Viral TikTok: Moms Are Too Much Over Their School Vacation Theme Days
If you feel like you’re drowning in the sweet and lively yet stressful demands of your kids’ school, daycare, activities and more as the holidays approach, you’re not alone. There are pajama days, holiday parties, themed character dress-up events, recitals and concerts, teacher gifts (oh, bus drivers and cafeteria workers and more, oh my!). It’s starting to look like a serious case of overwhelm for parents everywhere. Holiday themed days of school… VERY VERY.
A Tik Tok South Carolina mom Darryl Prendergast, captured that stress perfectly in reminding parents everywhere that they’re probably forgetting something. “I don’t know who needs to hear this but your kid has some kind of pajamas, winterfest book swapping, secret Santa, cookie sharing, 12-day Christmas spirit week will be at school tomorrow and you have something to get ready for!”
He shakes his Starbucks as he drives and writes “You’re welcome” at the bottom of the video.
Related: The holiday tradition that we look forward to every year
The numbers support the overwhelming feeling of being overwhelmed at this time of year. The University of Michigan’s 2021 survey showed that 1 in 6 parents are stressed out during the holidays, and twice as many mothers than fathers report these high levels of stress.
With a few days’ notice, extra holiday shopping and tasks, such as those required to dress your child in a full grinch suit for the last day of school, top the list of stressors—31 percent worry about those extras. But before deleting all events and boycotting the holidays outright, keep in mind that overall it’s “worth it” and 96% of respondents rated the holidays as a happy time for families (they should have posted this). poll on January 1!).
Related: Going nowhere on Christmas Day is the best gift I’ve ever given myself as a mom.
As a reminder, moms watching Prendergast’s Tik Tok had a lot to say: “As a room mom, I check the calendar to see what I forgot.” An afterthought in the comments, Prendergast adds, “And PS, there’s a record genius out there somewhere with your name on it. Go get your stuff.”
One teacher left in the comments that her school is doing a full 12-week school holiday themed day countdown, each day complete with themes and going until the holidays. Another said, “Why are they doing this to us???!!! As if I wasn’t stressing enough for the holidays!”
There’s a lot of pressure to do everything “right” and not have your child be the only one who forgets to put on pajamas, bring a pack of hot chocolate, or show up an hour early for the recital. And it can be overwhelming to pack gifts for your child’s best friend they’ve requested to give gifts to or write handwritten notes to each teacher until late.
Here’s what the parents in the study showed as well, which, fortunately, helps overly stressed parents. Try these strategies for some breathing room before the next soul day shows up:
- Spend some alone time (ha!) 71% found it helpful.
- Listen to music (55%, but don’t listen to Christmas Baby Shark again)
- Almost half felt better with exercise
- Attending a religious ceremony or praying helped slightly less than a third of respondents
- Call for help! One in four people felt better after getting help from others
- And when all else fails, some parents take their kids to sleepovers or start eating junk food (blaming the elf for stealing the candies)!
We’d say try to keep in mind the cause of the season and see the joy on our kids’ faces, but first we need to check our color-coded multi-page spreadsheet calendars to see if tomorrow is the dreadful day we need. Turn our kid into a reindeer on the 8am bus service.
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