I think it’s time to get something off my chest, Christmas is SO much harder with kids and it’s starting to suck. I know most of you, especially those who have started getting to know me are going…sorry what?? Harder with kids, you love being a mommy and all that this entails. And while that is mostly true, my answer is YES there are definitely some parts of Christmas, which in my humble opinion are harder with kids. This can make them very unenjoyable. It makes me want to run and hide from my daughter lately.
You never see it coming, all you see is the magic coming back, the wonder, the joy and while all of that is very true, it’s not all sparkle and light. The looks on those little faces are fantastic and something I would not trade my old Christmas’ for but there are some things I miss and some things I could definitely live without. And I am not afraid to admit it.
Some of these also apply if you do not have children but happen to be spending time around one during this lovely time of year.
The scary or stressful traditions…before we have kids, we love looking at the photos of the kids on Santa’s lap, especially the ones if they are crying (reference above, you know you laughed :)). You always kind of giggle and feel badly for those parents. Then you have children and you stop laughing. Can I ask one question…Why, for goodness sake, do we make our children sit on a strange man’s lap and ask for presents. If you were to look at it with a non-holiday eye it is rather creepy. I know once they are over the age of say 4 it tends to get better and they LOVE Santa, so this one is only a short problem but I was worried I was traumatizing my poor daughter!
The other stressful tradition I use to love, Christmas parties. They are fun and festive. I love the fresh baked cookies (another big hurdle now) the music and mingling, the ugly sweaters, everything. I just love it all. Now we are constantly chasing our toddler around trying to make sure she does not escape the room we are in. We are making sure she does not eat a thousand pre-mentioned cookies and actually gets some real food in that little belly. Without that the sugar crash is epic! Then there is leaving early, trying to get her to sleep and praying she sleeps through the night.
The magic…that’s right, I said it, the magic is starting to suck. Maybe it’s just because I am still somewhat a rookie when it comes to this parenting thing, maybe it will get easier with time but this magic is starting to suck the life out of me. Before having kids the longest I had to worry about not destroying the magic of Christmas was a night, maybe two; now it’s constant.
Not only do I have to worry about my daughter but all of her little friends. I don’t know how many times in one night I can take answering the 101 questions of Santa. “Well, Ms. Kristin, how do the Reindeer fly?”, “Ms. Kristin, how does Santa get around the whole world in one night??” He just does sweetie! I personally feel like there should be a set of agreed upon answers for all parents. You can tell when kids have gotten more than one answer to their questions. Then the is he real, is he not, questions start flying. It’s just downhill from there.
There is also not mentioning the presents and making sure the kids are not with you when you purchase the Santa gifts, different wrapping paper, etc, etc. AAAHHHHH!!!!! I just know I am going to spill the Santa secret before she is 3 years old. Lastly, I don’t know about you but before kids, I never woke up in a cold sweat at 3am because I forgot to move the damn ELF!
Shopping…Before kids, you and your husband/fiance/boyfriend (remember when he was just a boyfriend, ahhh) could shop until you dropped. My husband and I loved nothing more than wasting time, drinking hot chocolate and browsing around the stores searching for the perfect gift for not just each other but our family members. Now it is rushing in and out of stores as fast as possible before my daughter has a huge meltdown because I will not let her touch that crystal snowman that the store just HAD to put on the floor in a very un-kid friendly display. It is trying to schedule time around naps and most importantly it is trying to explain to an almost 2-year-old why we are hanging out among the toys for hours on end, which I do realize is putting my toddler under duress.
Wait don’t touch that!…My buggy not allowed to touch stuff in stores, it is just easier that way. Better than taking it from her in the checkout line and getting the looks from the non-parent shoppers all around me while she screams and begs for her new toy back. But now she has a host of new things she is not allowed to touch WHEREVER we go. This includes friends and relatives houses, malls, stores of all kinds, oh and our house.
I never realized how much non-kid friendly stuff we had around our house for holiday decor and the tree, I just can’t even get started on the tree. Ours has already had a couple casualties. Now I am sure a lot of you are like, just don’t put that out. No, that is not how I play. She can learn, as she has learned with most of our delicate stuff, do NOT touch! Yes, some adjustments will have to be made, yes, some things will break and some will stay in boxes but this is my parenting philosophy so I am just going to embrace it dammit. Plus I would rather she hear no and learn it at our house then go to others homes and start breaking grandma’s crystal snowman that she got from said impossible store. I have been getting this face A LOT this year…
The tyrants come out…(again that face) it is a daily struggle for a lot of parents to keep our kids in check. This time of year you would think Santa or apparently this Elf on a Shelf would help. They do but then the kids expect. I have not yet experienced this personally but I have seen it with kids I am close to.
Now there is a reason they are being good. There is a reason for helping and being polite and if the fat man doesn’t pay out there will be hell to pay! Every time kids are in a store this time of year it is I WANT THAT!!! MOM GET ME THIS!!! And then my friend, my poor friend, mom to two very smart boys, did not see the Christmas list. The boys said they sent it to Santa but she had not seen it…
Every time kids are in a store this time of year it is I WANT THAT!!! MOM GET ME THIS!!! And then my friend, my poor friend, mom to two very smart boys, did not see the Christmas list. The boys said they sent it to Santa but she had not seen it…ummm now what?!?! They have told her a couple of times “if I don’t get what I put on my List then I will know for sure Santa isn’t real (insert smug look here). How is she supposed to make those holiday dreams come true? So much for the magic and good luck to her is all I could think.
As I stated at the beginning there are plenty of reasons the holidays are SO much better with kids. But if we were all very honest with ourselves there are some things that are worse. We want the holidays, specifically Christmas, to be so perfect and that is on us. We put such added pressure around this time to make it magical and amazing. So much that we end up needing a vacation by the time the new year rolls around.
Here is to the moms who are willing to admit the magic is not, in fact, magic. It is simply us killing ourselves trying to be elves.
Kristin – The Perfectionist Mom
This Post was originally published on Dec, 15th 2014. But it is still so true!
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