The holidays for us moms sure can be hectic.
I have three children now, a 7-year old, 5-year old, and an almost 3-month old. The Christmas countdown started the day after Halloween! Everywhere I looked there was something reminding me to ‘get ready’ for Christmas. And here it is, less than two weeks till the holiday is here. My shopping list of gifts for the family, kids’ teachers, and friends barely has been checked off. Holiday parties and activities keep us busy all month long. My daily to-do list always includes things like decorating, gingerbread house making, crafting, and cooking for events. And of course the day-to-day chores of raising three children and running a business hasn’t stopped just because the holidays are here. There’s still laundry piled up, meals to make, homework to tackle, kids to bathe, bills to pay, and a house to keep clean. Yet despite all of this, the message that keeps coming to mind is that I need to savor the moment. Don’t miss it. Soak it in.
The other night as I sat rocking my baby girl to sleep, I was overwhelmed with the need to just soak her in. Soak in all the little joys of having a newborn; the way she smells after a bath, how she stares into my eyes, the adorable coos she’s learning to make, the way she needs me to just hold her, rock her, feed her. When my baby needs me, the world just has to wait! She doesn’t care how many days are left till Christmas, or that I still have shopping to do and cookies to bake. She needs me now and that’s all that matters. That perspective has been so refreshing for me this holiday!
Because I’ve had to slow down with her, it’s helped me soak in the moments with my older kids too. I have a son in Kindergarten and another in First Grade. My time with them during the day is fleeting, since mornings are busy getting them fed, dressed & off to school. Afternoons fly by with after school activities, homework, dinner, baths and bedtime. But I want to savor these fleeting moments with them too! I want to soak in this time of having young innocent little boys; the way their faces light up when I plug in the Christmas tree lights, their excited anticipation as they open a new door of their LEGO Advent Calendar, the belly laughs they do when singing “Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg”, and their relief when seeing that Santa wrote them letters back (meaning he MUST be real, unlike what their friends are telling them). What a magical, imaginative, silly stage of life my boys are in right now, and I want to soak it all in!
So as the countdown to Christmas continues, I’m going to strive to stress less. I’m going to slow down and look around. I’m going to say ‘no’ to more commitments and ‘yes’ to lazy days of watching Christmas specials with my kiddos. I’m going to soak in these mommy moments, because those are the true gifts this holiday season.
Mandy Watts is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Crownsville with her husband, Justin, who runs their family business, has two sons, and baby daughter.