Do you find yourself with a flurry of Holiday MomProblems on your hands this season? Between the Elf on the Shelf and the million gifts to buy, moms are finding that they are SLAMMED. The to-do list is never ending, and the requests to make more and more commitments seem like they’re never going to stop.
Between the Elf on the Shelf and the school functions, the gifts to purchase and then to wrap, and the endless amounts of cooking and baking that go on, you’re likely feeling as stressed as we are.
But never fear- you’re not alone. The Salty Mamas have been there and done that with pretty much all of the Holiday MomProblems you have. In no particular order, here are the things that are driving us crazy this holiday season.
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The Elf on the Shelf
I have had shockingly little Elf on the Shelf drama at my house. I follow PaperHeartFamily’s tips for a stress-free Elf on the Shelf experience, keep the elf’s exploits exceedingly simple, and even – dare I admit it?- enjoy finding little things for him to do and seeing the happiness on my kids’ faces as they hunt for him each morning.
This morning, Lila accidentally touched the Elf. She was trying to get something that was near him, and her hand brushed up against him. And the tears, y’all. THE TEARS.
Luckily, good old Google came through with a simple spell that would give him his powers back. We sprinkled some cinnamon around him and sang a Christmas Carol, and voila! his magic returned.
Is it a little voodoo-magicky for my taste? Sure. But it took one stressor away from my morning, so I’m calling it a win.
The School Plays and Parties
This is the first year that both of my kids have been in school- one in preschool, one in kindergarten- and the holiday school agenda is SERIOUS. We’ve got cookie decorating at one’s school on Tuesday- which happens to be the same date and time as the other’s class party. Then on the day of OTHER kid’s party, the older one has to sing in a Holiday show. I need to be in two places at once, and no amount of sprinkled-cinnamon-and-Christmas-caroling is going to give ME that kind of magic.
Add to that the fact that we need to donate sprinkles for said cookie decorating, and wrap a book for that party, and buy PJs that are “school appropriate and holiday themed” for the older one’s Christmas show? The class celebrations just may end up killing me this year.
The December Birthdays
We’ve got an insane flurry of birthdays in December– my husband, my mother, my father-in-law, my nephew, my brother-in-law, Salty little Evie – and that means we’re doing double time on the gift buying, party-attending, and cake. And you can’t just lump them in with Christmas- if their birthday’s on December 10, you can’t move it a full two weeks for the sake of a double celebration.
Having a December birthday kind of sucks, so we try to make sure to properly celebrate each and every one. And while that is exhausting- it also means SO MUCH CAKE. So we’re not complaining too much.
Toddler and Decorations Don’t Play Well Together
A couple of weeks ago, we took the kids to see The Grinch. And it was AMAZING. I think I liked it as much as my kids did. Except Abe is taking it a little too seriously.
His favorite game to play right now is Mr. Grinch. Which basically means that he takes down all of the stockings (and as many ornaments as he can find before I catch him) and puts them in our fireplace. No amount of toddler-proofing my decorations could have prepared me for that.
So that’s been fun.
Impossible to Shop for People
When it comes to toys, my kids pretty much have them ALL. They are so stinking lucky that they have so many grandparents who spoil and love them, but at Christmas time it becomes pretty impossible to think up new toys and items that work for them. What could I possibly get kids who already have everything??
Which is why Santa pretty much always brings my kids some kind of tickets (Disney on Ice, maybe, or even passes to the indoor playground in town), a book, and some PJs. I definitely draw the short straw in the good-gifts department.
Too Many Traditions
I have done myself a GRAVE disservice. In the early years, I lost my mind in the “yay we have kids to share the Christmas spirit with!” excitement and started all of these traditions, which are now pretty impossible to keep up with.
Every year, we add a homemade ornament to the tree. We build a gingerbread house. We do an advent calendar with both chocolates and wrapped Christmas books. We make sugar cookies from scratch for Santa. We visit Santa, give him a handmade-list, and head to lunch at the same place every year. We go on a Christmas lights-and-hot-cocoa-walk every weekend. I bake a huge batch of treats for my husband’s work. And now we’ve even got an Elf of our own.
I’m drowning in a sea of traditions of my own making. Because apparently, I don’t like myself all that much.
Last Minute Gifts
It never fails- I think I’m done shopping, and then a last minute gift exchange comes up. Whether it’s gifts for the entire class, a new family that we’ve never bought for before, or just a White Elephant exchange at a party, we’re sent all the way back to square one.
So Much Pressure…That I Put On Myself
At the end of the day, the holidays are meant to be enjoyed. It’s not about the art projects (unless you love them) or the traditions (again, unless you love them) or the shopping and wrapping. It’s about feeling the Christmas spirit, and spending time doing things you love, with the people you love.
So calm down there, mama. Take some time for yourself. We are gonna make it through this holiday season in one piece.
It’s what moms do.
Emma Thompson in #LoveActually is every mom everywhere.
Like, not the cheating part but the cry and then put your brave face on for the Christmas play part.
Like, even when you think you may die you still put on your goddamn cardigan and watch your kid be a lobster.#momlife
— The Salty Mamas (@saltymamas) December 12, 2018
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