Disclosure: I wrote this post as part of my participation in a blog tour for The Motherhood on behalf of the makers of Children’s MOTRIN® and received compensation to thank me for taking the time to participate. However, all opinions expressed are my own.
In the age of Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram the Mom Comparison Game seems to be in full swing. Add the holiday season coming up, and it’s at an epic level.
Sure, moms have slathered themselves with Guilt, Not Enoughs, Not As Goods, Never Quite Rights since the very beginning of Motherhood. But I think that today’s social media age, ratchets it up a notch. Or a few. Because now, it’s not just the playdate or school pick up…now it’s a quick sign in, and you’re bombarded with all the Elf on a Shelf art installations, the 27 step tutorials, and cake balls that belong in museums of art.
Now, I’m not knocking any of these things, or the fabulous women (and men) who do them. Not at all. I love me a good tutorial as much as the next girl.
Thing is, if I’m not careful, I turn what should be an awesome time of making memories with my family into STRESSSSSSS. Yelling. Messes. Crying kids and mamas balled up in a corner eating raw
The holidays are stressful, and honestly, beyond checking out entirely, I’m not sure there’s any way to avoid it. At least to some degree.
Look, maybe I’m outta line here by saying this, but I very deeply believe that the magic of holidays means adding things to the already thin margin in your life that are different and special.
Maintaining traditions requires being intentional, and well, let’s call a spade a spade here: WORK. Different and Special are just that. Not the everyday.
Baking cookies is a messy, time consuming process…especially if your kids are still really bitty…but if that’s a part of your holiday magic, then, get ready to sweep up some flour and scrub obnoxiously large cookie sheets.
Trimming a tree means needles in every crevice of your home and breakable ornaments that the Baby MUST TOUCH. Also, if you’re like me, TINSEL. (Which is the most deliciously magical thing in the Universe. However, also the messiest thing direct from the pit of hell. It’s a toss up, really.)
Sometimes I go too far in the name of Simplify. Sometimes I fall trap to taking out too much. I claim it in the name of Mama’s Sanity, and while that’s real and true, sometimes I need to let the pendulum swing closer to middle before I make decisions.
And, you better believe I’ve bit off way more Holiday Magic than I can chew. Too many times than I’d care to admit.
So what’s the balance? Where do you say “I have no bandwidth to do all this extra stuff, but you know, they’re kids and Traditions are important to me.”
This year I thought I’d plan ahead a teeny tiny bit.
I sat down with the kids and had them list out what some of their favorite things were about Christmas. Anything. Name it. Go.
And you know what? It was really fun to sit down and do this with them. I loved hearing the things they remembered from years’ past. And it made me realize that you know what? It feels thankless sometimes to deck the halls and sprinkle the sprinkles…BUT THEY REALLY DO NOTICE.
I added a few things that I’ve been wanting to do…you know, because I saw it on Pinterest. But not the Elf. Never the Elf.
Then, we went back through the list and starred the items we would be really bummed out if they didn’t happen.
You know, the most important ones.
Things like cutting a fresh tree from Halloways. Decorating the outside of the house so that it can be seen from space. Our Jesse Advent. The Lego Advent.
When we were done, I had a really great and manageable list of Traditions to focus on in the coming months. Rather than try to knock out everything on the list all at once, I’ll focus on the few…and if I have time and energy to do some of the Extra Extras, then bonus points!
So, what’s on your Must Happen List…and what’s on the Fine, If We Get To It List?
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*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY, OPEN TO LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES & D.C., 18 AND OLDER. VOID HERE PROHIBITED. Promotion ends 11:59p.m. ET 12/28/14. Sponsor will donate $1 for each approved Submission made as part of the promotion, with a minimum donation of $30,000 and a maximum donation of $50,000. For Official Rules, and complete details, visit www.unstoppablemoms.com. Sponsor: McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc. To learn more about Safe Kids Worldwide visit safekids.org.