I want to be anti-Martha. I want to hate Pinterest. It would be so much easier not to care whether my tablescape matched my dishes or how the presents are arranged under the tree.
And the feminist in me hates myself for this attitude. Women don’t have to be concerned with things as trivial as this. But denying it would be fighting a part of who I am.
Thus, I can’t not strive for Martha. I go to work every day wishing I could be the shining star of a traditional woman. The one that all the other moms at school hate because she’s constantly upstaging them. The one who apparently has time for this shit because she hires someone to do the babysitting, cooking, and cleaning.
Anyway, that’s a dream in my heart that will stay hidden until I retire and am too tired to care anymore.
And, so… this Christmas was hard.
It was my daughter’s first one, and that means that I also for the first time was disallowed many of the hours that I previously put towards buying thoughtful Christmas presents or making homemade ones. I came out of the holidays this time with the same guilty feeling that I didn’t express my love and appreciation well enough – except this time, it was 1,000 times worse.
Add to it the drama of getting it all done last minute because Thanksgiving weekend is half as productive as it used to be, and now you’ve got stress on top of guilt. Awesome. It’s mid-January and I’m still apologizing to myself and others.
That’s why I’m writing this blog. I hope it’s therapeutic instead of torturous.
Without further delay – here is a list of ways that I failed this Christmas:
- I blew off people I wanted to make plans with
- My tree looked like shit
- My favorite people’s gifts were half as thoughtful
- I did nothing to tell the baby’s daycare teachers how much I appreciate them (actually, NEED them)
- I forgot my coworkers and their baby showers completely
- My indoor Christmas decorations were tired
- We didn’t participate in the holiday decorating contest, and I’m an HOA member
- I didn’t enjoy the time at one family event because I was worried about the next one
- We didn’t even think about sending Christmas cards
- I didn’t take care of myself (because I was so stressed)
- I fought with my husband over stupid stuff
Ouch. New Year’s resolution: don’t do that again.
What I’m going to do about it
Again, I wish that I could turn off this part of my brain. Just not care. Just get over it. When I try that, I just end up saying one thing and feeling another. Relieving this stress, for me, takes action. Here’s the plan:
- Set aside time for myself. I’ve written about this a few times, but the routine always sneaks away. I know, though, that if I schedule yoga brunch with my daughter on Saturday mornings and make sure I focus on enjoying the moment, I will feel a lot better about the to do list.
- Communicate better with my husband, and delegate better to him. He LOVES sending Christmas cards. Next year, he can take care of it from photo to design to envelopes. #win I also could do a better job of prescribing the grocery shopping I need or the decorations to hang outside.
- Keep an ideas log. Gift giving is easy. Thoughtful gift giving is hard, especially when you are crunched for time. Thus, I opened a special spot in my Trello board to log gift ideas throughout the year that might shortcut the thought process next fall.
- Make up for it later. My dad’s birthday is in February. Perfect, we’ll do something more thoughtful for that. The daycare teachers are there forever, so I can always give them something later.
- Take advantage of those sales! I made a pact with myself to slowly replace some of my least favorite decorations each year. Someday, I’ll have a home like Martha (really a home like my Grandma, who upgraded & passed along the hand me downs). I feel good in the meantime that at least I have something.
There it is. Here I go. Do you have more tips? I could use them!