Chill out, moms

Today was Declan’s Christmas party at school, and I had a HUGE freak out when I (mistakenly) thought that several of his classmates had brought gifts for the other kids. (There was goodie bags and various other holiday accouterments in his backpack, I was in a rush and didn’t look at them, then I filled with rage, etc.) I was wrong, but during the time between when I saw all the stuff and actually opened and saw what it was, I was PISSED. My initial reaction to the thought of buying or making gifts for an entire class of 3-4 year olds that don’t even know each other’s names was OH HELL NO. THIS WILL NOT BE HAPPENING. And while my rage was unnecessary (this time), you can’t blame me for believing that’s what happened. Because some of you moms need to CALM DOWN.

Look, I’ve made it crystal clear that I’m much more Rosanne Arnold than June Cleaver. And while I don’t want to be a June Cleaver, I don’t begrudge my June Cleaver friends, or blame them for being so, well, June Cleaver. If you truly love crafting and baking and sewing and making ridiculously cute everything, that is awesome and I’m jealous. I have some truly gifted friends and I am AMAZED at the things they pull off just for the heck of it.

I'm her, but with cuter hair.

But lately, with all the Christmas stuff going on, I keep hearing over and over how STRESSED everybody is, and how BUSY the holidays are, how HECTIC things get. And maybe it’s because my kids are still young, I dunno, but it seems a lot of this stress is ridiculous.

I understand creating memories, family fun and the beauty that comes from making or creating something. I do, really. But if making the perfect Christmas cookies drive you to binge drink like me, don’t do it. That’s what the grocery store is for. So you want to bring something to your child’s Christmas party? Great! But instead of these:

The creator of these cookies blogged that her baked goods took 14 hours to decorate. Pass the meth.

How about these:

Even I can make these. Or buy them.

Why set the bar so high? The kids don’t care. Think back to your childhood. What made you happy: the fact that you got to eat cookies at your desk in school, or the fact that your cookies looked like pieces of art? Exactly.

If you are so stressed out over holiday parties and baking and decorating and shopping and wrapping, you are doing it wrong. A little stress is understandable; it’s a busy time of year. But if the cause of your headaches and hair-pulling are related in any way to frosting, bows or Hobby Lobby, do what the Roseannes of the world do: nothing. It’s much easier.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Chill out, moms

  1. Chelsea

    While we didn’t get any from-other-students gifts at preschool (this might have been because we left the singing program/party early…it was nap time for number two and frankly, we have seen Santa 3 times this week) we DID get a huuuge bag of goodie bags and cheap plastic and baked goods for Halloween. Like, more candy than she got trick-or-treating and she did the whole damn neighborhood. I just find it ridiculous and exhausting. I like to craft and bake but I’m weird about it…I don’t like to do the whole too-do for the class in fear that everyone will think I’m “that mom” or trying too hard. To each their own I guess, but people need to get hobbies that don’t involve trying to one-up everyone else around them all the time.

  2. Christi Wampler

    I think that’s it exactly. It feels like one-up-man-ship, AND if it makes you miserable and stressed, don’t do it. Your kid will NOT care.

  3. It’s so difficult to see what drives some people.

    To shock and awe, maybe?

    Recreating their childhood, maybe?

    Wanting to give their kids fond memories.

    We just never know..

    xo

  4. Christi Wampler

    Alexandra, I’m sure there are a ton of people that do these things because they truly enjoy it and they want to make holidays really special for their kids. But so many moms are BITCHING nonstop about how BUSY they are and how STRESSED they are, and I’m like, “your kid totally does not care how many monogrammed goodie bags you hand out at school for Arbor Day, so stop, and enjoy your kids.” Kids really don’t care. They don’t. So unless you truly enjoy doing it just for yourself, don’t sweat it, ya know?

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