I Don't Like Me During the Holidays
I realized it when I reached for a Rescue Remedy and the tiny tin was empty. What in the world? I just bought these. . .
My patience was short.
It has been short—all month long. And rather than lose my temper, yell, scream--or cry--at 8:29 am when trying to get the troops bundled up, out of the house, and to my daughter's school in ten minutes, I needed help. Enter: Rescue Remedy. But apparently not today. Deep breaths, deep breaths. . .
I should be skipping around the house, humming holiday tunes and trying to trick one of my kiddos—or my husband—to stand under the mistletoe with me. But instead, I’m rushing around, trying to do it all, when. . . I just cannot. I really, really wish I liked myself more during the holiday season. But every year, I am embarrassed, angry, and upset at the mom-monster I become during the last month of the year.
When my kids’ tiny noses start running at the beginning of cold season, I energetically help them with lotion-infused Kleenex and kindly remind them to wash their germy hands. But come late November, when we’ve gone through the fiftieth box of tissues and they still can’t remember to wash their hands, I become the hand-washing, nose-blowing crazy mom, yelling and reminding more than I’d care to admit.
I always feel great joy at looking at our Advent Calendar on December first, but as the boxes disappear and we move into single-digit days before Christmas, something in me changes. I mysteriously morph into anxious and stressed mom, thinking about what little shopping I’ve done and how much I have yet to do.
Normally, I look forward to celebrating birthdays and love the excitement of party-planning. But with my December baby, I'm embarrassed to say that I’ve found that I feel more relief than anything when the last little hand grabs a goodie bag, the last cupcake paper is in the trash, and my daughter opens up her last birthday gift. Off goes the party-planning vest and on goes Mom’s Santa hat. Phew!--one thing crossed off of my list of a million things yet to do.
When I had one or two little preschool teacher gifts to think about, it was new—fun!—and actually exciting to shop for, create, and wrap these important tokens of appreciation. But now, with a dozen teachers, helpers, directors, and principals to think about—and buy for—I become more of a cranky Scrooge than I wish. Add on the baked goods and craft supplies I need to provide for holiday parties at preschool and kindergarten, and I'm not a smiling, crafty mama anymore; I'm cranky, sore from lugging around bags and kids, and always wondering what I'm forgetting.
It happens every year--I sign myself up for a cookie exchange, which is awesome when it’s over because I end up with a dozen different kinds of cookies, but the day I actually hunker down and bake seven dozen cookies and it takes about ten hours, I turn into a grumpy, hot, tired, and cranky baker-mom.
I want my kids to help out in the kitchen—because they love to and it always begins as fun—but afterward I feel exasperated just thinking about the mess of sugar, flour, and cookie pieces all over the floor and walls. And tiny fingers and clothes and hair end up lathered in sugar, eggs, and batter every time. Three kids into the bath. And ugh! There are still cookies in the oven. . .
The thought of cute new holiday outfits, memorable family pictures in front of the tree, and sharing holiday traditions with family is washed away usually before these events even begin. It always seems that one person or another gets angry or upset with potential plans, gift ideas, or--something. And then I move from mom-full-o'-holiday cheer to frustrated, angry, upset Grinch-mom, and afterward, I hate it.
And every year--every single year--my New Year's Resolution is to be more appreciative, be more grateful, be more thankful, be more cheerful, and be a better planner so that I am able to bask in the holiday season a little bit more than the year before.
And inevitably, every year, around this time, I'm so busy that I forget. Shame on me.
This is an original DC Metro Moms post.
Amy M. vows not to forget her New Year's Resolution this year, but until then, she's crossing her fingers that she finds her stocking packed full of Rescue Remedy tins on Christmas morning. You can find her at teachmama, where she writes about the easier, lighter times--the not so stressful times--with her three young kiddos.