Be A Bad Mom This Holiday Season

Be A Bad Mom This Holiday Season
There's a moment in “A Bad Moms Christmas” when Christine Baranski informs her character’s daughter, “Amy, you’re a mom. Moms don’t enjoy, they give joy, that’s how being a mom works.” I'm sorry, what? Who says moms can't enjoy the holiday season? Well, a lot of women actually, based on their behavior. In reflection, while I was growing up, the women in my family suffered from numerous colds lasting months on end which should have terminated in a week or less. Copious amounts of coffee were poured to compensate for lack of sleep because they stayed up all night crafting handmade presents, baking cookies, and wrapping packages. They shopped at the last minute to get that gift for Dave and accounting who they didn't really know that well anyway. Why do we do this to ourselves? This morning I opened “Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach. The author cites a quote by Dr. Sigmund Freud in which he admits after years of research still being unable to diving what women want. Ms. Ban Breathnach’s retort? “A nap, Dr. Freud. A nap. Now. Today.” R-E-S-T Something women often don't get enough of to begin with, but only declines more rapidly with the onset of the holiday season. What we forget is that if you rest, you have more energy for the people you love, spend less time being sick, and might actually get to enjoy some of the moments and the memories that come with the holidays. So here's what I'm proposing for the 12 Days of Christmas (or 8 Days of Hanukkah, but there are 12 statements, okay?): 1. Buy Christmas cookies or choose the simplest recipe you can find. -Now is not the time to impress Susie Smith with your excellent baking skills, we all know you're just doing it to passive-aggressively get her back for what she did to you at the school bake off anyway. Save it for fundraising season rolls around, now is not the time, or better yet be kind to her instead. Also, most people will eat cookies that are in front of them regardless of where they came from or how fancy they look. 2. Convince everyone in your office or friend group or family group or any other group you're expected to buy gifts for to do a holiday gift exchange and set the limit at $25 or less. Better yet, opt for a charity donation instead. -If you choose a charity, not only is money going to a cause of your choice, it also can be a deduction when you do your taxes this year. -Let's be honest, you didn't want that candle or chemical filled, artificially scented lotion anyway. It really made your skin itch. 3. Say yes to one or maybe two of the most important holiday gatherings and say no to the rest. -Those people will still be there in January, think about organizing a post-holiday party when the hustle and bustle have settled down. Even consider doing Christmas in July with your family, you'll save money on plane tickets and after-Christmas sales. 4. Just give up on handmade gifts this year. -If you haven't already finished them, now is really too late to start. You will spend too many hours working on your project that you could be spending sleeping, or participating with your family making memories. Put a note on your calendar sometime around July 2018, and get online to look for this year's gift. 5. Use gift bags for all but perhaps one or two special gifts. -Your loved ones (especially children) just want to get it what's inside and don't really care about the packaging. -Buy gift bags in bulk from stores like Costco, Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, Joann’s or Amazon. 6. When selecting a holiday recipe, choose one with 10 ingredients or fewer (including spices) which can be prepped in 10 minutes or less and placed in a crock pot or the oven and left alone. -See #1, re: not going overboard. -Spending 8 hours actively cooking does not affect its nutritional value and your family will still eat it. (If they won’t, offer to let them pay for takeout). 7. Repeat after me: “I ask for and accept help every day.” Repeat as often as needed. -Your family is more than capable of helping you. Rinse and repeat. 8. Spend at least 10 minutes alone every day. -Hit the reset button, breathe, reflect, and face your stressors with a clearer mind. 9. Spend at least 10 minutes one-on-one with your spouse every day. -Alone, not with a room full of people. Reconnect, tell each other one thing you appreciated from that day. 10. Treat yourself (no, #’s 8, 9, & 10 don’t count). -Don’t try to launch yourself into New Year’s resolutions early. Save that for January when things have calmed down. Get a pedicure. 11. Go to bed before 10 p.m. every night in December. -No, I'm not kidding, you may stop laughing. If you get more rest, you will have more energy for the activities you face and will have a better ability to handle the stress that comes with them. Can’t find enough time? Go back to #1-7 12. Give yourself the gift of grace -Don’t give yourself grief about the cookie you just ate. It is okay to give the same gift card to 10 people. You’re only human and there are only 24 hours in a day, you’re doing the best you can with the resources you have. Do take a breath to settle yourself, and look back at #’s 1-11 to help manage your stress, then give someone a hug, you will both feel better. Please share this with a friend or loved one! Celebrate being a “bad” (aka AMAZING) mom and encourage each other through the holidays!