Back in October, I started following a Christmas Countdown on Twitter. At this point, they tell me there are mere days before the 25th, but our Christmas begins on the 23rd with family celebrations, food and gifts. Because I’m one of those moms who is very much like Buddy the Elf in my pre-Christmas enthusiasm, I had a very exciting countdown list. I ordered a cute countdown set and set it up next to our Jesse tree. I was ready.
And then, I got sick. Again. Like 19 days of constant illness after I finally felt pretty good from surgery in early November. After I got sick, Liam took his first real dive in the world of preschool germs and I found his stash of vitamins that he’d barely chewed and then tossed. Of course, he got sick. He woke up on December 1st with gross eyes. I’ve never in my whole 32 years seen pink eye in a child… I’ve heard horrible things about it sweeping through a classroom or a family so I *might* have freaked out. We made a weekend trip to urgent care and he was prescribed an antibiotic that he is apparently very allergic to. Also. He didn’t have the sinus or ear infection they insisted he did. We went to our actual doctor the next day and I left annoyed that my poor little guy had been so miserable for no reason.
This weekend, I finally started to feel better and was just so sad to notice Sylvi starting with the icky eyes. Of all the great things I had planned for our Christmas countdown, we’ve done less than five. Bacteria has a way of throwing a wrench in plans, you know? I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that all my plans going by the wayside didn’t make me throw myself a pity party.
So here I am with all these grand plans and goals for the next few days and I just stopped. I sat back and looked at my kids and took inventory of my head and decided I was making a poor choice. Somewhere in early December I read on a parenting blog (Jen Hatmaker, perhaps?) “if the advent activity makes you scream, don’t do it“… so simple and yet when I read that I thought to myself that I’d better be on the lookout for screaming. In my quest to be the most fun a type-A mom can be, sometimes I cross the line and totally screw it up; our “adventure” turns into a total disaster because I can’t get my expectations to an appropriate place.
I called my friend last night and cancelled our plans for today. We didn’t get dressed all day, or eat meals at the table or comb our hair. I haven’t done the Jesse Tree for the day or unloaded the dishwasher. But this morning, when Liam crawled into bed with me, he asked what we were doing today… he’s run ragged between feeling icky this month and Mom’s super calendar. I told him we were just going to stay home and do nothing today. His sleepy eyes lit up and he heaved a big sigh of “I love staying home!” The only time I left the house today was to get the giant package kindly delivered by FedEx. We watched movies and played Legos and colored and snuggled. I finished a quilt that will be gifted next week to my cousin’s baby with watching an episode of Leverage.
The realization that it was time to stop trying so hard to be fun and just BE hit me pretty hard. I thought about my journey over the last few years as I started blogging my thoughts. We ate a diet that was primarily local. I was so dedicated om only purchasing items that were produced within the boarders of Ohio. I learned how to grind wheat and where to find the best local produce. I learned how to can my garden’s harvest. I learned how to actually cook! I became a mother who broke her vow to never, ever purchase drive through food for her children… and I came to terms with the fact that I just really like boxed mac and cheese better than my own homemade. With each of these moments in my life, I’ve had to adjust my expectations and over time, it’s proved to be beneficial to my own well-being!
Gretchen recently wrote about teaching herself Self-Control. Guess what? It’s not just toddlers and 27-year-olds who need to learn it! It’s moms with the mile-long list and a house full of germs. However, it turns out that an afternoon of Legos and princess tiaras can go a lot farther in learning that lesson than one would originally think. And in the end, the reality is what will be… so I’d better learn to embrace it quicker!