There is an understanding within the general public that once you have a child, every concern, worry or overreaction is excused with a simple phrase, “It’s okay. She’s a new parent.”
New Parent Syndrome: The irrational sensation that now everything becomes a hazard, every sniffle is a reason to call the doctor and no one can care for your child like you can.
I think it is a very common feeling in the world of parenthood. I recently read an article about how parents are putting more and more pressure on themselves to be the best. Every birthday party needs to be Pinterest-ready, and every toddler needs to be reading, writing and thinking bigger thoughts than what snack they want to eat.
In our struggle to be the best, we struggle to just be.
Okay. J.C’s celebrated birthday doesn’t actually scare me. It’s just a day, right? As an introvert, the holidays are especially draining. Add a new baby into the mix, and the winter holiday seasons becomes the most stressful time of the year.
1. Winter Dealing: In New England, it is a fact that you will have to drive everywhere. It is also a fact that you are expected to drive in all types of horrible weather. Now, many of wear our badges of snowstorm driving with pride, but navigating snow-covered roads with a baby in the car adds a whole other level of stress.
2. Holiday Music Listening: This is left over from my years in retail. Now I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy some instrumental renditions of traditional tunes, but I’m pretty sure that anyone who has ever worked in retail gets a little tired of “Wonderful Christmastime.”
3. Lifetime Holiday Specials Watching: Alright, I’ve fallen victim to watching quite a few Lifetime Holiday Specials. No one’s holiday ends up like that.
4. Holiday Decorating: To be honest, I did not decorate this year. Why? I have a not-quite two-month old and a cat who nibbles on everything and I have classwork and job searching. If I did put up decorations, they would probably stay up until I spring clean.
5. Food Shopping: I live near two grocery stores. Both are competitively priced, but one does usually end up being lower then the other. Because I made the mistake of waiting until Christmas Eve to get groceries, I went to the more expensive store in order to maintain my sanity and avoid the hordes of last minute shoppers at the other store.
6. Gift Buying: This is my least favorite part of Christmas. I never know what to buy people, not to mention the crowds of holiday shoppers at every mall, department store, Target, etc.
7. Present Opening: This goes hand-in-hand with Gift Buying. Not a fan of the fake thank you.
8. Holiday Crafting: I love when people post Pinterest Fails because I am one of those people. I’ve had a few successes, but it usually comes down to my own craftiness and it never looks as good as the image.
9. Facebook Posting: I read something somewhere about how Facebook encourages a distorted view of reality and perfection because we only post what we want our “friends” to see. I think the holidays further this distortion. No one’s family is that perfect.
10. Holiday Baking: How many different types of cookies are there? Two. The yummy, perfectly sweet treats that make you forget you are on a diet and the ones you buy at the store. Now, do you have hours to commit to baking those wonderful holiday treats or will a batch from the bakery at the grocery store suffice?
11. Holiday Cooking: How many hours did we agonize over what to serve for our holiday dinners? Too many!
12. Family Gathering: Bring out the Festivus Pole for the annual “Airing of Grievances”!
Happy Holidays from My Life as a New England Townie!