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Dec. 20, 2021

Episode 26: Avoiding Those Grown-Up Christmas Meltdowns

Episode 26: Avoiding Those Grown-Up Christmas Meltdowns

Last episode, DJ brought you 10 tips to help your child avoid a Christmas meltdown. In this episode, she’s bringing all you overcommitted, trying-to-exceed-everyone’s-expectations, grown-ups out there some tips to avoid your own meltdown as you navigate your way through the busy holiday season.

Avoid your own spontaneous combustion and stay tuned for this episode! DJ gets real with her advice for all you parents out there trying to make Christmas perfect for everyone and poses some important questions like, how realistic are you being with your time and what aspects of the holiday season bring you the most joy? Tune in to hear more!

Listen to this episode and treat yourself to some down time while doing it! It is important as we navigate our way through the busy holidays to make space in our schedule for down time to regenerate and recharge. Are you purposefully scheduling that kind of time for a break from the overwhelm? Do it now! Do it for yourself! Do it for everyone else around you! You will be rejuvenated and better for everyone else if you do!

Making time for rest, letting go of the need for perfection, only committing to the things that bring you joy are all great ways to avoid your own Christmas time meltdown. Tune in to this episode to hear DJ share more on these tips and many others that will help you count your blessings and be grateful for things exactly the way they are.

BY THE TIME YOU FINISH LISTENING, YOU’LL UNDERSTAND several great tools you can implement immediately to avoid the overwhelm that can sometimes come with trying to be everything to everybody this holiday season.

Are you taking time for yourself or doing things a little differently this year to avoid being overcommitted and feeling burnt out this holiday season? Please share it with us and tag us on Facebook or Instagram @littleheartsacademy

Connect with the host:

DJ Stutz:





DJ Stutz  0:13  
You're listening to Episode 26 of Imperfect Heroes, insights Into Parenting, the perfect podcast for imperfect parents looking to find joy in their experience of raising children in an imperfect world. I'm your host, DJ Stutz. In my last episode, I gave 10 ideas on how to avoid those Christmas meltdown. But let's face it, the meltdowns are not always limited to the kids. And when so many expectations, visiting friends and families, gifts to buy school parties, kids out of school, and the list goes on, the stress can really get to you. So how do you manage it all without losing your mind? This week's Top 10 Ideas are for you. There's so much to learn. So let's get started. Before we

get going, I want to let you know that we have a new website for the podcast, And there, you're going to be able to follow us, you're going to be able to leave a review. It's so easy. And you can also click on the contact button. And you'll be able to reach me it's all right there in this one spot. How would you like to start this new year on a positive path? And I know that the last couple years actually has been so difficult in so many different ways. And next year, we'll surely have more issues that we'll be dealing with. But what if you made a decision that would help you take control of the things that you can control? Do something that would provide you with more knowledge and confidence in the most important task of your life? That task of raising confident, strong, kind, and thoughtful children? Honestly, can you think of anything that would mean more to the world, coaches are common part of society, and we use coaches to help us lose weight, to get in shape, to become better athletes to get better at our jobs, and the list just goes on. So why not use a coach to help us with the most important job we will ever do? Raising those strong moral and independent kids. So Little Hearts Academy USA offers one on one and group coaching to help you create those loving and lasting relationships with your children. As you strengthen your family in a way that will impact generations, give me a call at 720-989-6475. And let's discuss ways that we can make life better. So be sure to listen to the end of the episode for that post credit scene if you will, and get in on a special offer for those who linger longer. And if you enjoyed today's episode, please leave me a rating and review. You can again just go to that podcast website. And just so you know, five stars is the appropriate number of stars. And I'd love to hear what you're thinking. I really do depend on those comments and thoughts as I develop our program in the podcast. So last week, we talked about how to avoid those Christmas meltdowns with our kids. But let's face it, grownups wind up over planning, they overdo. They set the standard way too high. And then we worry about making things just perfect for our family. But we miss out on time just enjoying them as we plan for the perfect holiday. One of the benefits, I think of that this COVID craze is that things have actually slowed down. And so many events that we are used to so many of our traditions are not really possible a little more than last year. But we still have these limitations that are going on when we've got the supply chain issues. And so things that we normally do may not be available this year as we would like to plan. But perhaps this year, we will learn just like the who's down in Neuville. That Christmas perhaps means a little bit more. So how do we decide on what is truly important and what is just fun? And what we can let go of? Well, let's look at number one. I want you to Think about things that you really enjoy doing. These are the things that are going to just totally bring you joy, your favorite parts of the holiday. And just do those. If it isn't fun and rewarding, it probably isn't worth doing. So sit down, look at the list of things you have left to do, and start crossing stuff off, maybe put a star or something, by the things that you really, really want to hang on to. Number two, let's be realistic about the time that you have and how long it's going to take to accomplish things. So a lot of stress comes when you're trying to pack in things that you really don't have time for. So as you're looking at the things that you're going to be doing for your family this year, really sit down and think about how much time is this going to take? And where is it in my schedule that I can fit this in? So if you have a tradition of making certain kinds of pies, and so Okay, figure out how much time am I going to need to spend making these pies. Or maybe there's a special cookie, or a ton of cookies. I've had friends that make, you know, 1012 different kinds of cookies every year. So how long is that really going to take from your time, and then look at is there a place that there's enough time to really fit this into my schedule. So don't try to pack in things that there just really isn't the time for look at it with a very realistic and kind of set yourself apart from the emotion of it. But we always do that. Yeah, what would happen if we didn't. But if it's something that you truly love doing, definitely make time to do that. But if it's just become

