Crazy holiday week! Tim's family is coming down Friday til Sunday as they do every year. We have made a tradition of House of Kobe on Friday night. It's lots of fun and the best Japanese steakhouse I have been to. We'll order pizza and watch a Christmas movie on Saturday night. I think we'll try "Christmas with the Kranks" this year.
One of the things that we're getting used to at our new church is the change in service times. At Crossroads we almost always went to 9:00am service, unless we did Saturday nights. I was internally programed to look at the clock and KNOW that we had to start getting in the van at 8:25. CPCRC has their kids' programs at the 10:30 service so that's when we go because I don't care how traditional I'm becoming I am NOT sitting next to Amelia during worship. We were already ready to go and it was 10:03. I looked at the clock and thought, "Hm, I have 25 minutes. I think I'll have a bite to eat." Soon it was 10:28 and Tim says, "What time is church?" Um, crap. I was TOTALLY thinking on the old schedule that I needed to leave at the bottom of the hour. Being the daughter of Linda and sister of Jefferson that I am, there was NO freakin' way I was going to church 20 minutes late. Oh well. Grace is sufficient.
I used to love Christmas. I loved it so much that fifteen years ago I got married at Christmas! I loved the lights and the music and the hustle and bustle and the food and the drink and the food and the drink and the fa la la la la la la la. . .but somewhere between there and here I got lost. Here I sit at 30-ish-something and I am wishing it was January. How wrong it that? Very wrong. Somehow in my mom-life the entire holiday season has become a never-ending chore list. Buy this, bake that (or buy this to make it look like I baked that). Go to festive parties with sassy-mouthed girls and a boy who feels compelled to put his grimy paws on every object lower than 36 inches. Keep everyone happy all the time! And don't forget matching! Everyone must match! (OK, that's my own neurosis, but a girl is entitled to one or two.) I want the joy back. I want the peace on earth. I want to not insert cuss words in the middle of fa la la la la la. I don't want my kids to remember Grumpy Mommy at Christmas. They are all destined for therapy anyway but maybe they can at least say, "Mama screwed me up somethin' BAD but Christmas shure was good!"
I have been thinking and stewing and praying and stewing and praying and stewing about this since Halloween. For me to get where I need to be this holiday season, I need to be specific and intentional. So here are my "Holiday Resolutions"
1. I am going to venture into the store I really really dislike~Family Christian Stores~and find a new advent devotional. Then I will order it from Amazon. :-)
2. I am not going to second guess my shopping. When I find a gift for someone, it is done. No rehashing to make sure it's perfect, "fair" to others on my list, wondering incessantly if they will like it, ect. I will follow lists and suggestions but I will not drive myself nuts.
3. I will let my kids be kids. Yes, they will need to follow the rules and not play football with Nana's pretties or Grandma's 785 teeny weeny ceramic things but they are kids. At least at Christmas, they need to play with their cousins and have fun.
4. I will watch "Elf" and "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" at least 3 times each.
5. I will not try to be Paula Deen because no one really likes my cooking anyway. I will only cook elaborate dishes for myself or for fun. When asked to bring an appetizer, I will bring something I have made before and that is easy, cheap, and quick. I don't need to search everything the Neelys have ever made to find the "perfect" recipe. It doesn't exist.
6. I will try ONCE to get a Christmas card photo. If I can't get it in one afternoon, I will reuse the same one from last year. Only Wyatt has really changed anyway.
7. I will Christmas shop with my BFF late on weeknights. The mall is open til 10:00pm and Chili's in open til 11:00.
8. I will burn CDs of Christmas music I actually like instead of listening to the same 8 songs over and over on 93.9. While I'm at it, I will make a peaceful worshipful, CD and some fun ones too.
9. I will bake for the neighbors and invite them all to church. Again. Maybe the holiday season will make the "no thanks" turn into a "we'd love to."
So there is my concrete plan to reclaim the holiday joy for myself! Fa lalalalalalala. . . .
Tim ended up working late a few times last week so I have some meals from those days that never got made. Cooked. However you say it! We usually just eat PB&J or whatever when he's working late. Plus this week is a GEMS week so we usually go to Wendy's before dropping Caroline off at GEMS. That should help out my grocery budget. I'm working of getting our grocery bill down to less than $100 per week. That's another post brewing!
It is a sad day at our house. Caroline's beloved Nick Swisher is being traded. Not just traded but sent to the only team we hate more than the Cubs. The Yankees. Eeeewwww. There is weeping and wailing. She will be wearing sack cloth and ashes tomorrow. Bye Dirty Thirty. Guess this means we're stuck with Paulie for another year.
It must be nice to have so much time on your hands.
I need the stimulation of my career.
Why did you get your degree if you're going to waste it?
