Fellow mamas: Raise your hand if this year has knocked you off your feet. (Is your hand up? Mine is!)
Even if you feel like you eventually got your footing, it’s been a jarring few months (and things are still so very off kilter). And guess what? Now the holiday season is on the horizon, which means our to-do lists are only going to get longer. We’ll have all the everyday stuff to still maintain while adding magic, festivity, and tradition to the mix, too.
Even though Christmas is always such a warm and special time of year, it can feel overwhelming, too. Let’s be real: in most households, lots of the Christmas-related duties fall on Mom’s shoulders. (It happens in our house, even though for the rest of the year we operate in a very 50/50 manner.)
Speaking for myself, some of this burden is self induced. I’M the one who wants our family to have Christmas cards, so I’m the one who orchestrates the family photos, designs the cards (with input/approval from Kevin), orders the cards, and addresses them. I’M the one who wants our house to be decorated for the holidays (even though we don’t go overboard or anything), and so I’m usually the one hauling the boxes down from the attic and getting everything set up. (Oh! Maybe this year I’ll get a pass on the attic part since I’m pregnant…) I’M the one who wants to make sure we incorporate activities like cookie baking and visiting the local light show, so I coordinate those things.
And I don’t feel resentful of any of them. (Really, I don’t!) Part of me loves being the ringleader of the season, especially just recently when Maggie’s been able to enjoy so much of it as well. But even when it feels fun and fulfilling, it’s A LOT. Because of course not all of these tasks are enjoyable ones (even if the end result is worth it), and they’re taking time away from the other things we need to keep doing in order to keep our worlds spinning (you know, the grocery shopping and the laundry and the work and the family time and more). Not to mention that it’s important for us as moms to keep self care on the list so we can show up as the best versions of ourselves all year – Christmastime included.
If you’re starting to feel this combined feeling of excitement and overwhelm when you anticipate the holiday season, know that you aren’t alone. In fact, Zulily (a brand I blog for and respect because they really “get” moms) is helping to shed light on allll the work moms take on this time of year in a neat way: by bringing the spirit of Mrs. Claus to the forefront (and in doing so telling moms everywhere, “I SEE YOU” and shining a light on all they’re balancing during the season).
I LOVE this idea, because, admittedly, I’ve never given Mrs. Claus much thought. When I think of Christmas and the North Pole, I think of Santa meticulously going through wish lists from kids worldwide, of him heading up the workshop where his elves make toys for all the children around the globe, of that long fabled journey he and his reindeer take every Christmas Eve to personally deliver gifts to all the kiddos.
But what about Mrs. Claus? Surely there’s lots of slack to pick up with an in-demand husband like she has – especially this time of year! I imagine there are so many responsibilities that fall to her to make Christmas beautiful and special each year for her, Santa, the elves, and their friends and family. Maybe she coordinates Christmas dinner for a huge crowd, handles all the decorating (Santa’s too busy for that!), makes sure everyone’s holiday clothes are ready for the season, manages gifts for the extended family, bakes cookies and other treats to share with neighbors, writes thank you notes for the family, and more. (Sound familiar?)
And so this year, instead of feeling alone in our holiday overwhelm, let’s 1) reach out and share the season with other moms and 2) channel Mrs. Claus in all we do. Let’s bring her spirit into the mix so we don’t feel alone, but rather acknowledged and encouraged and motivated. After all, SHE KNOWS WHAT IT’S LIKE to juggle life plus Christmas – she’s been doing it for centuries!
Is this something you find comforting and helpful, too? Does it make you feel more noticed amidst the holiday shuffle? Does it make you feel more connected to the broad web of mothers making Christmas happen behind the scenes? I’d love to know your thoughts, and whether you, too, plan to bring Mrs. Claus into the mix – if only for yourself – this year!