a hassle, it's like, oh, everyone expects me to have this done, right? And so you're doing it, but it's not something that you truly find joy in accomplishing, then that might be something that you want to let go of. Remember that this is number three. Remember that downtime is really important for yourself and for your kids. So we talked about this as being something last week, that you really want to make sure that your kids have that downtime, so that they can regenerate and recharge. But you need to make sure that you have that to you maybe don't skip out on that date night, or something that is special. For just the two of you plan for maybe a quiet storytime, a walk in the park with the kids or without the kids, maybe you just need to go and get in the fresh air for a little bit alone. And so maybe you can trade with a friend, or you can have your spouse, watch the kids for a little bit while you're out. And then you watch them while they go out and do what it is that they like to do. It could be making sure that you get that time to go to the gym, maybe it's just driving around to see the Christmas lights, the kids get so excited, and they still love to do that. I'd like to do that with my grandkids. And we'll go out and they're so excited Christmas lights. And that's regenerating or rejuvenating for me. Because for me, it's calm. And I love seeing the kids being excited. And it's a traditional thing that that actually is easy to do. So think about it in that way. What are some things that will be calming and rejuvenating? And are you getting to bed on time? Are you getting the sleep that you need? Order a pair of earplugs if you've got a lot of family coming over and and there's all these additional noises that are in the house that can help you that can keep you from getting the sleep that you actually really need. So think about how am I taking care of my self, and then making sure that my kids have that downtime, so that they're not running around crazy, as well. And so this kind of pulls into the number four, which is making sure that you're getting enough sleep, and no one appreciates a grumpy parent trying to make everyone else happy. Right? Oh, we're gonna do this, but you're grumpy about it because you're stinking tired, right? So don't forget to stick to the kids napping schedule and their bedtime routines as much as you can. I know that things are kind of a little crazy for the next few weeks. But if you can keep that going if you have time to take a quick nap while the kids are asleep, or maybe you're going to take advantage of that time to get a few things done without them in your hair, if they're nappers, and so just make sure that you're getting the rest. And you'll feel much better. When you're not dealing with tired, grumpy children, you're going to feel much better, and everyone else is going to feel much better when they're not dealing with a tired, grumpy you. So something to think about. Number five. So we all know what too much sugar does to our kids, right? But do we really pay attention to what it does to us? I know for me, if I have way too much sugar, I really feel horrible. My stomach gets upset, and I just feel all wirey I get headaches. And I still like to eat sugar. But I think that as I really pay attention to what that intake is, and how I'm feeling I don't want to be bloated and and just not feeling well. So pay attention to the kind of in the amount of sugar. And you're actually going to be a little happier when you step on the scale in January, as well. Be sure that you're drinking enough water to help you with that takes some healthy food snacks with you so that you're not always munching down the cookies and the candy and everything that is surrounding you. But maybe say today, I am going to just have some snacks on carrots and cucumbers or, or whatever it is. But man, it does make your body feel so much better. And if you're feeling better, you're not going to be as stressed. And you probably won't have the kind of meltdowns that are possible. When you're overdone. Those sugar highs happened to parents.

