Let me know if this sounds familiar (seriously, share your story in the comments or Facebook). I was recently talking to a friend about her struggles and stress about the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. She lives close to siblings, parents, and grandparents – which can be a mixed blessing. She is feeling stressed about planning a big dinner for everyone. Additionally, her immediate family is going through some pretty heavy health stuff.

So, we have a mom who wants to do her best pulled in a million directions. She is feeling the pressure to be a caretaker to a sick husband and kids, a modern income producing woman, and the picture of domesticity putting together an Instagram-worthy Thanksgiving.


That’s right, I’m here to give you permission to stop and check in with yourself. This time of year is way too easy to get sucked into family expectations, society expectations, personal expectations, social expectations. And in the end, what do we get? Not enough sleep, debt, more gray hair? To hell with that.

What to do?
So what did I say to my dear friend? The first thing to keep in mind is that her immediate focus has to be on her husband and kids. She will go crazy trying to take a million different personalities into account when trying to plan out a dinner.

Next, figure out what works for you, invite everyone and whomever comes will get a more authentic experience. Some people might not show up. That’s ok! Make sure you feel good about honoring the parts of the holiday that are important to you. Here are a couple alternative ideas:

  • Want everyone together? Build pizzas and play a stack of board games.
  • Really like that turkey and stuffing? Whole Foods and a number of other places will cater. Take a nap.
  • Enjoy a picture worthy table? How about a kid-inspired DIY project for guests over appetizers.
  • Awkward Family Photos? Ok grandma, pictures before dinner and then everyone changes into pajamas.

To help you on your journey, we put together a Thanksgiving board on Pinterest. It’s full of ideas, recipes and reminders to chill out and take care of yourself.

Post away
And to alleviate Instagram stress, we’re posting our super non-traditional turkey day activities with #realturkeyday. Whatever that means to you: traditional or not, family, friends, or whatever you have going on! Non-Kinfolk/Sunset magazine welcomed and encouraged!


What are your holiday struggles? How do you take care of yourself? Any tips for all the overworked mamas out there?

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