Behind every Pinterest-perfect Christmas tree, flawlessly decorated mantel, and plateful of red and green sugar-sprinkled cookies typically lies a frazzled mom who’s about ready to lose it. Yeah, sure, some moms sail through the season without the tiniest hint of twisted tinsel, but most moms are blinded in a blizzard of endless to-do lists and plum pudding panic.
No matter which end of the spectrum you fall, or maybe you’re somewhere in the middle, if you are one of the frazzled moms out there (like me), you might appreciate knowing that you’re not alone. Here are 6 things totally frazzled, worn-out moms do during the holidays:
Adopt a “Merry Christmas to Me” Attitude
When the holiday shopping season kicks off, we start out with all good intentions. “I need to buy that Adidas sweatshirt for Cara, and, oh, Brandon wants that gadget for his phone,” but somehow, in the craziness of the season, and maybe because we’re feeling just a little under-appreciated for all that we do, we end up buying a few more presents for ourselves than we planned.
And, since we have years of academy training in the art of rationalization when our husband asks us why there’s a pile of price tags in the trash can and no presents under the tree, we calmly look at him and say, “Don’t give me that look…the kids have way too much crap anyway.”
Cook (a Lot) Less
You know it’s the holidays when you and the pizza delivery guy are on a first-name basis and your freezer is packed with Hot Pockets, corn dogs, and mozzarella sticks. When we’re on our feet for hours shopping for the perfect gifts for our kids, (knowing full well they’re going to return every single one of them) and we’re wrapping ’til the wee hours of the morning, it’s exhausting.
Who feels like coming home and making dinner? Even the thought of making a grilled cheese sandwich is too much to bear, so we just call Henry… he’s the nice guy who’s been bringing dinner to our door the last two weeks.
Drink (a Lot) More
It starts out with a little Baileys in our coffee, half a shot of vodka in our iced tea at lunch, and by the time dinner rolls around we’re chugging a bottle of wine just to muster up the energy to wrap the mound of presents we have hidden in the back of our closet. By the time we’re done wrapping, you can see the effects of the alcohol.
The first few presents are wrapped perfectly – each with its own little bow, curly ribbon, and gift tag, “To Sarah, Merry Christmas sweetheart! We love you! Love, Mom and Dad.” After six straight hours of wrapping and a couple of bottles of wine later, the last present is half thrown together with leftover crumpled wrapping paper, no bow, no curly ribbon and a name tag you slap on that reads, “To: S, If you hate it, return it yourself.”
Blow the Budget Out of the Water
Back in November, we had a serious, long talk with our husbands about how the kids are getting older, how they really don’t need as much and why we need to scale back this Christmas. We look into his eyes with total sincerity and promise on our great uncle’s grave to stick with the plan.
Two weeks later, we’re desperately trying to hide gifts (and the credit card bill) in obscure places we hope he’ll never look like under the mattress in the guest bedroom or behind the bag of dog food in the garage. And, because we’re masters of rationalization, we convince ourselves we deserve it while muttering under our breath, “What the hell… you only live once.”
Keep Shopping LONG After You Tell Yourself You’re Done
Here lies the issue for us moms – Christmas is just one big calculation. The more kids we have, the more calculations we have to do. This is how it goes… “Johnny only has eight gifts to open, but he’s just going to have to get over it because we spent way more freaking money on him than we did, Mary. But, then again, I don’t want poor little Johnny to think that mommy loves him any less because he has less to open so I better go buy him more stuff.”
We line everything up on the bedroom floor when our kids are asleep and we calculate how many gifts each kid will get to open on Christmas morning. If one kid has more than the other (regardless of how much money we spent on them), we try to “even things out.” In our attempt to even everything out, we end up buying 57 more presents that our kids don’t need, don’t want and will probably never use.
Develop a Serious Case of Road Rage
We’re usually nice people… patient, understanding, and kind – except, that is, around the holidays. How is it possible that every crummy driver on the planet lands directly in front of us going 16mph in a 40mph zone while other drivers sit and text at a green light completely oblivious to the line of cars behind them blowing their horns?
Nothing is more frustrating than having a holiday to-do list a mile long and dealing with drivers who clearly took driving lessons from Miss Daisy. You try your best to refrain from getting out of your car and beating them to death with a candy cane, so instead, you just crank up the holiday music as loud as you can and tell yourself over and over, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singly loudly for all to hear.”