Isn't it boring to be at home?
No wife/daughter of mine is going to sit home all day!
Can you do this/go here/buy that/bake this since you're home anyway?
I'm not the type of person who could be a SAHM.
We've all heard them a thousand times. I have been a Stay At Home Mom for 10 years now and I have heard 'em all. We all know the stereotypes of the SAHM who knows the storyline of "Days of Our Lives" and eats chocolates all day. We also know the rosy image of perfectly groomed mom baking cookies while well-adjusted toddlers play with blocks in the perfect family room. Neither one of those happening here.
I don't need to convince people that being a SAHM is hard. Or important. Or fulfilling. I need to convince myself. I think that is why those comments sting us SAHM so hard. We feel like we are always having to prove that we are not lazy or intellectually challenged. Being a SAHM is the ultimate self-starter position. Think about it. If your job. . .
didn't have a boss
didn't have clear guidelines
didn't have any hard deadlines
didn't have a schedule for production
didn't have a routine that stayed the same for any length of time
didn't have any specific works hours
didn't have any breaks
didn't have fear of discipline from the boss
AND didn't have a PAYCHECK
. . .would you keep that job very long? Probably not. This is a daily struggle for us SAHMs. To quote my "good friend" Kate Gosselin, mother of 8, "My day is make a meal, serve a meal, clean up a meal. Repeat." Trying to keep a home clean while having small children in it everyday is like straining rice with a tennis racket. I am sometimes so jealous of my girlfriends who have careers outside the home. They get to wear clothes that match and talk to people who know more than 50 words. They get to go to meetings and power lunches and say things like "Expense report." I get to go to Target and spend 45 minutes trying to keep Wyatt from contracting typhoid fever from licking the cart all the while comparing prices on toilet paper.
I do love being a SAHM. Most of the time. Some days. Sort of. I love the freedom I have to plan my week the way I want to. I love the fact that my kids are with me. I get to spend time with friends during the day which my dear dear dear husband likes to remind me when we have the weekly "my life sucks more than yours" fight. Yep, I spent 3 hours at the McDonald's Playland with Kary and her two youngest kids. It was more relaxing than a day at the spa. (Note the sarcasm.) These things I get to do are really like business trips. When you have to go to Florida to call on a client you are working. Even though it's sunny Florida you aren't visiting WDW or laying on the beach. Same with SAHM playdates and such. Prettier scenery but still work.
I'm really not sure the point of this whole post. It's not to convince people that SAHM have value. It's not to complain about how rough my life is. It is certainly not to start a WOTH/SAHM war because that is just dumb. We're all moms and make the best decisions we can. I know I get annoyed when a WOTH mom utters the comments listed so I try my very best not to even have those kind of thoughts about my WOTH mom friends. Honestly, I think we are so critical of moms who do it different because we are so insecure in our decisions. Motherhood is a constant state of second guessing. Is this right for my kid or is that right? We tend to beat down the other choice to make ourselves feel better about our own choices. The other reason we make those comments is pure stupidity. Simple not thinking about how it sounds to a mom on the other side of the proverbial fence. Moms are gifted at reading subtext and often use this power for evil instead of good. When a WOTH mom says "I need the stimulation of my career." she means she likes her career. When a SAHM hears that sentence she hears, "I am superiorly intelligent to you and am simply too evolved to spend my day watching soaps and Dora the Explorer in my PJs b/c that is what you do."
Again, I have no idea the point of this post but face it. The grass is not any greener anywhere else. Except if you live in Florida and have a dog to pee on it. Then you have really green grass and mine is brown for fall.
This kid is going to drive me to drink. That sweet angelic face is a cover for a deep naughty streak. Our biggest challenge with Amelia is she's just so stinkin' happy. NOTHING phases her. Take away her toys? No big deal. Take away computer time? Okie dokie. No TV? Ok, Mommy, I'll just read my books. AAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGG!!! Her kindergarten teacher is facing the same issue. A consequence that would send a regular kid into tears doesn't bother Amelia in the least. As Mrs Z wrote on her report card, "Amelia is overwhelmingly perky!" I'm not sure if that's a compliment or not. The worst part for Mrs Z? Amelia is a LEADER! All the kids love her. Girls give her their toys everyday and boys yell out their carpool windows at her. She eats it up. Loves it. She is the Homecoming Queen of 2008.
So all you who knew me back when I was the perfect mom, feel free to yuck it up. I deserve it.
I'm a 30-ish wife to Tim and mom to 3 girls~Caroline 12, Amelia 7, and Greta 6 PLUS little monster boy~Wyatt. I try to live my life as I would want to see it played back in a Lifetime movie. . . with Jennie Garth playing the role of me. I offend an average 3.6 people per day. I'm trying to cut back.