So number six, just remember, things don't have to be perfect. Kids don't remember how the wrapping looked. No one is checking your house with a white glove. And if they are, you are free to invite them to take their white glove somewhere else. Correct. But just know that if people are just enjoying one another, they're talking, they're sharing, there's that laughing that goes on in the kitchen when you know everyone is together and working together. When people come and visit that things are just gonna happen screw barley. And that's okay. If you listen to my episode, last week, I shared a story. And I'm not going to do a whole thing because it was just there last week. And I'd love for you to go listen to that episode. But I talked about one year I had this big plan. And I went and made all these arrangements. And I went out of my way and and I had this vision in my mind how this was going to be so spiritual, and it was going to connect my children to the negativity and what happened and it just in my face. And it's funny that we I never did it again. I only tried it that one time, but it comes up every year, somebody brings up the Great Shepherd, search for baby Jesus. Wiseman, you know, Christmas. And, and we and we laugh about it. Sometimes when things don't go the way that you planned us, okay? Know that this is going to be a great story to tell down the road. And so just don't be so attached to how you want things to go, how you want people to react, because you can't control any of that. And so realize that some things are going to go better than you thought. Other things are going to be a mess, and not go at all what you thought it was going to be. But that's okay. Things don't have to be perfect. And in fact, it is often those imperfections, those things that do blow up that are the favorite stories in your succumb and that might make it a little easier for you to deal with some of those things when it all happens. So number seven is very closely related, I think is just remember that you're not able to please everyone. It's impossible. So quit trying. Quit trying to do the impossible. It's okay if you can't make it to, you know, 8000 parties, or you have a friend or a neighbor that's having a party and maybe you've got something else going on that night or during that day or Maybe you're just too tired and you need some time, at home alone with your kids, it's okay to say that and there might be some, you know, little hurt feelings over that. And you want to be sensitive in how you say it. And, you know, and remembering them and remembering the time and the effort that is going into their event. But you really don't have to be there for everything, it's just going to wear you out. So think about, here's what you can do, right? Here's what time I have, and plan it out.

So one of the things that I found was really interesting. And I think we talked about this back in the episode about decluttering. The holidays with Rene Fick, who is amazing. I just love her and her attitude and her outlook, she's really got a great handle on things. But she gave the idea of when you do the advent calendar, that you know you have a little candies or whatever, but make it an experiential thing or something that you're going to do every day with your kids that's fun and simple. So maybe it is something like bake cookies, or on this date, we're going to wrap presence, or on this day, we're going to go visit grandma and grandpa, or on this day, we have our school parties that we're going to be going to and on this day we have the church party, or the community or neighborhood party, whatever it is. So there's just one main event for each day that might help you in keeping things tracked and not overloading. This is the one thing for this day in our advent calendar. And you could put, they have all kinds of different ones. But you could put what's going on that day, roll it up on a paper, roll it up and put it in, and then in the morning, we can pull that out and read it to the kids Oh, this is what we're doing today. And that makes it really fun. It's bringing the kids in on it. And it's also helping you to keep from overloading your day. And so, you know, that's something that you can do. And you don't have to do it all. And you're not going to make everybody happy. But that's impossible. Anyway, that's just a good thing to ruin your own Christmas is when you're trying to make everyone else happy. So something to think about. And then think about unless baking brings you joy. Remember that there are bakeries that do a great job. So I was talking to the speech pathologist at my school just a few days ago. And she was saying that she has a best friend, her family is not in town. And she has a best friend and they have spent their Thanksgiving together for years. And they've gotten it down. And so they do a turkey and whatever. But then they order in the side dishes from a market. And there's a very popular Italian market called Tony's in the Denver area, and they do a really good job with sides. You have to plan ahead and get your order in early enough so that you can get it in because there is a limit on how much that Tony's can do. But if you get think about that and get things in early enough, fine, that's great. Do you have to make all those pies if you love doing it, do it. But if not, then you know there's Sam's Club, there's Costco, there are other places there are ton of bakeries, where you can order pies or cakes. Villa Jen is still around, at least here they are. And it's really popular to order pies from there. So really kind of think about what is it that is a hassle? And what is it that you love to do? Sometimes it's putting things together in the kitchen, and you've got people in there with you. And you're all talking and laughing and sharing stories. And that is more important than the actual food that comes out of that experience. And so maybe you want to do that baking because that extra experience of sharing it with family and friends is as important or more important than the food that comes out. But if there are other things that you would like to do if you're stuck in baking and and you'd rather be watching the football game, or you'd rather be out with them, you know tromping around in the snow or helping the kids play with their new toys. What is important to you. And then there are other ways to accomplish the important things that need to happen. Do you need to make the pie crusts by hand? Or can you just buy the frozen ones out of the freezer? I like my handmade pie crust. But my husband says it's just takes too long, and it's too messy. So you're like, just use these. And so Okay, so we use those, and then things become much simpler. And that's kind of fun, isn't it? All right,

