Christmas is my favorite time of year, but since I was laid off from my job and this year brought nothing but heartache afterwards, I have humbly noticed the Grinch in me this season.
Maybe you are feeling a little blue, bitter and blah, too.
The problem with this is that we often take it out on our kids, who truly hold the spirit of Christmas within their hearts.
And, as a parent, the last thing we want to do is take that away from them just because things are not going our way.
The 5 Signs that you may becoming a grinchy parent!
And the opportunity to change it before it is too late!
1. You Yell At Your Kid When Something Doesn’t Go YOUR Way
It is no fault of your child’s.
It is just the way the cards fell that day:
Your spouse forgot to pay the mortgage or the water bill went up.
You burned dinner or your boss was down-right mean to you.
And you feel like yelling at someone, so you scream at your kid over something stupid…
Like, sitting upright on the couch.
Or because he left his coat on the banister instead of hanging it up on the coat rack.
Your child was in a good mood previously, but now that you are in a bad one, your child is, too!
Maybe it is just the type of day your are having, but if you are noticing this happening more often, you may be on the road to becoming a grinchy parent!
2.You Start Acting Like A Bratty Little Kid!
Your child simply asks you for more juice and you huff and puff your way to the fridge, pour him some more juice, hand it to him and say, “Here is your stupid juice.”
Your husband can’t find his favorite shirt for work and you have already washed it 3 times this week.
You pass it off to him and say (in a not-so-nice tone), “Here is your precious shirt.”
You are invited to the annoying neighbor’s house for a holiday party and your husband is excited about going, but you are not. You respond with, “I’m not going to their ridiculous party.”
Mmm…Hmmm….sounds like someone needs a grincher-fixer-upper! And, maybe a nap!
3. Everything is Annoying To You!
The dog barks – ugh! You could claw your ears out!
There is a pretzel lying on the floor that no one has bothered to pick up! You could scream!
A coworker is standing in front of the copy machine and you need to use it, but don’t feel like simply saying “excuse me.” You curse him under your breath.
There is a puddle in the middle of the sidewalk and it is annoying to you that you have to simply go around it. You swear at the puddle!
Hmmm….yeah, the Grinch is starting to fester in you!
4. You Used to Love the Holidays, but Now You HATE Them!
You used to be the person that would start playing holiday music as soon as Halloween ended!
You would be the one to volunteer all of the classroom parties and holiday dances.
You would be the one to openly and excitedly host the holiday family dinners and decorate the house with pristine attention!
Now, you just hate it!
You turn the holiday music off as soon as a song comes on.
You avoid volunteering for holiday activities.
You dread the decorating and the fa-la-la-la-la of it all!
You even avoid helping your child write a wish list because you just don’t feel like it.
Well, my dear parent, you have become quite the Grinch!
5. You Bitch About Everything!
And I mean everything!
You are even bitching about little things to yourself!
Such as, accidentally knocking over the tissue box that was sitting on the table.
Or seeing someone walk their dog in the freezing cold weather while wearing nothing but shorts!
“What an idiot!”
Maybe you find yourself cursing the online delivery truck under your breath because they are delivering your neighbor’s packages, but your package is running behind.
“G** D**-online shopping! I don’t know why I just didn’t walk into a store and buy it!”
Heck, you are even mad at that squirrel on the sidewalk because you know he is going to make an attempt to run out in front of your car as you are driving by!
You just bitch.
You are a Grinch!
From Grinch to Jolly Elf
First thing is first.
You need a nap!
Most parents won’t argue with that one!
Even the most un-grinchiest!
You need some time to yourself to reflect on why you are acting the way that you are.
Why are you so grinchy right now? What’s your problem?
We call this a “time-out” for our kids.
Sometimes, as parents, we need that too. But in a good way.
Call a sitter to come watch the kids for awhile so that you can go sit at the coffee shop and spend some quiet time to reflect.
Or do a little shopping and treat yourself to something.
If you are short on money, browse Save Dollar.
They have a bunch of fun little items you can use for yourself that won’t cost you much at all!
It is okay to say “no” this year.
If we feel pressured to take on everything that others expect us to take on, it can just make us feel that much more grinchy.
If you don’t feel up to doing something, take a break from it this year.
Let others know that things are kind of messy this year, but that you plan to make it up to them next holiday season.
Take your anger and bitterness out on something that isn’t going to be hurt by it.
Beat a pillow or go throw some rocks in the pond.
This is classic, but the last thing we want to do is bring down the ones we love.
Just because things are not going our way, doesn’t mean that we have to destroy the happiness of others.
Fifth and Final.
Think about the worst case scenario and how, if it were to happen tomorrow (because it very well could!), how you would want to cherish the moments of today.
I have a lot of health problems and I am always worried that I may not be here tomorrow to watch my son grow up and how I may miss all of the special little moments of his life.
I also think about not having certain family members around this time next year. What if that were to happen tomorrow?
What if I lose my house 6 months from now? Is this really the way I want to remember our last Christmas in our home?
What if, God Please Forbid, something were to happen to my son next summer and this was our last Christmas together?
These thoughts may be morbid, but they help put things in perspective.
I allow these thoughts to go through my mind when I fall into grinch-mode and they always make me motivated to quickly try to exit from it!
Because today really may be all that we have left here and all that we may have left with a certain someone.
Think about it.
Now, don’t make the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future visit your doorstep!
Start salvaging wonderful you today!
And enjoy every moment with your loved ones this holiday season!
May God Bless You and Your Family!