A Mother's Perfect Christmas

Last week I wrote a blog post about 25 festive ideas to enjoy and try for advent and lead up to the big day. Just because these were fabulous fun ideas intended for the family to have a great time, it doesn't mean that the event and actual doing of the idea has to be perfect. Mine hasn't been. 

I took ages to cut felt shapes for the boys to place onto a felt tree I gave them. Within seconds, seconds- not even minutes, these felt shapes had littered the floor amongst cheerios from the morning. Now they were a pile of forgotten felt pieces, mushed into the rug like the efforts of all the cutting from myself had been. 


The Christmas tree. The tree I get so so excited about putting up and decorating, then taking the festive "Put the tree up" photo for Facebook, the tree was ruined within minutes. I think about 15 baubles have seen the dark insides of the nappy filled bin bag. My Angel, that wasn't cheap, I have to add, got be-headed. The boys had a knack for pulling back the branches of the tree till she pinged off it, then flew her around. Well, one day she pinged straight onto the laminate floor and off flew her head. Now the head has been glued back on but it just looks like she has casually had her throat slit. The baubles shattered across my floor while the 21 month old stood and giggled. They shattered and broke into a thousand pieces, just like my dreams of ever having 'the perfect family Christmas tree'. 


We made a gingerbread house at the weekend. The icing bag suddenly had more holes then needed so the sticky gooey mess was oozing out of the bag faster than I could create pretty icicles and lines for the house. The 3 year old created a new method of decorating with sweets, "One for the house, one for me", while the 21 month old poured a bag of sweets onto the floor. I then struggled with my husband to stick together the walls and roof of this ginger bread house, just like struggling to glue together my perfect advent ideas and thoughts. Trying to make these ideas stick, to make them a reality. To be "perfect" like so many other families look, thanks to social media.  

One evening, our advent event was to take the boys on a walk around the neighbourhood, after dinner, to take a look at all the festive colourful lights that so many people had put up with effort. The boys loved it, for the most part. About 3/4 of the way through, after lots of "ooh's, ahh's" and "that's my favourite!", Zachary turned to me and said; "Perhaps we can go home now" I looked at this tree in front of me, this magical, beautiful tree harbouring flashing colourful lights that seared through my brain, creating a memory and a moment. A moment of clarity. I said to my Son, who was clearly beat from the walk and had had enough, and said "Ok baby, lets go back home. Let's get you guys into a nice warm bath and have stories and to bed." 


In that moment, I realised that I needed to stop forcing things to be 'Perfect' because perfect is different for everybody. I needed to stop comparing and conforming to everyone else on my social media and just be in the moment. Take a day at a time, a moment at a time, a stress ball at a time. Something we do most days, bath, stories, bed. That to me is my perfect little life with my little family. To others, this may be boring, but to me it is perfection. I worry at times it isn't enough, so I strive to make things better, more exciting, bigger, perfect. Instead, I just need to take a step back and enjoy everything. The little things. 


I'm so glad I did these advent events, some have been genuine fun, but some I made far more stressful than they needed to be, just because I wanted to be perfect. Others, I didn't manage to even get around to doing because that is life. I can look, though, at these moments and this advent and say "at least I tried" because I did, sometimes a little too much. I can look at these events and find them funny, the felt trees can keep for next year, the Christmas tree will never look perfect with two boisterous boys, but its my tree, our tree. Our family, cluttered, out-of-place Christmas tree. The gingerbread house looked a hot mess, which made the need to eat it become quicker and I glad it did, because it tasted divine. 


They say its the season to be jolly, but ask yourself have you been completely jolly lately? Or has the stress of getting Christmas ready, making sure you moved the elf each night, buying and wrapping the presents and hiding them and then keeping the children (who sense its this time of the year) under control all gotten a bit too much lately? If not then brilliant, I am so happy you are already enjoying this joyful time. If it has been, you are not alone. 


This is life, family life. It is the most exhausting, challenging, stressful and sometimes lonely time of your life. Parenting, family life though is also the most rewarding, humorous, enlightening and magically in your own family way perfect time of your life. 

Over these last few days before Christmas, I am going to embrace my family and my family life. All of it. Every second. Even when I want to scream at the 21 month old for shoving his hands down the toilet, again! I would not change any of it, not at all, not even to become "perfect" like so many others seem, not to become "perfect" to conform and meet societies expectations of Christmas and motherhood. 


I realised in that moment, staring at the glistening Christmas lights, holding my 3 year old because his legs had gotten tired, that my life is already perfect. It's perfection to me, even if it isn't to anybody else. 



So, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas. I hope its your version of perfect. 

Have you had any Christmas advent fails? Pop a comment below, I'd love to hear from you. 

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