When Holidays Aren’t All They’re Cracked Up To Be

This post was written by Michelle, an adoptive Mom.

When most families around the world celebrate a Holiday like Easter Sunday with jubilation, families like ours, with kids who have experienced trauma, brace for a storm. From the candy, overstimulation from church and family gatherings, to the mad rush of an easter egg hunt, it often proves to be disastrous. How can caregivers find hope when this is the case?


It’s the day after Easter. I’m sitting on the couch scrolling through Facebook. I should know better after holidays. Look at all the beautiful family pictures! All those smiles! Such pretty dresses. Everyone enjoying church together. Fun Easter egg hunts and spring activities. Lots and LOTS of smiles and thanksgiving for blissful time with extended family and even a few mentions of what Easter truly is. 

All I can think is, “That’s not what our day looked like.” There was rushing and cussing and golf clubs (with no golf balls I might add). I caught a glimpse of my daughter at church and realized, I forgot to do her hair. What kind of mother forgets her daughter’s hair, on Easter? There were miss-matched clothes, fist fights, messes and sassy mouths.

There were grand visions and plans were made previously to travel to our favorite spot for the next 24 hours, devouring tacos and walking up to the beach. A whole day as a family of giggles and fun on the beach after a much needed break. These were expensive plans too. 

And then the last hour, we chucked those expensive plans fully knowing we couldn’t get our money back for that beach hotel. It was just too much. We instead opted for dinner on our local beach. It was way past dinner time by that time but we thought we could still save the day! Nope. As we drove to dinner, the meltdowns increased.

We U-turned it and back up the hill to our house we went. A frozen meal for the kids and take out for mom and dad. No friends to celebrate with. No extended family joined us. Even if we told them, they wouldn’t understand anyway.

While others enjoyed this holiday like they were supposed to, I was just relieved it was over. 

Today is a new day. And as I drink my coffee and reflect on yesterday, I remember He did come for me. He does love me. He is risen. And I know what Easter truly is. It’s not about pretty dresses and perfect pictures, making memories and happy kids. It’s about hope for messy people. Messy kids. Messy me. Easter is for families just like mine.

I’m still thankful for Easter. Even if it looks like it did yesterday and I feel like I do today. Because Easter is about grace. And my family needed grace yesterday.  Easter gives hope, and my family and

This post was written by Michelle, an adoptive mom.
I need some hope today. May you know there is grace for you. And there is indeed still hope for your family too.

Question: How did your Easter turn out? Was it similar, better, or worse? If you can, share your story with us in the comment section below. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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