With the big day fast approaching and most jobs crossed off my list, I find new things to panic about towards getting Christmas organised.
In our house it came to a head yesterday when I finally let rip because nobody else seemed to care that the big day was fast approaching and the house looked like a pig sty. Now, I openly admit, I am not a house proud person. My house is always clean but it is messy. You know the old saying that a tidy house is the sign of a bored person, well, I must be the most mentally active person I know then! So, while I don’t mind all the boys toys thrown in a heap, the heap has to be in the place the toys live, which in our house in under the stairs. Old person really annoys me because rather than put things away, she will just move them about – we call it that she is playing chess again! I do however like the house to look presentable when there are people coming, and with Hubbys Mum staying with us over the holidays, it has to be done. Yesterday as fast as I tidied one area, two were turned upside down, and I finally exploded. I told everyone that if they didn’t care about getting organised for Christmas, then why should I? I also went as far as saying that if nobody was willing to help, then this would definitely be the last year that I bothered! At this point I went upstairs to strip beds and tidy there – the boys have invited half the town to drop in over the holidays which I think is great, so I thought I should knock and inch of dust of their shelves and pick up all the books and magazines – although I did get in trouble for moving them! I also gutted the bathroom, as my MIL will be moaning anyway that we haven’t had the shower fixed without also needing more negativity! When I finally returned downstairs, the living room was tidy ish. They hadn’t done much but had made an effort.
This got me thinking about the pressure we put upon ourselves to make the perfect day. Is there such a thing as a perfect day? I think it is all an illusion we want to believe in from some sappy movie we have seen. After all, we rarely get a white Christmas, but believe it should be, and likewise we believe in a perfect family Christmas.
A friend of mine, also commented on Facebook yesterday, that she hadn’t signed up to be a slave and yet that was what her family were expecting of her – there were plenty of comments agreeing that is was a shared feeling at the moment.
Is the weekend before Christmas the time we say enough is enough?
But is this not part of being a Mum? Now all you guys out there, don’t start shouting at me about how men do things towards the festivities, and the single Dad families, I know all that, and I am not putting these people down, but traditionally the role falls to Mum, and despite the changing face of women in the workplace, there is still evidence that the majority of work within the home falls to the woman, and we a silly enough not to be working to change that!
We, as the principal care giver in the home, take it upon ourselves to get it right. I know I want the perfect day for everyone. It’s not about me, I suppose I am subservient by nature – anything for a quite life! We do however take on, and take on, until we can do no more – at this point I have an image of the players in cabbages and kings from Crackerjack – if you aren’t of a certain age that reference will mean nothing to you!, but by this stage everyone else has the attitude of why should they help. So does it serve us right when they don’t? No it doesn’t, but the rest of the household aren’t mind readers and can’t guess what we think is the priority to get done. I suppose we should learn to delegate but that is definitely easier said than done!
This morning, I had the food delivery. We have enough food in this house to last us until Easter probably! Its silly, and every year I say we should cut back, but just because it’s there doesn’t mean we will pig out too much. I seriously probably wont shop – other than for milk, until way into January. But to see the way people do shop does make you think of the gluttony we as a society accept. I popped into the supermarket on Friday, just for a couple of bits, and the piled high trollies were amazing, some of them real feats of how to defy gravity! You would think the shops were shut for a month and not just 36 hours! How much of that food will be wasted? I am a reuse sort of person so any leftovers become another meal. Old person loves soup and you can make that out of almost anything!! We therefore actually throw out very little wasted food, and that is a boast I am proud of.
And what about present buying. Why do we go so mental? I love buying gifts for people, there is something really satisfying about knowing it is the right thing for that person. We are however not made of money, so I do a little throughout the year. The boys don’t need anything, and so they will get a lot of little presents – the old people will comment about the amount the boys receive, but it is books, and games, not computers and electronics.
I think back to what my Christmases were like as a child, and remember the excitement of opening the first present. We were always allowed to open just one first thing, and it was always an annual which kept us busy while everyone else got organised. I remember them being happy, as my granddad would always stay, but I always remember them being long days and I would usually take myself off upstairs to write my thank you letters and get some peace mid afternoon.
I want my boys to remember these times with fondness, and so I should loosen the straps a little and not let it stress me so much because that’s not a good memory for them.
Maybe I will never be the go with the flow sort of person that just lets things happen but I think like many I should stop having such unrealistic expectations of this time of year, and just try and enjoy them a little more.