I need a team of elves. It's hard being the magic maker in a large family. I'm trying to take care of everything "behind the scenes" (shopping, wrapping, planning) that they don't see and then plan "in front of the scenes" activities for them to get us in that holiday feeling. You know how disheartening it is to have just bought and wrapped the perfect gift for a child who then complains when I ask them to fold the laundry? So yeah I may get overly emotive in my responses at this time of year.
I have such good intentions to make this season special and fun. I envision cocoa in travel mugs while we see the lights at Lasalette, or even just at the park in the city next to us, but do you think we can find time to do it with everyone at home? Nope. I want to bring the little kids to the Enchanted Village that's about an hour away from us, but the thought of driving two hours just to stand in a long line and walk through a five minute display seems like a waste of time when there's still so much to be done. Then there's photos with Santa that my little kids have never had done. At least they don't know what they're missing?
|Looks like crankiness runs on the X chromosome|
This weekend, one of my brothers texted about a free piano he could get us from his in-laws. Xander plays piano, and we have a large electric keyboard that he uses, but a real piano would be better for him in the long run. However, do you think I could make this decision in a timely manner? Not at this time of year, apparently. Any unnecessary change just seemed overwhelming. Phil and my dad measured places it could fit in our house, but then that meant moving some other piece of furniture to make room, and soon our plan to fit the piano included moving furniture from the living room to the family room to bedrooms and why is there so much dust behind that furniture yada yada and I was just like I Do Not Have Time For This. I'm sure I'll regret passing it up, but my brain retired at that moment.
I'm constantly running through lists of people in my mind and figuring out what to get them and trying to recall if I sent a card to the person whose card I just received in the mail. I have a spreadsheet with names and gifts, a spreadsheet with card addresses, a spreadsheet with menus for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and Christmas in MD, a spreadsheet with grocery lists, and I love me some google sheets but yikes how can I make this simpler? I fell asleep at 8:30 last night and on the couch during the movie the night before that. I'm just so tired. Not to mention that life goes on leading up to the holidays with work and sports and lessons. On top of that, my kids still want to eat everyday. Can you believe the nerve? And now my side of the family has an email thread about what kind of gift swap we should so this year - funny? regifts? new items? adults only? kids included? and I think we all just need one person to tell us what to do. A dictatorship at Christmas works for me. Brainpower is elusive.
I am so cranky and I know it. Please send some Christmas magic my way, or at least a housecleaner.
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!ReplyDelete
I am SO tired (and I only have two kids). My husband has been away on work travel, and one child has been sick for weeks. We thought we figured out the issue, but now we're going in for a whole battery of tests. And I still have gifts to wrap and SO much food to prepare.
I know it will be okay (okay in quotation marks, at least), but it does not feel restful. And, like you, I'm so wary of all the germs circulating. I know just because we've had so much illness DOESN'T mean we won't get hit again. I have such high expectations for the season - unreasonable ones, I know - and it can all start to feel like it's catching up on me.
I've loved lots of things, too, and I'm trying hard to carve out festive activities as I'm able, but it's not always easy.
Also, Christmas involves SO much unseen work. Largely, for most households, carried out primarily by a woman. The amount of time and effort it takes to think of ideas, shop, store, wrap, label etc is...a lot.
I'm hoping we get out to look at Christmas lights at some point - we haven't even managed to do that a single time this whole season!
Two kids, seven kids...it's all the same because it's all about the kids! Adding illness to this time of year is a recipe for disaster, I feel so bad for you guys. Hopefully we can both go see the lights!Delete
I feel this post so very very deeply. The first paragraph about wrapping gifts for people who complain? Are you living at my house? I am praying for you (and me) to find a little Christmas cheer this week.ReplyDelete
I think my stress makes the kids act worse which leads to more stress and I wish I could be holly jolly instead. I think by the end of this week I can be fun...just gotta check a lot of boxes off between now and then! Hopefully the same goes for you!Delete
Uggh I'm sorry you are feeling overwhelmed! My children are all young adults and yet I found myself last week sliding into the same pattern of behavior you describe (that always plagued me when they were young). Finally able to recognize the anxiety creep so got a hot chocolate from Dunkin Donuts, sipped on it in the parking lot. Felt so much better, ha ha. Sending you some Christmas magic and hope you can enjoy this wonderful week before Christmas!!!ReplyDelete
Thank you for the support, and the hot chocolate idea. I have been avoiding all the holiday treats because all my pants are tight but maybe one will do me good :)Delete
I'm sending you loads of Christmas Cheer!ReplyDelete
Did you get it yet? The internet might be slow today.
