Now that the holiday is over, I feel composed enough to talk about the stress Thanksgiving (and all holidays) brings. There’s the recipe search, cooking, getting everyone ready, trying to be on time, and so on. In the past, I’ve exhausted myself trying to figure out the perfect recipes to make, I’ve burnt the food, and we have never arrived on time. (And I’m not even the hostess. I can’t imagine how much more stressful that duty is!)
But this time, I had a plan. Not only did I have a plan, but I stuck to it.
I started my day relaxed and ready. After breakfast, Diesel, Choo-choo, and I chilled out in the living room for a while. Then I put my plan into action. Two hours before I needed to make the squash and parsnip gratin, I started peeling and slicing the vegetables. Then I popped them in baggies and returned them to the fridge to keep cool. I gathered everything else I needed and placed it all on the counter.
All the while, Diesel and Choo-choo played with some toys and read a few books. Because of my planning, I had the opportunity to sit with them for a while and play as well. I wanted to spend as much time with them as possible while still getting everything done, and with my plan, I knew it was possible. (Not like the time we were five hours late because Choo-choo cluster fed then had a diaper blowout then cluster fed again.)
Then it was time to cook. I followed the recipe and my plan, going from the kitchen to the living room and back without any stress creeping up inside me. It was nearing Choo-choo’s nap time, a tricky problem indeed. My awesome husband came up with the idea of lying on the sofa with Choo-choo, quietly looking at books until Choo-choo fell asleep.
Brilliant idea, except Diesel was the only one to fall asleep. It was okay though. Choo-choo kept looking at books while I cooked. I was even able to stir the veggies then let them cook while reading to my son, and then repeat.
Because Daddy was still sleeping, Choo-choo got a little antsy as I was putting on my makeup and changing my clothes. Not too much though. He still had plenty of things to keep him busy, including those books he’d been looking at. Finally, all three of us were ready, the casserole was done, and we were on our way.
While we were still slightly late (but early enough to have not missed dinner), my plan worked and worked well.
I was completely stress-free and anxiety-free. It wasn’t frantic or hectic or heart-palpitating in any way. The first for a holiday since, like, forever.
I like this planning thing 🙂