Twinkling lights, decades-old music, tradition spewing from every crevice and the smell of baking and pine trees and … flat out exhausted misery. Who gets to facilitate all of this festive bullshit? YOU do, woman! Now get your ass back in the kitchen and baste that turkey! Smells like gender inequality, doesn’t it?
Ahhh, the holidays, when your already exploding list of mental to-dos quadruples and you’re juuust on the verge of buckling under the pressure of everything being “Pinterest perfect.” When you finally get your mind to shut off and fall asleep (by reciting the kids’ Christmas lists over and over again), you leap out of bed, panicking about moving the Elf… that fucking ELF!
Maybe you really enjoy it and the idea of hosting friends and family, seeing the faces of everyone opening the perfect gifts and taking in the decor all over the entire house thrills you to no end. You feel no added stress whatsoever. If that’s true, you’re either a man or an anomaly.
The holidays for moms are just ridiculous and it’s our own fault. We’ve created this tinsel drizzled trap of making everything happen, because if we don’t … it just won’t get done, right? For example, when is the last time your husband chose, purchased and wrapped presents for his own mother without any help from you, his lovely wife?
Who decides when to decorate? What gifts to buy? Who wraps all of that shit? Who chooses the picture for the cards? Who scheduled that fucking photo session in the first place? Which person shops for Christmas dinner groceries? Decides the menu? Cooks everything at the ass-crack of dawn? Who puts their bare hands right inside the business end of a cold-ass (no pun intended) bird carcass? At the end of the day, who cleans everything up, puts everything away and later starts taking down the decor?
I remember as a girl on family holidays, wondering why all of the women were in the kitchen cooking, serving and cleaning. The dudes had one (maybe two) job(s): carve the turkey, say grace and then go watch football. Meanwhile, we (the humans with the unfortunate curse of vaginas) were cleaning up, hastily wrapping up the leftovers in foil and the collection of butter containers that my grandma had apparently held onto for the last decade. The reason that I noticed was because I have a brother and as we got older, he got to go outside and play while I was stuck scrubbing burned gravy bits off of the bottom of a pot.
What. The. Fuck?!
Then I saw it. My adult life, a mirror of how I was raised. I do everything. EVERYTHING! Why? Because that’s what I saw as a little girl. My mom shopping, wrapping, decorating, cooking … all of it, while my dad sat in his recliner, drinking his Coors Light and watching whatever sport happened to be on T.V.
How can you NOT feel resentment toward a holiday meant to be about peace and love and giving when you, as a mom, are getting the exact opposite and the weight of all it falls directly on your shoulders? How can you truly experience the joy of watching your kids’ faces while they’re opening the gifts that you stood in a long-ass line for and carefully wrapped when you’re so busy picking up every scrap of discarded wrapping paper off of the floor and doing dishes for like the 1100th time?
Take your peace, love, and giving season back, y’all. Because as the curator of holiday magic for your entire family, you have all of the control right now — to teach your daughters (and sons) differently.
Do less. Say “no.” Take a nap. Have fun. Dance. Sing. Buy dinner from the Cracker Barrel (or wherever). Put gifts in gift bags. Buy less shit. Take more trips. It doesn’t make you a “bad mom” or lazy or whatever other bullshit you’re telling yourself. It makes you sane and happier and THAT is the foundation of a great holiday and a great mother.
Now get to work, bad bitch. You’ve got New Year’s resolutions to obsess over *insert eye roll here.
About the Author
Mom of 4.5, lover of an asshole dog whole chews my shoes, married 3 times (divorced 2), my favorite words are bad ones, funny lady, fierce supporter of moms, suicide survivor. I make jokes about my vagina as The Drunk Mom at www.thedrunkmom.com, www.facebook.com/thedrunkmom and www.instagram.com/captainfuckslinger Surviving domestic abuse, childhood trauma and teen motherhood tends to make one funny bitch… at least that’s what happened for me. Read my FREE book “Becoming The Drunk Mom” at www.thedrunkmom.com.