we're up to number nine. So when things get a little bit overwhelming, take a minute to look around. And consider all of the things that are right. Count your blessings. And remember, that the perfect Christmas doesn't exist. But the blessings that surround you do exist. And it's great to take the time to just sit and look around you. And watch your kids playing with each other. Watch your kids fighting with each other, even, you know. And some of that give and take is just all part of being a kid. Remember back when you were a kid? And how you interacted with your siblings? And what were the things that made you excited and be grateful that your kids are healthy enough to fight each other? If they're fighting to find the things that are amazing. Look at your spouse and think of what he or she does instead of what they don't do. You know, they all have their own way of contributing, and of doing their own thing you do you? I'll do me. And it evolves, it changes. Russ and I, that's my sweetheart, we run things very differently than we did 1020 years ago. Because our families changed. It was very different. When we had all the kids and they were little, then it changed again, when they were getting older and became teenagers. Then it changed again, as they slowly began leaving the home. And then bringing back boyfriends and fiance's and having families and now there were grandkids in the mix. It just constantly changes. And so maybe something that your spouse wasn't really interested in helping with or maybe they were more interested in doing some other things. It changes, I used to do most of the cooking in the holidays. That's just how it went when the kids were young. Now my husband does most of the cooking for the holidays. And he enjoys that. And we work together on getting some of those things done. One of the things that we've had to notice is putting the lights on the house. And we used to have very elaborate displays in with a two story house, it's gotten harder for my husband to get up on the roof, it's gotten more dangerous, honestly, for him to be up on the roof and hanging over the edge. Oh my goodness, when I think of that. So he would lie on top of the roof as it was pitched. And he'd be reaching over and hanging lights onto hooks on the eaves of of our second story. And you know, it's just, it's not worth it to have him in that danger. So we have different things that we do now. We put whites on the lower parts and we bought lit wreaths for the Windows upstairs in the front. And even in the windows in the on the main floor. And we have put, you know, snowman on the front yard and our decorations, the way we decorate, changes vary significantly. It changes when we have family visiting or whether we don't when people are coming we tend to decorate more, when is just going to be us we tend not to and so things change as your life moves along. And so maybe look at this and just realize that it's okay, if they're not doing something or they're are doing something something super important to them right now, that just doesn't really make a lot of sense to you. But that's okay, and let it just happen around you count your blessings that they are there, count your blessings, that things are chaotic and that you have enough to do and you're not home and alone and feeling left out. You know you don't want that either. So, even though things get really chaotic and can be overwhelming, you can even find things to be grateful in that back. There are a lot of things to be grateful in In that, so let's remember the reason for the season. And if there are things that you do that aren't strengthening your faith, or your love for your fellow man, consider if you really need to do that, think about helping your children concentrate on what they might want to give, rather than what they want to get. Two weeks ago,

