete but short-term goals for the festival, and refraining from getting bogged down in the finer details (be it food, planning the party, shopping or decor). Instead, I am aiming to take gradual breaks by spending some time watching television, reading a book or meditating. It’ll help release the stress from my body, and maintain sustained energy both for me and my daughter.


Related story: What Is Your Parenting Style


4. I’ll include an anchoring habit for the festive days to help my kid be in control: Festive days are a bit unpredictable, and so, I understand that, my everyday life will be different than what it is every day. This year, I've made it a point to take the lead and ensure that my daughter's anchoring routines, like colouring at midday and helping her read a book before bed, are met. When you have an anchor in place, regardless of all the changes, there is a sense of continuity and safety for your child.


Related story: How To Encourage Your Child To Be Active


5. I’ll include some fun-filled party games for my daughter: Kids always look to be included. They might get disappointed when they feel left out while you’re busy entertaining your guests. So, while I play cards, I’ve planned to give her something interesting too. For instance, I can have her play scrabble or a word game with words related to the festival of Diwali to make it a fun party for her too.


Related story: How To Inculcate Body Positivity In Your Child


6. I’ll use time-saving hacks to get the most done in the least amount of time: In addition to my regular meetings and looking after my child, I (like all other working moms) have additional demands that obviously require more time during festivals. This year, I am using a virtual assistant to become more productive, minus the stress. Secondly, I am going to set two deadlines for any task I take up. Having two deadlines serves as a buffer if something goes wrong. As a result, I have more time to do other things, and finding a better balance between my family and my job.


Related story: Fun Ideas To Keep Your Kids Active And Limit Screen Time


7. I’ll employ mini routines throughout the day: Mini-routines for me personally, are the smartest way to go about managing life with a child. These small but significant aspects like fixed nap time, consistent snack schedule, 15-minute TV time helps my daughter predict the day and what it’s going to bring. She knows what to expect and what not to. Also, mini routines provide me the freedom to tweak our routine without stressing out my daughter.


Related story: How To Ease Playground Anxiety For Your Child






Follow Us On Instagram