A Working Mom’s Aversion to the Christmas Season
Does your chest start to tighten when you think of all that you need to do to prepare for Christmas? Do you procrastinate buying gifts or wrapping them? Do you dread putting up the Christmas tree and putting up Christmas decorations? If any of the previous feelings apply to you, then you are not alone. Christmas as an adult is a lot of work, add in children and sometimes it can seem to be too much. As mamas, we know that we will always pull it off but the anticipation certainly turns me into a Grinch!
As soon as Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas music begins, all I can think of is, “how am I going to find the time to get ready for Christmas?” Because their school schedules do not change during the Christmas season, we still have to wake up early, work on homework, and get ready for exams in addition to all of the extra school festivities; it can feel overwhelming. I know that the crazy hair days, the Christmas dress down days, teacher presents, half days, and finding coverage for Christmas break are not far behind.
Just the thought of all that needs to be done makes me want to crawl into bed and pull the sheets over my head.
What do people do when they have no help with childcare during Christmas break compounded by no extra money for winter camps or babysitters? When the kids were little, I had to scurry about to find someone to help watch them for 2 weeks … 2 weeks!! Not only do we have to find the time to schedule camps and babysitters, but we have to find the money right before Christmas to cover these extra expenses, too!
If it were up to me, I would plug in my little vintage light up Christmas tree and that would be it in terms of decorations; however, my husband and the kids enjoy putting up the tree each year and I begrudgingly oblige. I help put up the meaningful ornaments once they get the tree started.
Thankfully, my husband puts it up and takes it down because if it were not for him and the kids, the tree may not go up every year. He takes on the decorations and I purchase the presents.
People may say that we have it easy as online shopping is “a thing” these days but it does take brain power to think of thoughtful gifts for family and friends. In many households as in mine, the present shopping falls on me, the mom, and that stress is enough in and of itself. As a working mom, I do not have time to shop during the day at work nor would I do that ethically so that leaves night time and weekends to purchase gifts, which is family time. How can I buy my 9 year old gifts while she is with me, as she still believes in Santa? I’m holding on to this season and hopefully next season for the Christmas magic to continue.
She is also the reason that it is hard to find time to wrap gifts once they are purchased. The little time that my daughter and I have together at night and on the weekends means that we are peas and carrots, red beans and rice, she is with me all of the time. “What are you doing mama? How much longer are you going to be in there?”
How do I combat being a Grinch? I choose to seek out the depressed, the forgotten and those who I would imagine feel even worse than I feel, the homeless. I give them the loose change in my car, throw an extra warm biscuit or two in a zippered bag and give what I can on my way to school drop off. On our way to school, my son can see that we are reaching out to the less fortunate and sharing what we have with them.
He likes to help with the Elf and the joy that it brings his little sister. Creating a magical time for my little family has been my focus this year as I want them to be able to look back and think about their Christmases with us as happy times and a time to give back to the less fortunate.
Ultimately, I do my best to focus on Jesus’ birthday. I plan on throwing Him a birthday party, baking a cake for dessert and singing Happy Birthday to the “Reason for The Season.”