I have yet to get a good picture of my 3 kids together. Ever. And it’s not for lack of trying.
Every year, I piece together something that resembles a Christmas card and send it along to my friends and family.
Soon, my mailbox is bursting with pictures of beautiful children, picturesque vacations, and letters explaining the fantastic year gone by.
It doesn’t take long before I start to feel envious.
It’s not just that all of their kids are smiling at the camera…my thoughts can go way beyond the photograph. I start to think, “Wow, they really have it all together, they probably never argue, their kids probably never talk back…”
Maybe you struggle with these thoughts too. If so, you’re not alone.
Tips to avoid Christmas Card Envy
- Rather than letting these cards lead you into the depths of jealousy or guilt about your own parenting, take time to change your thoughts:
Most people would not send a card with a picture of their children at their worst. Would you?
Most people would not write a letter that describes their family challenges in detail: “Zoe is struggling in school; her grades are so bad, she may not graduate on time” or “Simon continues to throw major tantrums when he does not get his way.”
Remember: there are no perfect parents, and no perfect families. In every family, there are tears, arguments, challenges, and struggles. Even the ones who look “perfect” in their picture.
- The holidays are a time to celebrate and remember the good things that happened over the past year. Start a gratitude journal or set a goal to say something positive about your family or your parenting for each card you receive.
- If you are discouraged about your parenting or frustrated about your relationship with your kids, maybe now is the time to make a commitment to change. Take the first step and try something different.
- If your child has a mental illness, chemical dependency or other concern and your daily life really is a struggle or an ongoing battle, maybe now is the time to find support. Locate a support group in your area such as: CHADD, Al-Anon, or NAMI.
I know that having a perfect Christmas card is not the reason for the season.
And when I feel the envy creep into my thoughts, I know it’s time to refocus on what’s most important.
So, even if your life is not exactly Christmas-card perfect right now, pick a few tips and give them a try today.
How Can I Help?
Are you tired of how things are going in your family and ready to make a change? I offer Parent Coaching, personalized encouragement, and support for parents via skype or phone. Contact me today for more information!