A Very Mom Christmas

Have you seen the SNL skit about a ‘normal’ mom experience Christmas morning? Everyone gets more gifts than they can imagine, including the family pet, and mom gets a robe. Nothing else. Nothing in her stocking. No words of thanks. Just a robe. It cracks me up every time I see it.

Have you ever had such a Christmas? I have. My mom had one too. I can remember as a child I was so dismayed my mom didn’t get much that my sisters and I overspent on my mom the next year to make sure she didn’t feel left out. We guilted our dad to no end too. He definitely tried to make up for it, and didn’t make the mistake again.

I get it. The older I get the less I want or need. I really want Christmas to be great for my kids, and husband, and cat. 😊 But I was a bit bummed when one year I got only one present (I can’t even recall what it was), and my stocking was empty. I tried to hide my disappointment, but my kids found the stocking being empty wrong and started inquiring with my husband why nothing was in it. My husband shared privately that he didn’t know what to get for me and that’s why my gifts were lacking. I told him I’d be more specific in things I’d like in the future (even though I’d love for him to know this without me telling him—oh well).

So often the holidays are about trying to make things perfect — the gifts, the food, the decorations, the house. It can be overwhelming, even exhausting. And something always won’t go quite right — gifts arrive late, food gets burned, decorations lacking, house a mess, and perhaps an empty stocking. But while I remember that very-Mom-Christmas, I remember the memories of the kids being excited, my husband surprised, even the cat knowing it’s a special day (new toys and treats, oh my!) and I cherish it so.

Being a mom/being a parent is hard. Wanting to have a perfect holiday – normal. Being okay when it is less than – a must. It’s about being together and sharing our gratitude for what we have, what we’ve been given, and our love for one another. Is another Mom-Christmas in my future? Maybe, and that’s okay. Time with my kids (especially as they get older and more independent) is more special to me than any gift. And it doesn’t hurt that I pick up a few small things for myself as a treat around the holidays…just in case. 😊

What holiday memory brings a smile to your face? How do you plan to enjoy the holidays when something goes wrong?

I will be off for the next few weeks to enjoy time with friends and family and will be back in January. Happy Holidays!

A Very Mom Christmas

Have you seen the SNL skit about a ‘normal’ mom experience Christmas morning? Everyone gets more gifts than they can imagine, including the family pet, and mom gets a robe. Nothing else. Nothing in her stocking. No words of thanks. Just a robe. It cracks me up every time I see it.

Have you ever had such a Christmas? I have. My mom had one too. I can remember as a child I was so dismayed my mom didn’t get much that my sisters and I overspent on my mom the next year to make sure she didn’t feel left out. We guilted our dad to no end too. He definitely tried to make up for it, and didn’t make the mistake again.

I get it. The older I get the less I want or need. I really want Christmas to be great for my kids, and husband, and cat. 😊 But I was a bit bummed when one year I got only one present (I can’t even recall what it was), and my stocking was empty. I tried to hide my disappointment, but my kids found the stocking being empty wrong and started inquiring with my husband why nothing was in it. My husband shared privately that he didn’t know what to get for me and that’s why my gifts were lacking. I told him I’d be more specific in things I’d like in the future (even though I’d love for him to know this without me telling him—oh well).

So often the holidays are about trying to make things perfect — the gifts, the food, the decorations, the house. It can be overwhelming, even exhausting. And something always won’t go quite right — gifts arrive late, food gets burned, decorations lacking, house a mess, and perhaps an empty stocking. But while I remember that very-Mom-Christmas, I remember the memories of the kids being excited, my husband surprised, even the cat knowing it’s a special day (new toys and treats, oh my!) and I cherish it so.

Being a mom/being a parent is hard. Wanting to have a perfect holiday – normal. Being okay when it is less than – a must. It’s about being together and sharing our gratitude for what we have, what we’ve been given, and our love for one another. Is another Mom-Christmas in my future? Maybe, and that’s okay. Time with my kids (especially as they get older and more independent) is more special to me than any gift. And it doesn’t hurt that I pick up a few small things for myself as a treat around the holidays…just in case. 😊

What holiday memory brings a smile to your face? How do you plan to enjoy the holidays when something goes wrong?

I will be off for the next few weeks to enjoy time with friends and family and will be back in January. Happy Holidays!

Holiday Baking

What do you like to bake during the holidays?

While we have our holiday favorites, that have been in rotation for years, a newer recipe we’ve added is homemade pot pie following Thanksgiving. I made it a few years back and my oldest, who is normally unimpressed with most foods, was a fan right away asking, “when can we have that again?”

Following Thanksgiving this year, I made the recipe again, enough for two pot pies. I labeled one for my oldest, and the other for the rest of us. Our son ate his pot pie in two days. My husband and I were looking forward to working our way through the pot pie, along with other leftovers, over the course of the next week or so. It wasn’t to be. A day or so after my son finished his pot pie my husband informed me the other pot pie had been finished off too. Not by either of us, but our oldest. I asked my son what wasn’t clear about the other pot pie being for mom and dad (it was literally written on the foil cover ‘mom and dad’s’). He shared he’d noticed we hadn’t eat all of ours, had asked his father when we’d eat it, my husband said he didn’t know, and he took that to mean we might not eat it, so he did. 😬

I discussed the flaws in his rationale and how he could handle it in a better way in the future (e.g., ask if you can have a piece). Then proceeded to hand him his punishment — we’d turn this into a cooking lesson and he would learn how to make the pot pies. One, he needs more experience cooking and this would teach him some good skills (using different tools (whisk)), and having to have multiple things going at the same time (getting vegetables prepared, oven heated, pie crusts ready), etc.). Secondly, he’d get to enjoy the fruit of his labor — another pot pie, and my husband and I could finally enjoy ours. 😊

He did a great job in the kitchen and it was fun working with him on it. I always imagined holiday baking memories to be around cookies and other sweets, but this one, with the lesson involved, is one I’ll remember for life.

What holiday dish(es) or sweet(s) do you like to make with your child? What’s one of your favorite cooking or baking memories?

Listening In

Does your kid ever appear to tune you out, only to find out they’re really listening?

When my youngest was small he LOVED the word “no.” He used it so often you’d wonder if he truly understood the meaning or was just messing with you. My husband and I decided to see how much he was listening to us by changing up the questions. “Are you hungry?” “No!” “Are you tired?” “No!” “Do you want to play with a toy?” “No!” “Do you want a million dollars?” Pause. “Yes!” So, he was listening.

Speed up to teens years, both youngest and oldest engage with my husband and I in different ways. The youngest more likely to talk and listen. The oldest more likely to nod, shake head, or grunt. Texting is sometimes the most effective way to get messages across. 😂

Though I’m unclear how often our sons actually listen to us, I was happily surprised when we were sitting in a movie and the previews were showing. Normally we tune them out, unless something about them really catches our attention. I wish I could remember which trailer it was but the preview showed the main character conflicted about what to do in a situation and clearly a future act of violence was on their mind. The supporting character said, “Don’t get even by hurting those that did wrong by you, but get even by doing right by those that helped you.” There was an audible gasp for those in the theater. It was profound in focusing on taking the high road, making choices that lead to opportunity, it was so well said and I was glad it didn’t come from my husband or I. The audible gasp by others in the theater caught my boys attention. What was just said was important perhaps even wise. They were listening.😊

How do you get your kid to listen (particularly when trying to get an important point across)? Have any parent-hacks you can share around how you got your child to listen?