aka The Frazzled Mom
communal-shared by all members of a community; for common use.
Communal drives me crazy because common areas mean I’m often the one picking up and cleaning up the messes of everyone else. Thankfully, I never experienced dorm life or living with a roommate. Well, the roommate came close with a friend. We desperately wanted to move into an apartment and away from our mothers, but alas, it’s cheaper to live at home…on Dad’s dime. 🙂
My daughter wanted a Christmas party for her friends where they could decorate cookies. She informed me of this on Monday of this week. I’m not a Pinterest mom. I’ve tried…and failed. The nailed it memes? That’s more my style. Still, I try. So why not shortcut it? I picked up rolls of sugar cookie dough and with my daughters help, we rolled and cut out Ninjabread men and Christmas trees. I had leftover plates and napkins from last year, so I managed to decorate the table as if I’d been planning this for months. Ding! The cookies were done. I opened the oven to find not perfect looking sugar cookies but fat, puffy Ninja men. *sigh*
But that wasn’t my main irritation. I was frustrated by the state of our home. The kids, being kids, had used the “common area” (aka the living room) as a play area. We also use it to do homework. After making our Earthquake house project, there were bits of aluminum foil, tape, scraps of paper, pens scattered…not to mention dog hair on the area rug, dust. It was just a mess. I had no time to clean it. Grr. I was embarrassed when the parents came over to drop off their kids. I’ve had a kid walk into our house in the past (when it was less chaotic) and say, “Why’s it so messy in here?” Feeling, in my mind, that he was simply vocalizing exactly what his mother and her parents were thinking.
It was only after the last kid left following our party that I realized, the kids (and the parents) didn’t mind the mess. They were happy their kid was invited. I could have thrown up my hands and said, “That’s it! No party because I don’t have time to clean.” Instead, I grinned and bared it. I picked up what little I could and made the most of the time we had. And you know what? The kids didn’t notice the dog hair on the rug or the dust. They decorated and played, filling our house with the best sound ever: laughter.
A nice article from Joshua Rogers. For me, it is a little bit of the “they’re going to ruin Christmas” but also the frustration when my kids whip out their drama, cry and bemoan the “ruined” holidays. When they start complaining, they rarely do it to their dad. It’s always to me. And it ends up having a soul-sucking, energy reducing effect on me. When that happens, I feel like I turn into a 10-year-old, complaining and just being overall grumpy. Every time that happens, I say to my husband that I’m “forcing my family to have fun” because they seem miserable and in the end I’m miserable too, only to learn that they weren’t as bad off as I’d thought.
For anyone right now that’s discouraged, that feels the best-laid plans for the holidays are falling into ruins, reading this article:
First, know that you aren’t alone. Many of us go through the holidays feeling this way. A relative says, “You look like you’ve put on weight”. Gee, is there a compliment in there somewhere? Second, will you give that person or situation power over how you react? Will you allow disappointment to seep in? Or will you fight it, slap a smile on your face and, you know, fake it ’til you make it?!
I wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and a safe and happy holiday season!
Oh, if you decided to flock your own Christmas Tree, here’s a nice tutorial that uses Ivory soap, a more subtle soap, from Wendi Phan. Confused? Read the article first!