Christmas has come and gone. It is officially four days after Christmas.
Snap back to reality time was over two days ago. My honey went back to work, the children are home from school, and the lingering remains of Christmas are overly pungent in the home.
The mess is dressed from ceiling to floor, over flowed boxes are thrown from one room to another. Toys are unavoidable, tripping has become the new walk.
Laundry Mountain has gained a new peak, as did garbage mound gained a new height. I think the recyclables even laughed at me as I was digging garbage out of the receptacle.
Baby mush and dirt is the new perfume, I think I even repulsed the garbage man today when I was bringing the trash to the curb but I still received my smile and wave.
Left overs are falling from the fridge. The dog confused today for buffet day, and thought the open refrigerator was his ticket in. I guess I have to cook dinner today after all.
If I step on one more damn Lego today… as I step on one more Lego.
The Christmas Rut is alive and well.
Holidays can be hard, there are a lot of expectations on parents between cooking, present’s and hosting. I normally like to consider myself a Suzy homemaker, I can usually handle it all but this year hit me hard. I felt debilitated Christmas morning, after hosting Christmas Eve, but I still got up and made a huge Christmas Breakfast, than hosted Christmas dinner. The next day was hard, but I still had the help of my husband. The clutter, the mess, the laundry, all overwhelming. It was the 27th when I really felt it all, a mix of emotions, an overwhelmed feeling that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. I have suffered depression before and was so nervous that this is what it was, was I slipping into a deep depression? Could I pull myself out if it is depression? Should I start therapy again? With the feelings, followed anxiety. I hate having unanswered questions, and I loathe the unknown.
Luckily, I have formed a great friendship with an awesome parent advocate, I call her my savior because she always has the answers for me, and always has a way to make things better because a lot like me, she has walked a similar path. I shared my problems with her, and she said the feeling is normal. Holidays are a lot of stress, and besides the “normal” issues with holiday, we have additives. Co-parenting, split schedules, and brain disorders make-up the normal in my home, and although we have adjusted and accepted all of the above it does not take away the stress that can come along with it. I was relieved to hear that it was ok that I felt sad, tired, and over worked because I was… I ran a marathon and never stopped to refresh.
This is where self-care comes in, and this is where I can be held accountable for the biggest crime. I feel like a selfish fool when I partake in self-care. When the kids are home, I don’t even like going to the gym. In a sense I feel like it is taking something away from them. To be honest, the more I rally against self-care the more I realize I am a better person, and even a better mom when I am the best me which means I have to partake in self-care, and yes this even means lacing up my gym shoes and hitting the treadmill because for me it is my stress release and even my happy place. This was part of the problem, between sick kids and Holidays it’s been two weeks since I last saw the gym. So I made a promise that I would get through New Year’s Eve, Host a rocking New Year’s Eve party, and start my gym regimen once again Monday morning after New Year’s (along with every other person in the world).
I contemplated whether or not to share all of this. I hate coming off as a negative Nancy, and feel that sometimes what people need most is a positive perspective, but the more and more I thought about it the more I realized is yes positive is great but honest is even better. Besides, the whole purpose of my blog is to give hope, perspective, and support.
Thank you for stopping by and reading, I hope you find this useful. Any questions, or tips? Please leave a comment below and I would be happy to hear what everyone has to say!
Ever see “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, well if there was ever a real life rendition of the Whos in Whoville, it would be me. I am often told that the Holidays look like they threw up all over my home. What can I say, I love the magic of all of the holidays. For a rather long time we had all of the Children, all of the time, and then came a change in the wind and the holidays started to be shared. The change was an adjustment to be made, but after long and hard review of all of the important factors we have found a way to happily adjust, and more importantly make for a smooth transition for the children.
Last year was the first year my (step) children started going to their (bio) mom’s house for alternating holidays. My son always only went on thanksgiving for half, Christmas Eve, and half of Easter, which never bothered me at all. With the “new” schedule for my (step) kids we would be missing WHOLE DAY HOLIDAYS. It honestly made me sad when the agreement was first finalized, I thought of all the activities they would be missing and all the memories we would be losing, but I also lost sight of all of the memories they were missing from making with their mom. My then greediness turned into sadness, and I now find ways around the void.
We have our traditions and she has hers, and luckily for us a lot of the times we are able to meet somewhere in the middle so the kids still get the best of both worlds. A great example of this is Thanksgivings are every other year from early morning to late night, a long standing tradition of ours is the Elf on the Shelf makes his grand entrance, and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade gets plastered on every television in the house. Rather than missing this tradition, she very graciously agreed to pick the kids up later. We do a lot of give and take, but at the end the day the goal is to achieve what is best for The Children.
Again, with me being the real life representative of WhoVille the holidays aren’t just one day, nope Christmas last from the day after Thanksgiving to Christmas. I could very easily schedule things when I feel like it, and not around the children but where exactly would that get anyone. It is important to be flexible. Making the children feel torn between the two parents does not feed a healthy lifestyle for an already hard situation, so scheduling around the children’s visits are best. When worst comes to worst and we are bound to dates and times, we try to work something out with their mom, but we completely understand that she has a life and plans as well so sometimes that isn’t an option. When the kids can’t make something, find a way to include them anyway. My stepchildren weren’t able to make a gingerbread party, rather than them feeling excluded we purchased them houses to decorate when they got home. Compensating for the loss is important, but over compensating is a big no no, nor is reminding the children that they will be missing anything. Believe me, we have had many moments where my (step) children get upset about going with their mom for the holidays, but it is our job to put the positive on it. Never entertain negative feelings about the kids going with their other parent. It is a recipe for disaster, and it only opens the door for them to try to play one parent against the other, nip it in the bud right away.
