The internet is filled with blog posts just dripping with mommy guilt. These posts are about how a mom lost her temper, yelled or lost her patience or cried or otherwise acted imperfectly, then tearfully apologized to her kids. These posts are about moms trying to forgive themselves.
“Tis the season of lowered expectations,” I recently texted a dear friend and fellow mom of two. Because in this month of hyped-up hopes and dreams of how you’d like to celebrate, the reality is it’s hard to keep up—especially when you have a few kiddos in the mix.
So this year I tried to scale back what I planned to do at Christmas with my girls.
Lowering Christmas expectations
It was hard to minimize expectations because Peeper is so into Christmas. If she’s refusing wind-down time before bed, I mention Christmas jammies and she sprints to her room. I bribe her not with candy or TV time but with the privilege of putting an ornament on the tree. She literally jumps up and down when I return from the mailbox: She wants to open “Christmas mail.” I’m pretty sure I could call asparagus Christmas trees and she’d dig in.
(Hey, that’s actually a good idea. I may try that.)
Yet when the day we’d planned to cut our own Christmas tree turned into a deluge, I said we could go to the lot instead. And when Kiwi was having a hard morning—and therefore I was having a hard morning—I suggested Eric take Peeper. And when the day got later and we were approaching Peeper’s nap time, I agreed that he should go by himself. And when it took the entire day to get the darn tree into the house, I didn’t mind (too much). And when we put up ornaments piecemeal throughout the week instead of decorating the tree as a family, I sighed but realized I could live with it.