I had a great episode with Matt Ballard. And maybe you can listen in to that one, if you haven't listened in yet, it was a great episode on teaching our children and helping them build that capacity to give rather than looking and more selfishly, at the things that they just want to get, and enjoy helping our children do things for others. So the things that they can do, you know, surprise a sibling with cleaning their room, or maybe secretly doing a chore that was assigned to somebody else, find a way to volunteer for those that are less fortunate. And there are always those who are less fortunate. So whether it's making sandwiches and going out and handing them out to people, where there's a great website, and I've talked about this in a couple other of my podcasts, but it's www dot just And if you go in there, and you put in your zip code, and this is not only nationwide, but there are many countries throughout the world that have this website is all set up for them as well. But so you go in, you put in your zip code, and it comes with a whole list of different community organizations, religious organizations that are looking for help in some capacity. And there are things that are just a one time volunteer thing that might fit with your family, or there are others that you come every week for so long, or once a month. And so you can look and see what is working with your family's structure, and for the time that you have available. And it's a great website for you to give that a look. See, I know that Christmas can be tough. And I have to ask myself, Is this what Christ would want it to be? Are we so taken over by the societal vision of things, and all the stuff that we forget the man that we celebrate, who was born in a stable, and lived in very mean, circumstances? And I guess when it comes down to it, in the end, you can ask yourself, how would he prefer that you spend this holiday. And so with some of the restrictions, and some of the things that we normally have that maybe we are not getting this year, it would be fairly easy to make changes that will make Christmas more meaningful, and just simpler. So let's take advantage of that blessing. So if you enjoy this podcast, I would love for you to post about it on your social media. And you can tag me at imperfect heroes podcast on Instagram, or even get me at Little Hearts Academy USA, on Facebook. And we're continuing to grow. We now have listeners in 10 different countries. And we're up to 30 states. And I'm so excited 20 states to go where my goal of being in all 50 states. And the more that you share about the podcasts, the more families that we can reach. You can always write me at DJ stats at Little Hearts Academy, USA. And don't forget to go to the new website for the podcast, www dot imperfect heroes And there, you can leave a rating and a review of the program. And that really helps a lot. And so I'm going to challenge you to share this program with one friend and get one more friend to listen in and to enjoy. And if you have ideas, I love to hear them. I really do. And so I would love to find out what you're thinking, what questions you have. If you want me to address a certain topic, I would be more than happy to do that. And so for next week, episode 27

I can't believe it. But this is going to be my last episode of the year. And the last episode of my first season. It's amazing. I thought about doing this podcast for so long. And here we are just knee deep into it. And we're moving forward. So for this special episode, I have procrastination expert, Christine Li. And we're talking about making goals. And then the things that keep us from achieving these goals. Christine has a great podcast, and it's called Make Time for Success. It's really good if you have a chance to listen to it. And she has so much insight and knowledge. So learn what I mean by tuning in to the next episode. That will be next Monday. And so until next time, let's find joy in parenting.

Hey, Linger Longers. If you are looking for a last minute gift, here is something that might help. How about getting someone a month of parent coaching. So whether you are thinking of one on one coaching, or a group setting, just give me a call at 720-989-6475 or email me at And now that we have the website up, you can always contact me through the podcast website. Once again, that is And we can talk about how I can help. And if you call and let me know that you are linger longer. And whether this is something for yourself and in your own home. Or whether this is a gift that you're wanting to give to a friend or family member. If you'd let me know that you're linger longer, I'm going to add in two extra sessions for free. So that's either for the person that you're giving this gift to or for yourself. So yep, that's free. So give me a call and let's figure out what we can do. Just remember that I still teach school. So if you call and I don't pick up, just leave a message and I will get right back to you as soon as I can. Probably after school that day. Once again, the number is 720-989-6475. So enjoy your week. Have a wonderful, meaningful Christmas. I wish only the best for you and for our country. I wish for peace and kindness. So I'm going to go now

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