I've decided to be a bit honest about Christmas. I'd love to tell you that it was the most fantastic time of the year and that I enjoyed it 100% but honestly it was pretty stressful. Every year I tell myself I will be more organised but it never happens and it all ends up being a mad rush and I don't get to enjoy half of it.
Last Christmas I said the same thing. Next year I will start my shopping early. We didn't have a very good Christmas last year as my mother in law had died about 4 weeks before so my husband's heart just wasn't in it. It was a crap Christmas in fact.
I desperately wanted this year to be different but September came and went and I hadn't made any lists. Then my husband got made redundant so that put a bit of a dampener on this time of year and that I had to return to work. This meant that I wasn't free to keep the house in shape and of course start the Christmas shopping.
My mum and family also decided to come back for a holiday from Australia for 3 weeks and were landing on 23rd December. I couldn't wait but there were home improvements that needed to be completed by the time they came back and we also had to buy new beds for them to sleep on as our spare room became Ophelia's room when she was born.
My husband is extremely easy going. He's so laid back, he's horizontal. He's always late for everything and seems to do everything very last minute. You can imagine how much stress this caused me over the Christmas period when we needed to get everything done.
So let me take you to December 22nd. I was still Christmas shopping in town, buying anything. I was gutted as I knew I hadn't thought about gifts properly and was just getting whatever was left at this point. I got home at 10pm, exhausted.
Then it was December 23rd, the day I had to pick my mum and sisters up from Heathrow. Instead of doing nice things with Eva and Ophelia I was ironing, cleaning and wrapping presents. My husband was in IKEA buying any beds he could find. It was a nightmare. He was then moving furniture around and in general causing chaos. I left to pick my family up from the airport and got back after midnight and didn't go to bed until 1.30am.
I was then up at 6am to look after the kids. I was one tired, stressed out mummy. Christmas eve should be a day to be enjoyed but what was I doing, manically wrapping all the presents in a very haphazard manner. We did manage to pop to our local winter wonderland for a couple of hours which was lovely. I threw together a Christmas eve box with anything I could find in the local supermarket. This really upset me as this was a tradition I started on Eva's first Christmas and all i'd put in this basket was a load of crap and she knew it. She didn't like it at all. That was the start of the mum guilt.
We finally got Eva to sleep and I realised that we hadn't put anything out for Santa. She'd made bags of reindeer food and I felt awful. So what did I do? I woke her up. Bad mum alert. She loved putting the plate out for him but again the mum guilt started as not only had I woken her up but it was once again a half hearted attempt at something that should be so special to a child.
Christmas morning started early (after a very late night to bed the night before). Eva was happy but then I heard the words that Santa didn't bring me what I wanted. My heart sank. Hubby also upset me but i won't go into that. I managed to keep it together for a while but then had to take myself off to bed for a nap where I just cried. Silly I know but I sobbed for a good hour.
Mum guilt can be such a bitch (excuse my language) and don't our kids have the ability to make us feel like heroes once second and the worst parents on the earth the next. I knew this year was mostly my fault for being so disorganised. I really wanted it to be stress free, easy and enjoyable as it was Eva's first year of really understanding and she was so excited.
I've put all this in a blog post so that next year I can remember just how horrible it was and hopefully get my shit together. Christmas should be a time for family enjoyment and special moments not rushing around trying to make everything perfect but missing out on all the excitement.
How was your Christmas? Were you a disorganised parent or did you manage to get it all sorted with plenty of time to spare?