Holiday Perfection: Too Much Pressure On Parents?
As the holiday season approaches, I’m often filled with both joy and anxiety. Joy for all the Christmas magic we get to share with Liam and anxiety that creating the magic is more than I can take on at times. From the decorations to the parties to the food – heck even remembering to teach kids gratitude during holidays – I find I put a lot of pressure on myself to pull everything together. If I’m being honest, the pressure exists year-round, I just feel it more during the time crunch of the holiday season. From the sounds of it, I’m not alone. Lately there has been article after article about the weight of expectation modern parenting puts on parents (and in particular, mothers) like this one and this one. It seems to be part of a new mommy war – the Pinterest moms vs. the anti-Pinterest moms.
While I agree that the new standard of parenting seems to be impossibly high, I struggle because at times I am that mom who spends way too much time decorating the elaborate birthday cake or painstakingly adding a beaded fringe to a basic t-shirt. I like to craft – I have since I was a little girl. Looking for creative outlets in lots of different directions has always been a part of my life, but lately I often feel like I can’t win. I don’t feel like I should have to be a traitor to my gender for enjoying traditionally feminine activities like sewing and baking and crafting nor do even come close to the perfection displayed in my Pinterest feed on a daily basis. What’s a mom to do when you’re stuck in the middle?
For this holiday season, I’m ignoring the dialogue and I’m going to pay more attention to how things we do will impact me and my family. I’ll only be taking on projects and activities that will add to our holiday joy – if I/we enjoy the process and it’s not going to significantly add to my stress, it stays on the list. Everything else goes. This will likely mean that we’ll have a beautifully decorated mantle, a few homemade gifts for Liam, some home-baked goodies and not much else. My presents will not be wrapped to perfection (I hate gift wrapping) and that pre-Christmas cocktail party I’ve been thinking about throwing? It’s not going to happen. And I’m okay with that. Our holiday season won’t be perfect by any stretch but I hope by focusing on the stuff that we really like, it will be happy and memorable.