Christmas has always been my favorite holiday of the year! I was ready for Christmas as soon as November hits last year! Christmas pajamas have been bought in September. My Christmas shopping list was ready; I have already scoured several online stores so I know where I’m getting everything on my Christmas list. I got everything I need to do this year’s gifts for teachers. Holiday cards have been printed. Black Friday came and my Christmas shopping was done!!! Our Kindness Elf is ready with all the acts of kindness that he’s going to ask the kids to do. I’ve gotten a new Christmas book as well as a couple more because I needed 2 more to complete our 24 books of Christmas that we read every night from December 1st. I gave myself a pat in the back and thought, I am doing so great as a mom!
But I was wrong! Last year, I was that mom! The mom who miserably failed at Christmas! (There were a lot of things that went wrong! But trust me, I didn’t write this just to complain! There’s a lesson at the end!)
My pregnancy was in its first trimester come December; and I was always nauseated and exhausted every single day. I didn’t have the energy to do the things I normally can do very easily. I had unsorted laundry piled up for almost 4 weeks.
Our Kindness Elf stopped asking the kids to do acts of kindness after the 5th day. He tried to come back and told the kids he had been sick and apologized, but after 2 days, he went MIA again.
Christmas gifts to the teachers and past daycare teachers were not sent out.
Holiday cards were never sent out until after Christmas.
Our Christmas tree was without gifts until Christmas Eve. The only things wrapped under our Christmas tree were the Christmas books that my husband and I wrapped. Good thing I was able to put our tree and our Christmas decorations up long before I got pregnant or I probably wouldn’t have the energy to do that as well.
We managed to read 20 (out of 24) Christmas books but I had to ask my husband to read to the kids on some nights. My allergy flared up so it was hard for me to talk when I was always congested.
The only Christmas activity that we got to do were taking the kids’ picture with Santa and cookie decorating which we did at our Christmas party with friends. I planned to take the kids to a neighborhood in Fairfax, Virginia because they had beautiful lights display and Santa Clause but we ended up just driving around our neighborhood.
Our December used to be very packed with fun Christmas activities which is why I planned to take the whole December off from any photography-related stuff; but this year, I didn’t have the energy to do anything with my family. The only thing I was able to do with them were watching movies and playing with the kids when I can.
I see all those families enjoying ice skating, lights display, and other Christmas activities on social media and it would make me force myself to plan something the next day. But by the time the next day came, I didn’t have the strength to go out of the house.
I was feeling really down because I knew I was failing my kids… especially on the most magical time of the year.
A few days before Christmas, I was talking to a friend and what she said really hit home. These were her exact words; they made me tear up! “You are an awesome mommy and you will do all these great things in the future. Give yourself a break this year. Trust me, when they are 20 years old, they won’t remember the things you didn’t do in 2019. Because you do so much fun stuff ALL THE TIME. This is a tiny blip on the timeline of their life.”
My friend was right! As a mom, it’s hard not to blame ourselves when we forget or fail to do something. The society’s expectation (sometimes even people really close to you) of moms are so high; that when something goes wrong, it’s automatically our fault ALL THE TIME. But we must remember that we, just like everyone else, are human. We are not, and will never be, perfect – we get sick, we get tired, we forget things, we yell, and we make mistakes. But what’s important is that in the eyes of our family, we are just perfect the way we are.
Last Monday, was the first day of school after the winter break. On our way home, my daughter and I talked about her day at school. She told me they talked about the gifts they got on Christmas and the things that they did during the break. I asked her what she told her friends. She said we watched movies and played. True enough, she didn’t remember the things I failed to do. But she remember the things we did together.
And as I am typing this, I remember what another friend had told me during my first year of becoming a mom. “Motherhood means that you have to forgive yourself, over and over again.”
If you are a mom who is also beating herself up for failing to do something for her child/children, I hope that these words will bring you comfort knowing that it’s okay. YOU’VE GOT THIS!!!
‘Til next time,
‘Til next time,