This year, Christmas by all accounts was a very difficult one for me. There were many factors that fed into it, but I guess, you could say it was the perfect storm for a bad day.
Winslow had to work. Wesley and Katia were both very sick. We had no family visiting and couldn't go to anyone's homes (sick kids aren't popular at shindigs). In the end, I felt very lonely and overwhelmed.
Leading up the holidays, I knew that we were going to be spending it alone and without family, so I made plans to have lots of visits with friends, to compensate for loneliness. Unfortunately, all of the plans I had made ( 2 lunch visits with friends, a potluck at the RCMP detachment, church, and Christmas dinner) all were cancelled, because of the kids being sick. I certainly don't blame them for being sick, it is what it is, but it made things hard and I couldn't move forward with our holiday plans.
Christmas Eve was a bust. Winslow worked all day. Wesley screamed and cried in pain all morning. Katia shot up with a fever. I had to rearrange our plans, and my good friend Tania took Noah to the potluck I had organized, and then to church. I went to the hospital with Wesley and Katia and we were there for nearly 3 hrs.
I was worried that Wesley might have an ear infection or something. It had been 5 consistent days of throwing up, fevers and crying. I didn't want to spend Christmas in the hospital, so I decided to take them then. The doctor just said it was a bad respiratory virus and a gastro bug. He looked at Katia who was sleeping in the waiting room and said it was the same thing. On the way home Katia barfed all over the car. I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed, angry and wishing I had someone to be there to help me. It's so friggen hard doing it all alone.
Christmas morning was nice. Winslow was working but could be home with us to watch the kids open and play with gifts. The radio was on the whole time and I couldn't help but feel resentful to Winslow's work, for taking him away from us.
The kids were spoiled, but in a good way. The gifts they received were all useful and nice. They were grateful for what they received and it was fun to watch them play with their gifts. Noah's favourite gift, was a Bigfoot book (also his skateboard) and Katia loved her special "grown up" art kit.
Winslow and I kept things simple this year with stocking stuffers. I got some Lush bath bombs, chocolate, underwear, an itunes gc, and some Christmas tree ornaments. Two friends of mine sent some gifts to me, which was very nice. CBC socks, a beeswax candle, some Lush shower gel, some other cute socks and tea towels. I enjoyed having a few phone calls with Katie, Sarah N and Bawkers.
Throughout the afternoon, Wesley screamed and cried in pain. I was exhausted and was starting to lose my cool. Winslow was at work, and I couldn't even sit down to watch a movie with Noah and Katia. I paced the house with a screaming baby for a few hours, and then we went for a walk.
Noah used his new scooter and I carried Wes in the carrier and pulled Katia in the wagon that Santa brought. As we walked, I scanned all the houses that had driveways full of cars. I knew that they were celebrating with big groups of people. I felt more and more alone.
Because we had made plans to go to a friend's for dinner, I never thought about what we would do for Christmas dinner. It ended up being a bit of a hodge podge, and not exactly what I would've liked. Winslow and I had wanted to watch a movie together that night, but by the time I finally settled Wesley, I just wanted to go to bed. I was done.
The day went on and one thing was really eating away at me, my mom hadn't called. By night time, I was really hurt and basically cried myself to sleep. I was hurt and disappointed in her. Why wouldn't she call when she knew I was on my own that day? Why wouldn't she call to say Merry Christmas and thank you for the handmade gifts the kids had made for her?
Today was Boxing Day, and thankfully, I woke up feeling 100 times better. The pressure of a perfect Christmas Day was not there. I didn't have to pretend anything for the children. And finally Winslow was home, so we could share the work of the sick kids.
For some reason, whether it was good or not, I decided to call my mom and confront her for not calling me. The conversation didn't end well, I cried and told her I was hurt and then I hung up on her. I'm sure she's not happy, but I feel better for having said my piece. As someone close to me put it, I'm not out of line for expecting someone as important as my mother to call me on an important day. Those aren't high expectations. I think this is a good time to build up my healthy boundaries that I had let down more recently. I must take care of myself when it comes to my relationship with her, as she is an extremely selfish person.
After a nice hot shower (with Lush shower gel... swoon) I went for a long walk with Noah and Ryder in the woods. The sun, the quiet, the movement, the fresh air... it all did wonders for my mood.
the rest of the day was nice. I worked away on our Christmas dinner (turkey, all the trimmings and apple pie), while Winslow took on the kids (such a huge help).
All in all, I am ready to wrap up this Christmas. While I love love love the season of Christmas, I find more and more, the expectations of the actual day are very hard to deal with. As a mom, we do our best to make it magical and special, but it can be a let down for us moms, for many reasons.
I'm ready now to usher in the New Year and to step back from the responsibilities of the holidays.
I'm looking ahead to my goals and to ways to look after myself better.