Here’s a little slice of my reality. Coloring pages lost their appeal long ago. The number of minutes my kids would spend coloring a happy pilgrim would be about equal to the number of minutes it took to find and print the pilgrim, so that buys me zero time cooking or socializing. As for table decorations, anything within reach of my toddler won’t last a hot second, so there’s another place where the cost/benefit ratio is not in my favor.
But maybe most importantly, I’m not sure “keeping kids entertained” while I host Thanksgiving is my end-goal anyway. I’d rather look for ways to include them in the events of the day – and if I can’t directly include them, I’d like to create ways for them to feel a part of the celebration.
Hosting Thanksgiving is a big undertaking (as we’ve talked about over the last several posts), and if you’re the mom in charge and you have small children, something’s got to give. Often it’s our patience with the littlest ones that goes first, followed by their willingness to cooperate at all, and the cycle can spiral downward fast. When a child feels stressed, marginalized, or out of sorts, his behavior reflects it, and all the printables in the world aren’t going to keep a kid like that out of your hair.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you juggle hosting and mothering little ones at the same time (and take heart – you can do it!):
Fill Their Cups
If you know that the demands of the day are going to pull you away from your kids, start “filling their cups” well in advance. Make sure to build in little bits of time together this week, whether it’s a walk after dinner, a longer story at bedtime, or some time doing something they love like LEGOs or drawing.
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