Studentmum had an excellent blog yesterday. She talked about getting her priorities straightened out over the holiday.
"I don't know of any other way to plan it to be honest, family has to come first at Christmas and I don't want to shut myself away all holiday, I think we need to spend time and go about as a family we have been remiss in that area lately, pressures of homework, studying, habit etc and have got into bad habits of doing our own things at weekends instead of planning trips out. I sense a New Years resolution coming on!"
As nontrads/mature students, we can get so caught up in the demands of school that we overlook time spent with the built-in support group of our family (whether it's spouse, children, parents, siblings, etc.). Studentmum is right - our families must come first over the holidays. Resolve to minimize your time with your laptop, schoolbooks and studying (or not do any of it all!) in order to spend time with your family.
For the most part, you will find that as you unwind with your family, you will gain a sense of renewal and refreshment. Take this time to build memories. Will the children remember that Mom went back to school to get a better job to be able to provide better for them? No. They will remember that Mom tossed her schoolbooks and laptop into the hall closet in favor of going outside and making snow angels with them. Your spouse will remember that you curled up with him before going to bed instead of curling up with a textbook. The children will remember using your laptop to put together a photo album of funny holiday photos instead of using your laptop to type out a research paper. Your family will remember that you went ice skating with them instead of retreating to the library.
There is a reason we have a Christmas break - to enjoy time away from academia. Keep your school stuff to a minimum over the break. But keep you family stuff to a maximum! Don't forget the most important people - your family. Stay tuned . . .