I can only imagine that every member of my family just read the title and clicked on it so fast thinking I was writing a post about them! Slow your hearts down… I’m writing to all the mamas and friends who have written me over the course of this month. I’m at a stand-still right now with nothing to do. That’s right… NOTHING. It feels odd and I’m a little out of place. I have nothing to bake or cook, nothing to wrap, nothing to clean and only 1 basket of laundry to fold. SO I guess, as crazy as it sounds or even feels to type, this is ME TIME right now and my brain might actually be able to function properly for a few minutes. I sat at my computer and opened another reader question about how I handle any holiday drama. Why do you think we have any holiday drama!?!?!
Ok, no seriously. This last e-mail was a reminder that clearly I need to say something in response to the texts, emails and Facebook messages I’ve received this month. I know that I can’t/don’t/won’t publicly post my opinion or feelings on every question I receive but I want you to know that you aren’t alone in the holiday drama… I think every family has ‘drama’ but its what we make of it. I know how hard the holidays can be for a lot of mamas and trust me, the holidays aren’t easy as pie for me either! For instance, tomorrow, on Christmas Eve, I can guarantee you that my good ole’ pap will speak loudly about the top 5 most horrific news stories of the year… right at the table there with everyone around. Its like, “Pap. Do we really have to discuss this on Christmas Eve?” OR maybe he’ll have a chat with Rocco about walking out into the street and getting hit by a car. Other family members might not speak much at all during our visit and sometimes you might not even know what to expect when you’re on your way to a visit, a party, a gathering. The mood can be chipper… Or not. You just never know what goes on with family, right?
But listen up; though I won’t post your e-mails, texts & Facebook messages here, know that I see it. I read it. I feel it. And most importantly, you are not alone. These next few days are going to be an absolute whirl-wind for most. Your days will be spent traveling back and forth between families with little ones in tow, toting gifts of all sizes, carrying baked goods and hot foods up snowy/icy steps and then your short time with family and friends might be spent managing your children with other children around, helping the host/hostess serve food, cleaning up wrapping paper, making sure no one loses control, keeping conversation going between adults… its exhausting. And it can be hard. Especially when it doesn’t go as smoothly or as perfect as you had hoped. Especially if your relationship with the people you are visiting isn’t what you wish it would be. But listen, here’s what I’m learning to focus on over the past 4 years.
Christmas is about my CHILDREN.
I create a tunnel from my eyes to their little bodies and I do my darndest to focus on them through all of the other shenanigans and let me tell you. That tunnel is a perfect tunnel. And it makes everything feel wonderful. So, to you, I’d say: Instead of getting emotionally involved in whatever drama there is, play a game on the floor with your kids or read (or bring along) a special book to all of the kids at the gathering.
The memories you make with your kids will not only benefit you and warm your heart but your children will remember them too. Even if its for just a short time that you spend with them before going back to hanging out with the adults. It will:
Give you a little time to remove yourself from whatever is bothersome to you
Allow you to take a deep breath
Gives you the opportunity to focus on the ones dearest to your heart: your kids.
And when the holiday shenanigans get the better of you, call a friend. Release it all to someone you can trust. It’s important to give a voice to your frustrations and it will help alleviate some of the emotional stress too. If you have no one to vent to – Please come here to vent. We have a comment section and there’s no passing judgement. Write it down and let it go.
Or just write me an e-mail. I love when you write to me and e-mail me with these ‘hard’ questions. I know for me, I choose a no-drama Christmas and that’s what we’re going to have. This Christmas is about my little ones and I’m so excited about creating a special holiday for them!
Hoping this holiday is special to you in every way.
(Photo taken December 2012… Mario man was in my belly!)