When my girls were little, I felt the same way every year. It's daunting being the one who Makes Christmas Happen! I used to get overwhelmed and cranky...and I only had two little souls to deal with.
I giggled at Maggie in that older photo.
I pray you feel the joy soon and that you all stay healthy!
Hoping it comes soon! I don't want to be stressed about doing it all, but like if I don't...who's gonna? Glad to hear from wiser moms that's it's a common phase of life when you have littles :)Delete
I think it is absolutely amazing the things you do! My kids are pretty much raised at this point (though I'm finding they always need you...) but I continue to marvel at all you do! I remember back to the days you are talking about and the sheer exhaustion of it and I only had three kids! Your crankiness is understandable and I think you know that somehow, someway, everything is going to get done! Know that I am saying some extra prayers for you. Merry Christmas to you and your family!ReplyDelete
The prayers will keep me going! Thank you :)Delete
I'm sorry you are struggling-sending magic your way! My daughter is a senior in HS and this was the first year we didn't have to go to a Christmas concert and I can't tell you how relieved I was! Sometimes I think we feel guilty about things and then realize every other mom, except maybe one (and she's likely got booze in her travel mug), enjoys these things. Hang in there.ReplyDelete
I laughed at the travel mug, so funny. Mom guilt is reeeeeaaaalllllll especially around Christmas.Delete
The best thing I did for the holidays was give up sending Christmas cards. I thankfully accept Christmas cards and letters but have no guilt in deciding the "keeping up" was too much. One niece always sends a post Christmas card/annual newsletter in January and that is delightful. It's amazing how taking one task out of the holiday season can lower the frenzy. Enjoy your family!ReplyDelete
I think a lot of people have given up on those, I definitely don't get as many. I think if I was on facebook and/or instagram I might also give it up, but for now something else has to go. Maybe the teacher gifts I wrapped last night??Delete
This is so relatable, even though my kids aren't as little as yours. I remember the days when they were young and I tried to do so many things. Half of my kids were born near or very near to Christmas. Coach works long hours, but he doesn't shop, wrap, bake, lick envelopes, or generate gift ideas. Everything just happens. Yes, it's magic. Sorry about the piano. Another option will present itself when you can make it work. As I sit in my bed, freaking out about how I'm going to host two parties in less than a week, I vote you skip the crowded gym performance. Or stand in the back and wear a mask or does the school take a video that you can watch later? I haven't been to a crowded anything and I'm sick. I never took the kids to see Christmas lights. They watched Charlie Brown Christmas and baked cookies at a cousin's house and that was it. Give yourself a break. What if the families each bring one favorite board game and everyone takes home a new board game (or family movie or something similar)? I feel like less is better.ReplyDelete
You had me convinced that you never get grumpy. It will all get done, but I think let yourself off the hook for some of it. Good luck.
Wow, I must be a really good writer to have written my role as non-grumpy!! I do think I am an optimist, and life is generally just really good and busy. But yeah, sometimes it catches up. I put myself to bed early and I already feel better this morning! I think I might skip the concert :)Delete
My goal every year is to have the presents bought and wrapped by Advent and it has helped tremendously. I also make things like cookie dough, pumpkin bread, lasagna, etc, and put them in the freezer for later. And this isn't an option for you but we finish our homeschooling semester around the 15th (one kid's birthday) so we can relax more before Christmas. I also love that Christmas is a whole season so we can still do some things like the lights at the Arboretum afterwards (I know that doesn't work for some things but push what you can back until afterwards). I don't know...maybe some of those tips are helpful? We have a large family too and I hope one day to have lots of grandkids running around at this time of the year so hopefully there will never be a quiet Christmas for us but I also get the run down feeling.ReplyDelete