Improve Your Holiday Family Dynamics: A Lesson in Transforming your Perspective - Amber Hurdle | Globally Recognized Leadership & Personal Branding Expert

Improve Your Holiday Family Dynamics: A Lesson in Transforming your Perspective

October 28, 2018

The holidays can bring up so many family dynamics and add to the chaos of the season. The pressure to do it all can feel just plain overwhelming.

A common complaint in the holiday season is that women feel pulled in a thousand different directions. We do more, spend more and often feel resentful that so much is put on their plate.  How many times do we drag ourselves out of bed to move that stinking elf while our husband snores in bed? How many times do we say yes to the travel demands from the grandparents for family gatherings even though you would love to stay at home?  How often do we buy gifts we cannot afford to match the generosity of your extended family? How often do we tiptoe around tense family dynamics that only seem to be exacerbated by the holiday?

If it could be different would you want to know?  Would you be willing to give up something for it to be different?  If the answer is yes, keep reading!

Ask yourself, “How am I showing up?”

Sounds simple enough, and at first glance, you may say, “responsible, efficient, hard-working” and that may be true, but let’s go down a layer.  

For many years “doing it all” was my banner of martyrdom.   I truly felt that if “I didn’t do things they wouldn’t get done”. I would say “yes” to things to avoid conflict.  So under this layer of “responsibility”, there was a whole lot at play.

I was showing up as bitter, resentful, disconnected. I was showing up in self-righteousness; wearing my “Christmas wouldn’t happen without me” button.  I often showed up in people pleasing…not wanting to hurt feelings or worried they wouldn’t react well. I would avoid difficult conversations. I wanted to look good, feel good and be good.   

Can you imagine how other people experienced me? How about grumpy, short-tempered, passive-aggressive, playing the victim…. to name just a few.  Talk about a recipe for family drama.

Ask yourself, “What am I resisting?”

For me, I was resisting hard conversations or conflict.  I was afraid of being let down. I was resisting giving up control.  I was avoiding saying “no” to things because I didn’t want to let anyone down or cause more drama.  I wanted to meet all the expectations. I was resisting the discomfort of being vulnerable.

What are you resisting? If you are not sure, just think about all the stuff you are dreading over the holidays?  Are you resisting setting a boundary with extended family? Is it the conflict of talking about finances with your spouse? Maybe you are resisting telling your parents to stop buying so many gifts for your kids, worried they will be hurt, angry or ignore you.

Ask “What is wanted and needed?”

It sounds simple enough, but how often do we skip this step completely?  If something occurs to us as impossible, we don’t bother asking what we want or how we could get there.

Ask yourself, what is it that is wanted in needed in each of these areas of resistance. This not only will include action steps but a “way of being”.

For example, If you resisting a conversation with your spouse about the division of “holiday work” what would be wanted and needed in that conversation?

You may want:

  • To schedule a specific time you can chat with your spouse without distractions
  • Spend time writing out all the things you would like to discuss
  • A plan to share responsibilities

You may need:

  • To let go of control
  • Say no to some less essential things
  • To make requests
  • Be willing to be uncomfortable

A way of being:

  • Vulnerable
  • Honest
  • Humble
  • Courageous

Offer yourself grace and go again.

Guess what? We will find ourselves back into that old pattern over and over again. We are human.  That doesn’t make us bad, broken or wrong. The shame we feel when we find ourselves repeating our past patterns can shut us down.  Remember that perfection is unattainable and not the goal. Offer yourself grace and go again.

Have questions or want to share your experience? Find me and other Fempreneurs in the Bombshell Business app!

 

About the Author

Jaime Gordon

Jaime Gordon

Jaime Gordon Life Coaching

Transformational Coaching/Life Coaching

Jaime Gordon is a transformational life coach who partners with individuals to clarify their vision, break through barriers, and achieve the longings of their hearts in life, relationships and business. In addition to being a wife and mother of 3, she truly believes in the power of standing with her clients as they do the work of transformation.

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