Vertically challenged, full-time mama of two children; a boy and a girl. Wife to a husband who knows me too well. Past work experience includes interactive marketing, public relations, and teaching. Self-proclaimed worrier and over-thinker. Loves the sun, cookies & cream ice cream, and lounging on the couch with a good foodie magazine.

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Stepping off the Hamster Wheel and Enjoying the Holidays

I’ve been neglecting my writing.  Sometimes Mommy duty can be overwhelming.  Last week, my pile of laundry made me want to cry.  I was dreaming of a sunny, beachy vacation with a drink that had an umbrella in it.  Right now I’m keeping my two-year old busy with some address label stickers and a pad of paper.  I have to do what I can for a moment of productivity.

The best analogy I can think of when reflecting on stay at home motherhood is walking on a hamster wheel.  You keep moving, cooking, cleaning, loving, reading, worrying and trying to get something done and tomorrow there will be more of the same.  Even if you work outside of the house, isn’t parenthood just exhausting?  Time for your self is laughable.  Am I right?

I have so many things on my to-do list each day and I find it quite depressing when I don’t get much crossed off.  Some days I don’t get anything crossed off.  Have you had those days?

With the holidays approaching, I am already feeling the pressure.  Gifts to buy, lists to make, traditions to build, and dreams to fulfill.  Sometimes I wonder why my reality doesn’t look like the picture on the front of the gingerbread house kit or the commercials for cookie dough; spotless house, the smell of cookies baking in the oven, no one biting each other, laundry DONE, and dinner already planned for and ready.

I’ve made a decision, though.  Sometimes we need to step off of the hamster wheel.  That thing can be dreadful.  This year I need to make a conscious decision to be in the moment and see the sights and sounds and smells of the holidays as my children do.  They aren’t worrying about what we are having for dinner two days from now and they certainly don’t care about how spic and span the house is.  I think I need to take a page from their book.

So, this season, as crazy and hurried as it sometimes seems, be a little of your childhood self.  Do something new.  Find a fun event in your community that you haven’t experienced before and take your family.  I know that I am hoping to go to the Garden d’Lights, as I haven’t been in over ten years.

Hamster wheel or not, take time for yourself to enjoy the days ahead:

  • Choose an activity (ice skating, crafts with the kids, shopping, going to a Christmas tree farm) and pick a date to do it.
  • Get out of the house and take a breather for a few hours!
  • Think back to when you were little and reflect on some of your treasured memories – maybe try to recreate them for your children
  • Instead of viewing everything you need to do as a chore, think of them as opportunities.  You are making memories.
  • Have a movie night with hot chocolate and popcorn.  Yum!
  • Lighten up and have fun!  I forget that all too often.
  • Take the time to be mindful and thankful.  Gratitude is a wonderful mood booster.

Be Thankful...and Present.

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