I often try to find ways for the children’s (bio) mom to be included when she doesn’t have them for the holiday, this I find helps soften the blow when she does have them so they do not feel that much of a change in routine because she is around for “every holiday”. This is as simple as a phone call, to sending pictures, buying her gifts if holiday appropriate, and even having her over for holiday activities. The children should never feel alienated from their parents especially on holidays.
It is okay to have trouble with sharing the holidays, and not having the kids with you all the time, honestly it’s a hard adjustment and hard feelings are expected. When you first had children I am sure your dream of the perfect family didn’t included divorces and shared holidays, but just as you didn’t ask for this neither did the children. It is important to keep your eye on the prize with this one, and that is to raise a child who doesn’t suffer the terms of the divorce/separation.
I hope my tips help you get through the holidays, and more importantly I hope the Holidays are warm and comforting to you and your family.
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Thank you for visiting!
Christmas time comes with many to do’s, and must buy’s. I always make sure that I thank the Mailman (I am sure he has grown a seed of hatred for me, and I always try to redeem myself… I do A LOT of mail order, and that means A LOT of trips from his mail truck), the garbage men (a family of 7 produces an absurd amount of garbage which mean A LOT of heavy lifting), and all the people that interact with my rug rats on a daily basis.
Every year I always struggle with what to get for my children’s teachers. I feel like the go to is a box of chocolates, or a mug and I hate spending money on something that is just going to be tossed, and between you and me, I have an in who says things do get tossed during the holiday season. Which honestly, I hate to say I condone it but how many coffee mugs or etc. does one person need, which is why for the past years I went with the generic gift card…but it’s exactly that a generic gift card, I hate, no I loathe gift cards I feel like there is no thought behind it, and in my opinion gifts HAVE to have thought behind it.
With the holiday approaching my weekly trips to Michaels have turned into daily trips, I can’t seem to stay away. Besides, every day is a new deal, and I hate missing good deals. So, after my morning trip to the Gym, the two littles make our now daily trip to Michaels. The task at hand yesterday was teacher gifts, I promised myself we would walk out of the store with the tedious task completed. Instead, we walked out with 5 more ornaments for our tree, glass ornaments, paper, and ribbon to make more ornaments for our tree, 12 tiny gift bags, tissue paper and 2 craft kits for Madeleine my stubborn 4 year old who swore she would die without them. Yea, so I accomplished absolutely nothing which means I am out 60 dollars and still have to buy for the teachers.
After we arrived back home, and unpacked all of our very unnecessary goodies I felt an air of defeat, and I know it sounds absurd it’s just Christmas gifts and I still have an ample amount of time to buy, but this is an every year struggle that I have yet to crack the code to. I started searching online, and I stumbled upon an article titled “9 dos & don'ts of teacher gifts every parent should know” written by Emily Sher from Today.com http://www.today.com/news/teacher-gift-ideas-they-will-actually-love-1D80366026 The article hits every key note, ones of which I kind of already knew, but there is nothing I love more than having someone solidify a thought or feeling of mine.
The important tips that the article noted was “Remember that teachers are adults too, Don’t waste money on little trinkets or mugs, Do get creative, Don’t go overboard or too weird, Do work within your budget, Do give a gift from the heart, Don’t forget the specialty teachers, Do make it personal, and Do pool money with other parents”.
Now that I am sure that I am not buying a mug, or an ornament or a box of chocolates that breaks it down to only a million things of what do I buy? I have seen other parent’s buy wine for the teachers, but although I am a lover of wine, and I know teachers are people too, I don’t really feel it’s appropriate but hey that’s me, if you think that’s an easy go to, go for it and I am sure they will love it. I know I always appreciated a nice bottle of wine during the holidays. I love the idea of being creative, but I also feel it’s hard to be creative without trinkets and gizmos, so that means it is off to Pinterest for me.
The first pin I came upon was from Delightfulorder.com http://blog.delightfulorder.com/2013/12/teacherneighbor-christmas-gift-ideas.html
I love the idea of combining being crafty with the usefulness of a gift card. This also gives me a chance to flex my rhyming muscles, and I am right up there with Mother Goose when it comes to liking rhymes. As I roamed around Pinterest the more I found cute ideas similar to the first one.
The Girl Creative has a great blog centered on the gift card cards, and even includes an easy free printable for 3 different designs, which makes taking a visit to her blog a no brainer. http://www.thegirlcreative.com/printable-christmas-gift-card-holders/
With the help of an awesome article, and some awesome blogs, I now conclude my case on “The Teacher Gift Dilemma”, and decided to stick with the gift cards but to add a little twist to it with a cute little play on words for the cards. I am now out of doom and gloom, and can resume being joyous for the upcoming holidays, I can’t wait to share the completed product with all of you!
What do all of you do for your children’s teachers? Do you give to all of your children’s teachers such as music teacher’s, and art teachers? What about bus drivers? I would love to hear all of your inputs, and I am even open to advice!
Any questions? Have tips? Follow me on twitter, Pinterest, email me, or comment below.
Thank you for visiting!