This month's theme is taking care of yourself during the holidays, and you'll find more great posts on this topic at the bottom of this one.
Here are some of my tips for taking care of yourself during the holidays:
Eat, drink, sleep, be merry. Remember Maslow's hierarchy of needs? At the bottom are the physiological needs, like food, water, and sleep. Without them, it's pretty hard to have a good time. So make sure you eat, drink (especially), and sleep enough to keep you energized and in good spirits. Not doing these things depletes your immune system, making it easier for a simple plugged duct to develop into mastitis, too.
Accept help. Whether it's the offers to hold the baby while you (fill in the blank), or help carrying luggage, accept whatever help is offered. And don't be shy about asking for it either. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to pay it forward later.
Prioritize feedings. Delayed feedings and missed naptimes can wreak havok on a child's mood and temper, so be clear upfront that you want to maintain the routines that are the most important to your child's - and your - well being. This may mean missing out on things here and there, but the reward is an overall happier time.
...but even if you do, expect some reverse cycling. Remember that babies and toddlers often respond to changes in environment by changing up their feeding schedule. Too distracted by family and friends during the day? No problem, says your toddler, who is perfectly happy to feed all night to make up for it.
Check out these great posts from other carnival contributors (updated throughout the day):
Cave Mother: A Mother's Christmas
Mama Knows Breast: A Breastfeeding Poem: 'Twas the Breastfeeder's Nighttime
Chronicles of a Nursing Mom: Don't Forget the Pump!
Blisstree.com's Breastfeeding 1-2-3: Breastfeeding and Dehydration
Accidental Pharmacist: Motherhood Statement
Hobo Mama: How to Take Care of Yourself
Mommy News and Views: The Holidays and Being a Breastfeeding Mom
Breastfeeding Mums: Looking After Yourself During the Holidays: 7 Tips for Breastfeeding Mums
The Adventures of Lactating Girl: Breastfeeding and Holidays
Breastfeeding Moms Unite: Taking Care of a High Needs Baby at the Holidays